Saturday, April 7, 2018

For Wellness Sake ~Springing into Simplicity

In alignment with my personal Screen-Free goals, I have made the executive decision to remove myself from “active” participation in social media as much as possible. I will still be checking online messages and email on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Live, Love, Simple recently reminded of the tale of the Fisherman and the Businessman; it occurred to me that I have been spending too much time living my “shoulds” and not enough time doing what really matters.
Beginning April 16th 2018, inspired by my own #ScreenFree Week Goals; I will be making the art and wellness that I want to make and spending less time writing, talking, and posting about it on social media.
I am choosing to have faith in the Patreon platform.
My page at Patreon will continue to grow as the hub for all links and information about my work.
It is FREE to follow along.
You will still find the same free content for patrons and participants in charitable projects that you are used to seeing on my social media platforms.

 However, subscribing Patrons get MORE art.
Choose your subscription level. Get Rewards. Increase, Decrease, Cancel anytime.

will be in my studio, on my website, and at patreon.

Visitors are welcome in the studio during scheduled 

appointments, events, classes, 

I will be participating in Screen-Free Week again this year 
from April 30th – May 6th
During that time, I will be unplugged from all the screens.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Elusive Bloggy Moments of Clarity on Video, Things, Brambles, and Resilience

WORDS FROM MY ROOM. It's my own.

It's been a while since I posted a bloggy Thing here.
Since starting my patreon, most of this sort of content ends up there for patrons first.
As genres go, I struggle with video the most. I suspect I probably would never have ventured into this particular medium if the current era didn't require it as a tool to connect.
My first video was created in 2013 in response to a call for Arachnoiditis Survivors to speak up about their experience. Recorded from my bed, the video quality was disappointing at best...especially the sound...and I ended up adding closed captions to it. However, it inspired more videos that became sort of a series of me telling my arachnoiditis story in response to that call. As bad as they were, I kept them there, with closed captioning, because there IS something there that is useful to somebody. The response I got to those videos inspired me to begin the 2014 portrait series that became The Art For Arachnoiditis project.
Clearly, video is valid as a tool for connection.
...and still, I struggle with video.
Not the, push-the-button-remember-the-moment videos but, the I-have-to-make-this-to-explain-my-work videos. It ALWAYS feels fake and forced like I am trying to be someone else. I have tried the candid...this-is-just-me-and-my-face videos. They are usually distorted due to lighting issues or low-tech equipment and STILL, though they are candid; end up looking again like somebody who simply isn't me. I suspect I lack focus in my work. Perhaps this comes out in these videos. Maybe if I had just ONE capital-"T"-Thing that I was creating, the video output would have more clarity, too.  To limit myself to making just ONE thing seems so stifling. I realize I don't necessarily have to share ALL of the things in ONE place. I suppose I could keep making all of the things but, dedicate the patreon to just ONE thing. 
In the interest of transparency ...the current buzz word... That would be quite misleading. I think my patrons should know where their money really goes. Again, it would ring false to say or "advertise" there that the money from patrons just goes to ONE thing because.... support from patrons makes ALL of the things possible. Then of course, it occurs to me, "Maybe there should be a "Front" Thing that funds the rest of the Things?"  There could be ONE product-type Thing that patrons would want enough to purchase it and that income could finance the rest. Right? That sounds quite rational and logical in the modern consumption concept.
I am not sure why... but, generally speaking, I am opposed to the consumption and the accumulation of material possessions for the simple sake of having Things. And so, naturally, I also wrestle mightily with the idea of becoming a Thing-maker...who must also be a Thing-seller.
There it is.
The elephant in my room with the wolf-mother wall paper. 
(Tom Robbins knows about that room. When you have a few minutes, {read as, "Days of restorative solitude because you'll want to read the entire thing before going back to your own life"}...check out Skinny Legs and All if you want to know more about THAT room.)
Again today... I asked myself:
"What then, am I really meant to be making?"
The age old question..."What am I doing here?"
Ever so quietly, my room with the wolf-mother wall paper,
elephant and all,
whispered back,
 "Resilience. Independent, Sustainable, Resilience. THAT is what is happening here.THAT is your Capital "T" thing." 
and there IT is. My Thing. 
Diving further into THAT Thing.
Resilience is a process. Like all processes, this one generates by-products. Unlike the nasty connotations usually associated with that word, these by-products show up in the form of tangible art that needs a place to live. I am running out of room here.
In walks a metaphor...
Trekking through the sharp bramble-covered path, it's sometimes difficult to see that even the brambles are useful. We cut them back and set them aside in order to move on to the next portion of the path. Clearing them away we slowly move forward.
What becomes of those brambles? Do we fiercely discard them, burn them with the rubbage? or... Do we use them for fuel? Can they feed the fire that keeps us warm and lights our way? Can we weave them, spikes and all, into the baskets that hold our hope and the arches that shelter our dreams? 
Can we steep their leaves to nourish our souls? 
Amongst their branches resides the fruit to feed our resilience.
In my studio; 
Piece by piece, the brambles become:
paintings, coloring pages, mandalas, portraits, events, workshops, lesson plans, creative wellness activities, photographs, digital art, videos, opportunities for community connections, charitable creative community action projects, illustrations, poetry, and stories.
They shine the light that allows me to reside with the darkness. 
I rest and rise as needed. 
Transforming the Brambles. 
In the overview, should my patreon say, "Sheila L. Kalkbrenner is creating Wellness, Art, and Events." ...or should it say I am creating ..."Resilience"?
or...should it list ALL of the actual, tangible, hold-them-in-your-hands-look-at-them-with-your-eyes Things?
or...should it simply say... "Sheila L. Kalkbrenner is creating ART."
The ambiguity of those choices , excluding that lengthy middle one, makes me wonder who would really come to the page because, in this age of tech-supported consumption, key words are "important" and clarity is key to attracting the "right" audience and finding the "right niche" for your creative work.
And after all that reflection and contemplation, here I sit trying to figure out what is the best way to communicate, "in- FIVE- words- or- less" fashion, what is happening here.
Isn't patreon here so that we do not have to become Thing-sellers? I am really starting to FEEL like a Thing-seller.
What are YOUR thoughts?
I am working on a new "Intro-to-my-studio/Welcome-to-my-work" video because this one has glitches. It's holding the space for something better...
Feed back on this one would really help inform that one.
Whether you do it by "likes" and "shares" or offer resource links, notes, comments, or supplies for the Creative Wellness Wishlist, or through your subscription at patreon, here in our tiny village, or online in other places;
Thank you for your continued encouragement and support!
For Local Patrons, Entrepreneurs, and Artists: you can SIGN-UP To Receive FREE Updates about Art, Events, Services and Creative Community Action Opportunities FROM SheilaLynnK Art Studio and the  RECYCLING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL PATRONS Began January 25, 2018.
BTW~ If you like my work and the projects happening here, you can get current FREE updates and previews by Following on patreon. It's FREE to follow.
Start your paid subscription if you really like the work and want to get more of it.
If that feels like too much of a commitment; you might prefer to
Subscribe to the Studio Newsletter for Quarterly updates.

REMINDER~After you select your patreon subscription level; Set your monthly limit. Never pay more. Increase, decrease, or cancel at any time. Patreon applies charges when you subscribe and then the first week of each month for as long as your subscription is active. 
BY REQUEST: For patrons not participating in Patreon, here is another way to Support the ART and the Creative Wellness Projects at the Studio 
Level A $15
 Level B $35
Level C $45 
This is a ONE Time charge for individuals who would like to Support the Art being Made here. This payment option is intended for those who are not interested in a long term subscription or commitment at this time. This payment is NOT tax-deductible and is NOT linked to the Rewards or Terms of any Patreon Subscriptions. 
Your support is greatly appreciated!
Contributions to my Art For Arachnoiditis project are tax deductible and accepted via my fiscal sponsor, at  NYFA [The New York Foundation For the Arts, a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization] "Established in 1971 as an independent organization to serve individual artists throughout the state, the mission of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is to empower emerging artists and arts organizations across all disciplines at critical stages in their creative lives and professional/organizational development.  In 2009, we extended our programs and services throughout the United States and the international community."  Find out more about NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fabulous February~New Year, New Goals~Selling Art

Moon Fly After Dark ~ (see both versions)

~GOALS at Patreon~


When We REACH 20 Patrons
In addition to the listed rewards you already receive when you subscribe at $1 and up.... 
By Random Selection
 (Patron Names. Hat. Select.)
ONE of you will receive 
an  11" x 14" poster print of this mixed media drawing created for intentional digital inversion. 


part of many of my other designs, this drawing is one of my favorites. 


Now there is a new Statement Bag, "featuring bold, vivid prints, complete with genuine cow-hide leather straps, leather base, and trims, is the most coveted VIDA accessory of the year. Accessorize with this bag for a statement look that turns heads and sparks conversations - around town or across the world."

Each VIDA piece featuring one of my original designs is custom made to order for you. 

Did you know?
  V I D A doesn't keep many items in stock, so each piece is custom printed uniquely for you, reducing waste and, hopefully, the need for mass-produced goods. 
(Which goes right along with my #zerowaste #trashfree goals! GreenMatters!) 
Plus, every purchase helps fund literacy and social programs to their factory workers, helping them build better lives for generations to come.
Right now V I D A is dishing out some pretty great discounts to launch their new home decor products. The offers apply to all of the other products, too.  
10% of your purchase from my collection ALWAYS supports my goals for facilitating Independent Sustainable Creative Wellness and Keeping the arts accessible to all members of our rural community. 


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New List for a New Year ~January 2018

Beginning the New Year with an exhibit featuring current (2014-2017)
Creative Wellness Works 
Natural Feminine Energy for Creative Wellness & Intentional Unity
Visions for a Well Future, Moving Meditation, Reasonable Accommodations
Balance, Physical Rehabilitation
these works include portraits, illustrations, paintings, coloring pages, and mixed-media art which address a variety of diverse issues confronted on the path to Wellness.
Contact the studio regarding Purchase options and price list displayed at the exhibit.
NOW SHOWING at the Wide Awake Club Library in Fillmore, NY
January 3rd - January 31st 2018
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9-5
Tuesday, Thursday, 9-7
Saturday, 9-noon
Introduction to Creative Wellness presentation and Meet-the-Artist Reception
January 18th at 5:30pm
Light Refreshments Provided

Launched in 2014, in partnership with the Belfast Organization for Artists; SWAN Day Allegany County NY is held in honor of the many creative local people working hard to bring the arts to our rural community. Thank You so Much for All That You Do!
NOW PLANNING FOR SWAN Days Allegany County NY 2018 ~ March 27th - April 9th with many opportunities for local artists and entrepreneurs to support each other! 
Jan 2018 Call For SWAN Day Allegany County NY Sponsors at BECOME A 2018 SPONSOR
Jan. 20th 1-3pm SWAN Days Planning meeting at the studio. RSVP by Jan. 15th
Jan 31st ~ Deadline to book FREE studio/gallery space for your creative presentation or workshop. Rental FEES are waived for local women artists during SWAN Days Allegany County NY 2018 ~March 27th-April 9th Space is offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
...and this year we are having a Theme Basket Auction to promote our local resources...  FIND OUT MORE 
BECAUSE OF THE TrashFree Challenge activity I started in November 2017, I have created a new RECYCLING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL PATRONS Collection Begins January 25, 2018.
The year is off to a busy start! Now that the invitations and announcements have been distributed, I am going to take a bit of time to reflect on progress and projects from last a cumulative perspective sort of way... and how that informs what is happening in the year to come.  Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Powers That Be Revealed at Patreon?

The Powers that Be ~ Revealed?
It would appear that the powers that be at Patreon have been revealed.

The Creators and Patrons at Patreon seem to have the power to influence actual policy and there will be no fee changes at this time. That doesn't mean there won't be other changes in the future. It seems this may actually be a huge learning experience for all involved and the lessons will have an impact on the future of things there. 
"We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change....
Creators and Patrons,
We’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re not going to roll out the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around. Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry. It is our core belief that you should own the relationships with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans.

Read More about this from Jack Conte on the Patreon Blog

Thing-making and the sharing-of-the-things seems to be a perpetual learning experience. Isn't that as it should be? 

Running a business based upon the funding, support, and faith in and of the sharing of the Things must be a cray-cray challenge on a daily basis. I can't imagine HOW you would come up with a system that pleases everyone in most cases; but it must be especially difficult in this one. 

Not to say that I think for a second that the goal is to "please everyone." It can't be. But, an effort can be made to keep everyone informed so that each person has the opportunity to make that determination for him/herself...and time to respond to any impending changes should they arise. 

Life is unpredictable but, to my understanding; business shouldn't be. 
Patrons need to be able to have faith that they are getting what they paid for without any surprises. 

Creators need to be able to have an open dialogue about things to come. 

Both need to know that the Patreon, as it operates to meet the demands of a for profit business and not a charitable organization; is still doing that thing that helps keep creators creating. 
Can't help wondering how all the spinning will impact the marketing in this case. Some say, "bad press is still press." 

All the talk has provided PR coverage that the Patreon wouldn't have had without the need for this conversation... 
Kind of makes me wonder if it will work for or against those who decided to stay. 

Patrons, I appreciate you. 


Let's get back to the art.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

I am speculating about leaving Patreon because of this change... Cumulatively, I fear it truly challenges my conceptual policy of keeping the arts affordable to those who need them the most.

For now, I am willing to wait and see how things go...but, it does feel like the all-too-common method of using finances to "weed" out those who don't fall into the target category (i.e."creative class" as described at patreon...whatever that means).

The important bit is that 2.9% + $0.35 fee per pledge. What this effectively means is that if you give a dollar, Patreon will charge you approximately $1.37. If you give another creator a dollar, they'll charge you $1.37 for that too, even though the "fees" they have to pay on your pledges are charged as one lump sum by the credit processing companies.

Here's the original Patreon blog post about the change:
and their Q+A for Patrons:
If you'd like to give Patreon your feedback about this, here is a quick and easy link to their form:
It is possible I will just end up resorting to this option for all of my patrons. 

BY REQUEST: For patrons not participating in Patreon, here is another way to Support the ART and the Creative Wellness Projects at the Studio 
Level C $45 
This is a ONE Time charge for individuals who would like to Support the Art being Made here. This payment option is intended for those who are not interested in a long term subscription or commitment at this time. This payment is NOT tax-deductible and is NOT linked to the Rewards or Terms of any Patreon Subscriptions. 
Your support is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Winter 2017

Winter is coming. Although I just mowed my grass two days ago, I am aware the weather in Upstate New York will eventually turn. 

I have spent the autumn months enjoying an abundant harvest and learning new creative ways to use the what has grown here. In addition to food and medicinal uses, I am learning a lot about organic art supplies that grow right here in my own back yard. 

"Bird Spirit Rising" Corn Husk sculpture
"First Corn Husk Dolls" Boy doll by Dominic Carlton
Girl doll by Sheila L. Kalkbrenner

I finally had some time this year to dig deeper into this book by Nick Neddo. It is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in learning a more Earth-Friendly method of creating. 
Since publishing the book, Nick has created some amazing work using wild-crafted media. 

Although I doubt my body could handle the life style he has chosen, I am inspired by his approach and hope to apply some of these tools to the development of a more balanced approach to a creative life. When I know more about the "how" of it all, I hope to share these skills and learn more with other creators interested in a similar practice. 
Wrapping up Leah's Art Every Day Month with patrons at Patreon; in November, I have also been Embracing Dark Days to come with tools from Homespun Seasonal Living. In attempt to get grounded as the cold season sets in; I received and planted dormant Red Maple and Witch Hazel trees from the Audubon Society .

 The three of us are taking root for the winter as I take some time to read The Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. LeGuin.

I have recently assembled a new collection of Note Cards and Greeting Cards for the Holiday Season. Along with a few preparations from the Wild Pantry; I will be introducing these and some new hand-painted ornaments and gift tags with adoptable posters, prints and paintings at a seasonal sale at the Local Elk's Lodge on December 2nd.  
Sample of New Work created during Art Every Day Month
For the first time in a long time I feel like I have had the opportunity to prepare for winter and all that it has to offer.
I am thankful. 
Many blessings to you and yours this season! 
SWAN Day Allegany County NY is held in honor of the many creative local women (and Men) working hard to bring the arts to our rural community. Thank You so Much for All That You Do!
NOW PLANNING FOR SWAN Days Allegany County NY 2018
SWAN Day/Support Women Artists Now Day is an international holiday designed by to showcase the power and diversity of women’s creativity. Local residents can be a part of SWAN Day by participating in our local event where local women artists have FREE access to a space to show, sell, and present the work that they do. 
Join us for our first planning meeting 1-3pm at the Studio on Jan. 20, 2018. 
RSVP by Jan. 15th.
Jan 2018 Call For SWAN Day Sponsors at
Jan 31st ~ Deadline to book FREE studio/gallery space for your creative presentation or workshop. Rental FEES are waived for local women artists during SWAN Days Allegany County NY 2018~March 27th-April 9th
Feb 2018 Announcing SWAN Days Art Show & Sale CALL FOR ENTRIES BY LOCAL WOMEN ARTISTS & Their Children (age 5-18). Entry Fee $10. Ready-to-display/hang entries accepted
March 23rd 1-5pm and March 24th 1-4pm at
SheilaLynnK Art Studio 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY.
Awards Determined by Visitors’ Votes.    Awards TBA April 9th.  Categories Include:
“BEST IN SHOW (Adult)” $100, “Best Artistic Composition” $40, “Most Unique” $40, “Best Presentation” $35, “Best TEEN Entry (14-17)” $25, “Best PreTEEN Entry (ages 10-13)” $25, “Best Youth Entry (ages 5-9)” $25.
This is a FREE Exhibit open to the public during regular studio hours and special events.
  BECOME A 2018 SPONSOR of SWAN Days Allegany County NY or support this event via check made payable to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio 345 South Main Street Wellsville, NY 14895. Memo: SWAN Days Allegany County,NY This is a for profit business. Payment for Sponsorship listings is NOT tax-deductible.  
And now a brief STUDIO promo reminder....
Subscribe at $5 per month to receive exclusive NewArt4U.  
 You'll Get
One NEW artwork, digitally posted weekly in the patrons-only activity feed and ONE monthly Card featuring my original art sent within the continental United States directly to the address you provide.  [Shipping times may vary.]  
  • Early access to my work
  • Patrons-First Content Feed
  • Vote on Future Content
  • ONE monthly Art Card
  • One NEW weekly artwork digitally posted for patrons only