Tag Archives: artists

A Special Saturday Story:) Mr. Dan

17 Dec

“In this world of memories, there’s no need for strangers.

-Kenshin to Kaoru”

Nobuhiro Watsuki


The day before I left McKinney to fly back home to Chicago, I had some last minute Christmas orders, painting ornaments, shopping, and scrambling to get ready. I always like to share my Mr. Dan story. Most of my friends know it and laugh when I say, “I have to paint my Christmas gift for Mr. Dan’s dead wife.”

For those who haven’t heard the story…A few years back, I received a call from an artist friend who said that an elderly gentleman came into her art studio asking if she could paint on porcelain or chinaware. She recounted the story to me.

“A nice elderly gentleman has been buying a special hand-painted Christmas gift from a local artist for many years. He has been married for over fifty years, and every year he surprised her with a special white porcelain gift with bluebonnets painted on it, and an inscription on the back. She has passed away, but he wants to continue having a gift made. I know you paint on glass and paint bluebonnets, do you think you could help him out?”

Well, I was so moved and saddened that this man lost his wife, but wanted to continue the tradition of having a special gift made. I agreed to meet Mr. Dan and see if I could help him. We met at Snug on the Square, and he brought a few examples of previous gifts. I told him that I’d be happy to do that for him.

The hardest part was finding the right piece of white milk glass or porcelain. He left all the details to my discretion. I scoured antique shops and thrift stores looking for a perfect piece. When I found a lovely white chinaware heart shaped covered box, I painted it and wrote on the bottom, as petitioned, to Sue Lobe Dan, with the date. As I painted bluebonnets with glass paint, I felt so sad for Mr. Dan, and thought how he really must miss her. He still wants to get her a gift.

When all was done, I met Mr. Dan to give him his gift. He really liked it, and I was hoping it would give him comfort. Then, Mr. Dan said, “I’ll be able to sneak this in the house without Sue seeing it. She’s at her sister’s house.”

What? I didn’t say anything to Mr. Dan about his dead wife not being dead. I was too embarrassed. Then, it dawned on me. Oh! The artist who had painted the gift had passed away, not his wife. Now, every year around Thanksgiving, Mr. Dan calls and asks if I’d still be able to paint a gift for Sue. And, every year, I say of course, and laugh to myself. And every year, Mr. Dan takes out his check book to pay me, and I refuse to take his money. I tell him that my only payment is a hug and to give my best regards to his wife, Sue.

Mr. Dan walked, ever so slowly, back to his truck with his cane in one hand and gift in the other. I gave him a hug and said, “See you next year.” He smiled and said, “God willing.”

Wednesday:) When Unity Comes From Community

16 Nov

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”

Jean Vanier


The word “community” derives from the Old French comuneté, which comes from the Latin communitas “community”, “public spirit” (from Latin communis, “shared in common”).

Look closely at the word. What does it end with? Yes, UNITY. With unity, sharing and caring, these are the building blocks of any strong community.

We have been blessed here in McKinney with an extremely talented and generous arts community. As the city grows, so do the arts and activities available to residents. Sunday, I wrote a little bit about MAST, the McKinney Artist Studio Tour, which was amazing, by the way. But, today, I want to tell you a little bit about McKinney Creative Community.

I don’t remember the exact date that MCC started, but I remember being at the first brainstorming meetings for its creation. Michele Bernard and Tom Michero batted the idea around of having a monthly potluck get together for local artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives. The group has grown and evolved into a supportive and nurturing family of talented people who have only one goal… do what you love, love what you do, and share it with the world.

McKinney Creative Community is currently meeting the second Monday of the month at the Cove Art Gallery at 402 N Tennessee, just north of the square. We start with our pot luck around 5:30 or whenever you can get there. There are well over a thousand Facebook member and friends, so if you’re interested in a really warm and enthusiastic creative group to join, check out the Facebook page.

This month, our guest speaker was the talented and funny Sheri Bell. Sheri is an author, writer, editor and all around humorous lady. I think she should add stand-up comedy to her resume, but I think she’s already pretty busy.

Sheri talked to us about using “The Power of Story” to sell your art. Truth be told, most artists are great at creating wonderful art, but not so good at selling it or sharing it with the world. And another truth is, and if you’re an artist, you already know this, artists are constantly barraged with people and charities asking them to donate their work. Thus, the term, “Starving Artist.” Artists have trouble saying, NO.

The next big event is the Holiday Art Bazaar at Tupps Brewery on Dec. 2, from 12-9 pm. It’s a fun evening, plus, you get to drink beer. What a great combination. Cool art, crafts and cool beer.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

14 Nov

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

~John W. Gardner


Wow! I really like that quote. Think about it. Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. It truly is an art. What does that mean to you? When you live your life, no matter what you do, you can’t erase any of it. There are no take backs. You can’t unsay or undo anything, so chose each step carefully. A true artist doesn’t erase.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Studio Tour~MAST

13 Nov

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Another fine Sunday at St. Gabriel’s. Today’s Gospel was Jesus telling the parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to wait for the bridegroom. Five were Wise and brought flasks of oil, and five were foolish and brought no oil. They waited a long time and fell asleep. When the bridegroom was approaching the five with oil lit their lamps, and the five foolish asked the wise women to share their oil, but they refused and told them to go and buy their own. The wise went to the feast with the bridegroom and the door was locked behind them. The foolish women went to the door and asked, Lord, open the door for us.” His reply was…

‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Therefore, stay awake,

for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

My take on it… You have to be prepared, ready, at all times. The wise will lead a good moral life all the time, and always be ready. The foolish think that they don’t have to prepare. They worry only about themselves and are selfish, expecting others to bail them out all the time. Then, when they come to the end of their lives, they expect all to be forgiven, and expect to go to heaven. That’s when God will say, “I do not know you.”


After Mass, I stopped at the store, went home, changed, and scurried off to the Square to meet a couple of friends at Lone Star Winery. I just visited with them a few minutes, then went off to check out some of the wonderful artists on the McKinney Artist Studio Tour, MAST.

There are too many names and faces and places to describe, so I’ll just show you in pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, and saves me a lot of time explaining.

I’m proud to call all of theses fine artists FRIEND. McKinney ROCKS!

Spectacular Saturday on the Square:) Art, Food, Music and More

10 Sep

“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.  ”

~Andre Gide


Well, today was ANNE ROYER’s art show reception at The Martin Place. It was a full house of friends, artists, and visitors, all there to pay homage to a fantastic artist. My good friend, Miss Annie, has been a quiet, behind the scenes McKinney fine arts catalyst for many years. Her work is amazing and will be on exhibit through Sept. 30th.

The Seasons Sacred, and other works on paper by Anne Royer

September 9- September 30, 2017

Opening Reception, Sept. 9, 6-9pm, with artist talk at 7pm

The Martin Place : 1799 N. Graves St. McKinney, Texas

In this collection of works on paper, Royer creates visual metaphors of sacred narratives using liturgical colors and abstract forms. No color, no edge is without intention, yet her dialogue with the paint creates layers unexpected. 

“We walk among the seen and unseen in the Eternal Now.”

It’s Second Saturday on the Square, so I scooted over to check out the 3rd Anniversay Celbration at the LAST ART GALLERY on Louisiana. Also, several friends exhibiting artwork and celebrating the anniversary.

Steve, Alex, and Minda Macias. A fabulous family of potters.

Brad Donaldson creates amazing abstract resin art pieces ranging in sizes from 10 by 10 to gynormously huge. And Lynda Kingsley has many talented art hats, using alcohol inks, resi, watercolor, and teaches classes in her beautiful studio in the historic district. 

The Square was hopping tonight, live music filtering out from the many restaurants and wine bars. The weather was too perfect to stay home.

Lone Star Wine Cellars always has live entertainment on the weekends, and a nice quiet place to visit with friends and sip fine wine.

On my way back to my car, I stopped to chat with Jessie, who was driving around the square offering rides in the McKinney business sponsored free taxi. I think it was too nice of a night, and everyone wanted to walk around, enjoying the cool evening.

This is how I spend a spectacular Saturday on the Square in McKinney.

Saturday and Some Special Artists at The Cove

2 Sep

“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ” ― William S. Burroughs


If you’re not familiar with the little art gallery in McKinney called The Cove, you need to become familiar. It’s a charming space just north of the square at 402 N. Tennessee St. From the outside, with its plain white unassuming walls, you’d never guess it was a wonderful art gallery. But when you stroll inside, the walls are filled with creative and unique works of art. Pretty much every weekend,  local artists are featured and a wine reception allows visitors to meet and talk with the artists.

This weekend, my friend and fabulous photographer, Don Simmons, is featured along with Sam Rogers, another fine local artist. A treasure trove of other artists have work on display.

So, if you are around McKinney tonight, Sept. 2, 6-9:30 or tomorrow 2-4, stop by. If you can’t make it this weekend, look them up on Facebook or Google    thecovemckinney.com

I popped in for the opening Friday evening, and bumped into a dozen or more good friends, all local artists. McKinney has an outstanding and supportive arts community.

Don has a fabulous eye. Well, I guess both eyes are pretty keen when it comes to capturing the perfect image on his camera.

Sam and Annie Royer chatting about their work, both amazing in their own right.

These are the REAL ARCHITECHTS of change…

“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ” 

― William S. Burroughs

Friday Friends:) The Greatest Therapy

2 Sep

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love. ”

~Hubert H. Humphrey


Everybody loves Friday. The weekend is just a heartbeat away. Something to look forward to. 

I started out my day as I always do, a phone call to Mom, got dressed, got moving. I actually ate a little breakfast before my walk. The last time I went for a morning walk on an empty stomach, I felt a little queasy. I was working up a sweat and pumping my arms, but then I passed Mr. Larry’s garage. Of course, I had to sit and chat with Miss Sandy and pet big ol’ wolf, their German shepherd. I was offered a beer, as usual, but it wasn’t even noon, so I had to  pass.

I continued my walk and ran into Miss Desra, our mail lady. She always waves or honks, and when I catch her close to the house, I put a cold drink and a treat in my mailbox. Today, I caught her delivering a package down the street, and stopped to give her a hug. We all need hugs and a little appreciation. Oh, and a selfie.

I scooted home to get ready for my senior art group at Towne Creek. I wanted to dip some strawberries and make my Mexican mac and cheese for our little dinner feast.

I packed up and got there by 2:30. 

I decided our project for today would be painting a small canvas with an abstract background, then pick a word or a name or a shape, and outline with glue and sprinkle with glitter. While the paint dried, we worked on some coloring pages.

The projects turned out really cool. We had our feast, cleaned up our mess, then sat at chatted a while. Before I knew it, it was 6:30.

Since I was so close to the square, I stopped over at The Cove to visit with the artists featured this week at the gallery. But, I’m going to save that for tomorrow. Great friends, great artists.

I have the greatest friends!