To sell my artwork or not to sell my artwork? – That is the question.

I just finished this one and will post the details of the construction soon.

I just finished this one and will post the details of the construction soon.

I have two paintings that are ready to be sold. And usually my biggest problem is finding a place to have them available for people to look at. Well, there is a place that was set up by a local businessman that wants to promote locally produced items. His name is Dave Asher, and he has put together a store in what I call “Old Town Mall” and now it goes by something else…oh, Reno Town Mall and he is ready to receive items made in Nevada. Here is a link to his website:

Anyway, my point is that I have a location to bring my artwork to and Dave seems like a pretty decent guy, but I am having a hard time doing it.

Now in the past I have done paintings and have become emotionally attached to them, so this time I have hidden away the paintings so that I would not see them on a daily basis, so I am not allowing myself to become emotionally attached to them. So what the heck is my problem!?! Why am I balking at bringing down my artwork to his store?

Yah, sure I know the pictures may not sell. And I have selected topics that I think will appeal to the local population.   And yes, I am well aware of the possible rejection process that comes along with presenting one’s work to the public for sale purposes.

So I am mulling over other possible ideas of why I am having a difficult time doing this. In my previous blog article I discussed the fact that I have never had a mentor or a role model and strangely enough, many people commented to me that I did not need a mentor or a role model and that I should be the mentor instead. Which to me is not an objectionable idea, but what would I train or help someone with? I can’t even get myself to take a couple of paintings down to a store designed for people just like me. And as an artist I have never had that opportunity to show my art, but I do understand that work needs to be in a presentable condition. There is a certain amount of presentation awareness that one needs to be cognizant of.

Here is the first painting that I have ready for sale.

Here is the first painting that I have ready for sale.

Hmmm. How would I solve this if I were someone else’s mentor? I would go with them to meet Dave and look at the store. Then after that, if the person felt okay about Dave, the store, and whatever else may be on their mind, I would help them bring the items down to the store.

I don’t have that person, who says let’s go do that. So if I am in a rut or a hard place, I have to get myself out of the hole and it does not always work. It’s getting worse as I age. I have met so many untrustworthy people and have experienced being screwed over so many times that I have a hard time believing that anything will go right. There are too many disasters and disappointments in my life. Most people would have given up years ago.

So here I sit with two paintings already completed, two more started, and a bunch of other new ideas in mind. I need to get past whatever this is.

G. Winkler ©2014

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Posted in Art, Culture, Goals

Never had a Mentor

Mentor BannerThe other day I was reading an article shared to me through Linkedin, which is a business oriented social media. I manage the company site and post articles and update information, which reminds me, needs to be done again. Anyway, this article which was titled Seven Signs You’re Too Smart For Your Job by Liz Ryan had a section about “No one around you looks like a mentor, a role model or guide” really caught my attention and I have been thinking about it for days. And to be honest, when something sits in your head for days being tossed about like a tennis ball in the game of thoughts in your head, then you know that you have touched upon something that is important in some way.

It really got me thinking about my whole life. I never had that special teacher that is so often talked about who inspires students to excel. I had good teachers and bad ones, but I never had that amazing educator that stands out as the person who believed in me and pushed me towards a goal that resulted in something better for my life.   As a matter of fact, I was told by my Honors English teacher in high school that there was nothing she could do for me.  I wrote like Ray Bradbury, and it was well known that this teacher hated science fiction and fantasy literature.   So basically in her mind I was a lost cause.  Okay, so this article is mostly about employers, so I started thinking about who I worked for. Not one of these people who had been my boss had ever been a mentor or a role model. Not one. I can think of two that I respected for their hard work and their honesty with me, but they were not mentors or role models. Just decent people. That would be Karen M. and Cody G.

Mentor Stormy sky

So I really started thinking about some of the employers I had, and it actually made me depressed. There was the insecure misogynist homophobic guy who ran the art department at a T-shirt place and fired me when a male artist harassed me with threatening comments, the kindly manager who ran the geological exploration office that proceeded to tell me that the geologists were afraid of me, which shocked the heck out of me. I spent a long time trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to any of those guys to make them afraid of me, the humble map maker. I looked at them as team members and I was doing my best to get their presentation items ready so that they could make a new project out of their findings.  Each geologist had their own unique style of putting together data and I did my best to make everything go as smoothly as possible.  One guy could never get anything right and would make up to 30 changes on just one small presentation map.  I used to love that geological draftsman job.

Then there was the ceramic shop owner who had her artists sign her name to all the ceramic pieces and she sold them as her original handmade work – didn’t work for her long. The artists were paid minimum wage and treated like dirt. Then there was the insurance guy, who I think had a mental illness, he did not want people to come in late, but if you did, you could not make up that time during the lunch time, and you had to clock out at the end of the day on time. No over time, but he wanted you to put in extra time and not get paid. He harassed me and my chiropractor about my weekly visits to the doctor, which I scheduled at the end of the day when I didn’t get much done because I felt miserable, but for some reason the employer thought he had the right to know about the visits.   I also often observed one of my upper level co-workers coming out of his office in tears while the only male employee was allowed to be sexually harassed by the mostly female staff.   And then the final straw was him freaking out one morning when I came in five minutes late – mind you I did three jobs and was paid for one – and he started yelling at me that he was in charge, and I never questioned him about being in charge of his company. The topic of conversation was about me being late and that he was in a bad mood from getting in an argument with the software programmer.   He was hysterical.    It was scary.

So no, I have never had an employer that I considered to be a mentor or a role model.

I have never had a teacher that fulfilled that role and I went to college and did graduate work in English and Fine Art.

I really wish I had had a role model or a mentor. No one has ever taken me under their wing to train me and make me better at something through their own kindness and wisdom. I feel cheated. And disappointed.

Mentor peachy roseIf you are a soul lucky enough to have some knowledgeable person take you under their wing and fulfill the position of role model or mentor, appreciate them. Learn from them and keep in contact with them. They are amazing people that have given you a precious gift of their time, knowledge, and respect for your potential as a person with a future.

I would love to have a mentor. I have done writing, painting, drawing, constructed and designed historical clothing as costumes, ran a small company, designed websites, geological drafting, digital photography, floral design, designed and troubleshoot software, social media, and started several online comic series. And I have had to do this on my own.

Any takers? Or is someone going to be afraid of me?

G. Winkler ©2014

You can read the article that inspired this blog at:

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Posted in Culture, Education, Inspiration, Professionalism

Inkjoy – inexpensive art fun with pens

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It seems like everything I like, enjoy, or want to do is really expensive.  This really sucks when one lives on a tight budget, and I suspect that many artists and budding artists fit into this category.  So one tries to enjoy life and do activities that are within one’s budget.  One day while shopping for something else I happened to walk through an area that is being set up for back to school items for the kids.  For some strange reason I like all these erasers, pens, pencils, boxes, and notepads…  I have no idea why, but I do, and I happened upon a multi-color package of ballpoint pens that looked intriguing and were for a reasonable price.

You see, ever since I was a kid I liked to doodle in the margins of my class notes, so ballpoint pen became an art tool without much thought.  It was there as well as the paper, so art happened there.  My college notes had tons of decorative doodles.  And when I took college level Geography, which required detail notes about land formations and the ability to recognize slides of these formations for a test, my quick ballpoint pen doodles came in handy.  Heck, after I was done with that class – other people borrowed my notes so they could prepare for the tests.  I had quick drawings of each slide and what they were about throughout my notes, which made a big difference in studying for the final exam.

Inkjoy 01 500hSo to make a point in a round about way, I like to doodle with ballpoint pens.  And this package of colored Inkjoy ballpoint pens looked like fun.  So we purchased this modest investment of about $3.45.

So here are my first sketches and doodles done with these pens on Strathmore Recyled Paper.


Working on a Jedi costuming idea, so I needed to sketch out the details that I have seen. The brown pen proved to be brilliant for basic sketching.

Working on a Jedi costuming idea, so I needed to sketch out the details that I have seen. The brown pen proved to be brilliant for basic sketching.


Then we attended an outdoor concert where there was some serious waiting time for the guests, so I brought my sketch book with me so that I could doodle a bit.  I decided to use more of the colors and found them to be very vibrant and didn't smear much at all like some ink pens do.

Then we attended an outdoor concert where there was some serious waiting time for the guests, so I brought my sketch book with me so that I could doodle a bit. I decided to use more of the colors and found them to be very vibrant and didn’t smear much at all like some ballpoint ink pens do.


So art doesn’t have to be super expensive, and we can practice using simple tools that won’t bust our budget.  And practicing is so important to maintaining a skill level and improvement.

G. Winkler (c) 2014

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Posted in Art

Tahoe Truckee Airshow

TT Airshow Banner 2

This past weekend was the Tahoe Truckee Airshow, and since I am a big fan of airplanes, I had to go.  I had never been to this airshow before.   When we lived up in the Pacific Northwest, we used to go to the Father’s Day airshow in Olympia, WA as well as the shows at Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, WA.  Had plans to see the big one in Hillsboro, OR, but never got the chance to go.  So going to the Tahoe Truckee Airshow sounded like great fun.  And it was.

TT Airshow 50aFrom when we first arrived, the people at the show made everything as easy as possible to enjoy the show.   Parking was awesome, attendance and parking was free, which allowed guests to spend their money on food or products being sold by the vendors.  They had a nice variety of planes on display, some RC planes of various types, and a beautiful Telsa automobile on site for inspection.  I had not seen one in person and it was impressive.

The event organizers went through a great deal of trouble to make this a family friendly event.  Lots of stuff for people with children to enjoy.  There is a growing concern within the aviation community that there are not enough young pilots coming up through the ranks.  I had wanted to be a pilot since I was about 3 years old, but had the impression that I was not allowed to fly because I wore glasses, so I was never encouraged.  Things have changed and contact lenses make taking to the air a lot easier.  I even started taking flight lessons while living in Vancouver at the Pearson Airfield.  Passed my ground school class, passed the PAR examination, and took several flight lessons in a Piper Cub tail dragger.  So what stopped me?  The cost.  Flight lessons are expensive and people my age don’t get scholarships to become pilots.  Heck, we don’t get scholarships for anything, but that is another topic.

TT Airshow 39aAviation is one of the last challenges that a young person can do while remaining on the planet.  The air like the ocean is the final frontier on  Earth.  Learning how to fly challenges the individual’s planning skills, intellectual skills, physical skills, verbal skills, mathematical skills, and a bit of courage testing too.  If you can master the art of flying, then you might be able to conquer just about any problem that comes your way.  So if you have people in your life who yearn for flight, be supportive of that dream.  The planes are a lot safer than they used to be, and one is more likely to get hurt in a car accident than flying in a airplane.

So back to the photos….I know I went overboard on the photo taking, but that’s what going to an airshow is all about.  Taking lots of cool pictures of airplanes.  Enjoy the photos.

G. Winkler (c) 2014






Amazing Telsa automobile with a beautiful sparkly red paint job!

Amazing Telsa automobile with a beautiful sparkly red paint job!

Trunk space in the front!

Trunk space in the front!

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Note the young driver already dreaming about his first car!

Note the young driver already dreaming about his first car!

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Nice day to be at the Truckee Tahoe Airport.

Nice day to be at the Truckee Tahoe Airport.

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The pilot who restored this plane was kind enough to chat with us.

The pilot who restored this plane was kind enough to chat with us.

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This plane came in late, so they just parked it here and put some cones around it.

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Angry Birds!

Angry Birds!

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Lots of old military planes around the World War Two Era.  I think this was either a trainer or messenger carrier.

Lots of old military planes around the World War Two Era. I think this was either a trainer or messenger carrier.


RC people getting ready to show off their small but very agile planes.

RC people getting ready to show off their small but very agile planes.

Large variety of RC planes and copters were on display.  I have a small helicopter that I need to master.

Large variety of RC planes and copters were on display.   I have a small helicopter that I need to master.

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I love the D7.

I love the D7.

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It's almost hard to believe that it's not a real full sized plane up there!

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s not a real full sized plane up there!

Parachute jumpers' plane

Parachute jumpers’ plane

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Biplanes are my favorite.

Biplanes are my favorite.

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Parachute jumper with really big flag.

Parachute jumper with really big flag.

Lunch time.  Organic food!!  Hurrah!  Something I can eat without feeling sick later.  :)

Lunch time.  Organic food!!  Hurrah!   Something I can eat without feeling sick later. :)

Mexican coke with no weird stuff in it and some sunglasses from the State Farm Insurance booth.

Mexican coke with no weird stuff in it and some sunglasses from the State Farm Insurance booth.

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Great Day of fun.

Great Day of fun.




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Posted in Aviation, Digital Photography, Travel

Artown Adventure continues

The Artown adventure continues this month, and we have gotten our tiles back from the Clay Canvas.  They turned out pretty good considering that we had limited paint to choose from and paint brushes that would make an artist like me grumpy.  My husband and I are contemplating doing another set of tiles or perhaps just going back to do some of the other projects that they regularly offer all year around.  We also showed up for the snow globe project and have to wait to see how those will turn out.

Tiles turned out great even with a limited pallet.

Tiles turned out great even with a limited pallet.

Stage setting before the show started and before they had the lighting problem.

Reno Little Theater stage setting before the show started and before they had the lighting problem.

Yesterday a group of us attended “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” at the Reno Little Theater and enjoyed it very much despite the difficulties with the lighting system.  The performers handled the problem so well that one barely noticed the fact that they had to keep the normal room lights on during the performance.  The theater offered us a chance to come back for free and see it again, and we definitely want to do that.  Great performers and very funny.  It will keep you on your toes and no falling asleep at this performance!

Tonight several of us are going to take advantage of the Monday Night Music Series at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Park.  We did this two years ago and totally enjoyed every performance.  These performers spend a lot time to be ready for these and every single moment should be enjoyed - which is a big hint – don’t get up and leave before the finale.  It’s rude.

Also bring a blanket to sit upon just in case the seating is full or if you find the chairs bit uncomfortable.  Sometimes they have vendors with food or you can bring a picnic basket dinner from home.  It should be a good time.

Here’s a link to investigate the events.

G. Winkler (c) 2014

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Posted in Art, Culture, Travel

Chicken Wings in the very very hot street

Wings 01aJust got home from the Chicken Wing Fest in downtown Reno, NV.

I have mixed emotions about the event since the temperatures in the street were really really hot. I started out with my companions looking forward to tasting really good wings since that is something that all three of us enjoy.  The quest for really good chicken wings seems like a never ending quest, so we arrived with a positive attitude looking forward to doing lots of sampling.

But this did not happen.  It was too hot to eat anything, and when we decided upon what to try for the most part, there was no place to sit and eat the wings.  Now this is crazy.  Eating wings is a messy endeavor and requires a place to sit with some napkins.  And during our trek down Virginia Street, I only saw two places for people to sit – one of which looked like it was exclusive to a certain select group having something to do with the Silver Legacy and another larger one that was off to the side where a stage had a live band playing.

Now having a shaded place to sit with a live band is really nice, but all the wing vendors were really far from this location.  One would have to carry the paper dish filled wings and hot sauce through the crowd and down towards this sitting area.  By that time your wings may have gotten cold and your drink gotten warm – not to mention the possibility of bumping into someone with messy food.  So I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by the lack of shade and seating areas provided for people to use.    Instead people were huddled along the buildings trying to stay a bit cooler, and as a Reno born native Nevadan… guys could have sent a street cleaner truck through the road first before setting up and have someone clean up the sidewalks as well.  It was really grimy and uncomfortable to stand next to the buildings to stay out of the sun.  And those of us who live here know how dirty the downtown area can get, so this really should have been considered.

Hot and dirty is not a good combination.

A lesson could be learned from the Sands Casino in that for their most recent outdoor festival where they served sausages and beer – they set up a huge pavilion with tables and chairs, so that their guests could get out of the direct sunlight.  I think something like this would have been greatly appreciated by the guests and the vendors.  Happy customers are more likely to spend more time and money.

Wings 03aWings 04aWings 02a

Unfortunately, I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed.  About half or more of the vendors were not food people serving wings or other items to go well with the main course but were products.  And I understand giving other vendors a chance to share their wares, but it seemed like most of the festival space was given to merchandise as opposed to food.  So please for next year more shade and seating near the food vendors and make the focus be the food.

On the up side the two kinds of wings that we did try were excellent.  Most especially the wings from local restaurant Boulevard Pizza.  This was the first time we had ever tried anything made by them.  The flavor of the wings were amazing.  We  will have to make time in our busy schedule to try  their restaurant sometime soon.

Our wings from Boulevard Pizza!

Our wings from Boulevard Pizza!

Now,  it’s time for a nap to recover after being in that heat.

G. Winkler (c) 2014

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Posted in Culture, Travel

Reno Artown Events

Clay Canvas 01For many years there has always been these complaints amongst the locals and the newly established locals that Reno has no culture, and every few years some hard working idealists try and put together cultural events to serve that hunger for art, music, theater, and other fun activities.  And it looks like the Artown project has settled in to stay, which is good.  Reno really needs this.

So this year my husband and I have decided to try and participate in more of the activities that are being held.   We shall see how our schedule allows for this, but I think it is worth a try.  It’s a good topic for writing on and since I am a writer – it is always wise to practice practice practice.  Not to mention that I also like to take digital photos and this is something else that I am always eager to improve upon.

Clay Canvas 02So today is the first day of the festivities, which a month long, and we decided to stop by The Clay Canvas on West Plumb Lane for their tile painting day.  We were greeted by the friendly gal there and were instructed on what to do and proceeded to sit down with several adult and child groups sitting already at the table.  It was nice to see parents taking some time with their kids to do a fun project with them.  Of course my husband and I were the only purely adult group to arrive, but we are kids at heart so no problem there.

It was a basic art project yet I found it difficult to deal without my ideal paint brushes.  Mind you all that I am a painter and I am used to having certain kinds of brushes for doing detailed work, and being suddenly relegated to having to deal with brushes fit for 3rd graders was tough!  So my first tile didn’t look so hot and my husband kindly asked if we could do a set of two a piece, which the gal there was nice enough to allow.  They were not too busy at the moment, but it was still early.  Then deciding on a design for my tiles – which I concluded should follow my current study of Norse symbolism, so I selected a Helm of Awe and a Valknut.

The brush challenge

The brush challenge

The Valknut design

The Valknut design

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Another factor which surprised us was that we were given a limited pallet of colors, but when one thinks about children and a lot of people coming in….it makes sense to pick four colors for the participants to use.  Makes life simpler, and I am no stranger to having to deal with a limited pallet requirement.  So we painted our tiles and now they have to dry and then be fired.  So who knows how they will turn out.  They will not be available for two weeks, so I guess I’ll have to post the results later.

So don’t be shy about trying out some of the activities and shows that are being put on for the Artown event in Reno.   Go and support these artists by attending and participating them in their events.  :)

G. Winkler (c) 2014


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Posted in Art, Culture

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