Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting!

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my husband and I are taking the plunge. We are opening a screen print and graphic design shop here in Orange, MA. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey together!

Side note: The question I get most is “Will you still paint?” Yes. Yes, I absolutely will.  Bring on the commissions. 🙂 

Support Orange Graphix

As we transition into this new phase, we are faced with lots of challenges that come up with opening a new business. And a good chunk of that is financial. Crowdfunding doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, but I have decided to hold a “Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting” sale. This is a great way to support a local business AND get some cool art created during the 100 Paintings in 100 Days project. (FYI: That project will be hard to top. It was so intense! But I may try another soon…)

Day 96

Paintings, like the one above, are ready and waiting. Pick one price or two, it’s totally up to you. No matter what you choose, you have my deepest gratitude. By buying yourself (or someone you love!) a painting, you’ll not only get some art and you’ll be part of this bigger project that’s happening right now.

Search “100 Paintings” in the shop section to pick your favorites and support a local business. 

With love and so much gratitude,
Amber

PS: If custom apparel or graphic design appeals to you, your business or club/sport/facility,

The Final Crescendo.

Last year, I wasn’t prepared for it. Now that I have some experience, I should have been prepared for it.

But I wasn’t. 

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It’s the end of another dance season and I’m surprised how sentimental it makes me. To see the hard work for months on end wrapped up into a neat little bow is not really a gift you can prepare for. And I’m not even sure it can be explained.

But I’ll try. 

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For months, I’ve been packing dance (and snack!) bags, tying shoes, doing hair, and working my business matters around various schedules. The dance schedule being one of them. For months, my daughter has been learning new moves, practicing “just because I want to,” and growing as a dancer. She may have even cast me in a show or two as a mermaid. Our kitchen shows are quite spectacular.

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But it’s not just us.

Countless hours have been spent orchestrating a fantastic show (in this case FOUR shows). Everything needs to be mapped out; lights, choreography, costume changes, music, times, dates, locations, photos… and that’s not including the patience required when dealing with wee ones that might not feel like dancing that day…or are just feeling cuddly or silly.

 

Finally, it’s showtime. The backstage and dressing areas are complete madness. Costumes are tossed, hair is whipped up into perfect little buns, and it’s likely you’ll slip on a pile of broken crackers if you’re not careful. Echoes fill the stairwell and doors are shut silently. Backstage with its special lighting and the voices are hushed as the crowd applauds the previous performance.

Then, the music starts. 

Fear, fatigue, and all that chaos falls away. Another beautiful performance flows in and out. Seamless. Then a silent rush downstairs for another costume change. The audience unaware of the circus that lay just a floor below.

They are also unaware of something else. 

It’s not something that can be measured or dressed up. There are no lights or glitter to illuminate the displays of kindness or human interaction that aren’t always found in day-to-day life. In fact, they might be so simple – and so small – they might go unnoticed altogether.

You’ll find it in the sharing of bows when one goes missing. It’s in the lending of bobby pins. It’s the stage moms volunteering their time to keep the flow of traffic moving and putting in the extra effort to make sure your kiddo looks their best. It’s as simple as the mom that stands ready to intercept your child for a quick costume change in case you can’t make it back to the dressing room fast enough. Or the one who doesn’t wait to be asked and comes over and says, “what do you need me to do?”

These are moments you don’t see everyday. 

And before you know it, it’s over. The memory is made. And that’s when this unexplainable feeling comes in. If I had to pick only one word?

Gratitude. I have so much gratitude for everyone that puts their whole heart, sweat, and tears into productions like this. I’m so thankful to have strong women around my daughter. They are helping to shape the person she’ll become and I couldn’t be happier to have such dedicated and caring people in her life.

It’s hard to see it all end. But I know next season is approaching fast. And then we’ll begin this circus all over again.

The crowds always part, but I’m so grateful to be with my girl and witness this final crescendo every year. 

Living the Dream: Featuring Megan Gray

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Our Featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here.  (More coming soon!)


5b9eee23-4192-4524-bc24-0a517d477aa6Megan Gray Arts

I’m Megan Gray, and along with being an artist, I am a mother of three, and major supporter of Creative Mothers everywhere.

I help make collecting original art easy, and to inspire other mothers to be creative. My oil and watercolor paintings are inspired by our simple life and the natural landscape around us. I want my art to be available to everyone, no matter their budget. To me art is connection. Art is community, and how I engage with the world around me. That’s why any art you purchase directly from me is priced “pay what you want.”

I believe my work isn’t finished until it finds a home. A home where it is loved and valued dearly. I want my art to make you feel like I feel when you ask to buy it, happy. I trust in my collectors, and in return they keep me making art!

Like, Follow, Instagram, + Find Megan Gray!

 

d3dea401-15c2-4352-9f0c-929970197e24Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Honestly, I just want to paint. I went for it because it allows me to be my own boss, as well as there for my kids. I need to paint or else I get very unhappy. It’s the only time where my mind is completely calm and focused. So, if don’t paint for a while I feel out of balance.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Finding the time to paint. I’m always letting things get in the way. Cleaning, errands, etc. sometimes you have to let other things go so you can create. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go, and sometimes I let those things become excuses as to why I’m not painting.

de13fb17-b6e3-4b09-904c-fd9bc9efc7d2What do you love to do the most?

I love to paint landscapes in oil.

Who supports you in following your dream?

My husband and my children as well as my extended family too. My husband is my biggest supporter and being a creative example for my kids is my greatest motivation. My kids also let me know what they like and don’t like when I paint, so they actually help me to grow in that way as an artist.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who is making time to create especially if they have kids.

Where do you see yourself in five years?19279767-5209-4fc1-87a1-221b85f0743a

Not changing anymore diapers, and painting more regularly instead of whenever I can.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

Just do it. Stop making excuses. You are by far your biggest obstacle, so knock it off and be your biggest supporter!

 

 

 


 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!