Friday, June 29, 2012

Artists & Health Care

People often ask me if the dust and particulate from the gourds I work on is toxic.  Do I wear a mask, they ask.  Yes and yes.  I am self-employed and have been for many decades.  I work in a field that is woefully unsupported by the corporate luxuries most people have experience with in their work-a-day worlds.  Though I am now old enough to be on Medicare, and grateful to be so, I was totally responsible for my health insurance until Medicare.  I take good care of my health but my insurance was still over $600/month pre-Medicare.  I bring this up because I opted to carry insurance regardless of the cost.  I have collected Unemployment Insurance once in my life in my twenties.  I pay my taxes.  So, yes, I am thrilled by yesterday's confirmation of the Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court.  Below is a link to an article about artists and insurance.  

What I ask is that next time you are thinking of buying a piece of art for your home, remember that we who are professionals in the field have expenses and take risks that you may not ever have to think twice about.  We choose to be in this field.  We choose it because we love what we do.  We are willing to pay the price.  So, enjoy the work you purchase, but remember the person who created it for you and remember the others with whom you have exchanges when you cast a vote this year.  Ask what corporate entity makes the luscious paintings that hang in your living rooms, the sumptuous handwoven throws over your ottoman, the bronze sculpture at your entry.  None.  Just a lot of dedicated, passionate, driven, self-employed artists committed to making the world, theirs and yours, a place of creativity and beauty.

And thanks.

"Under the ACA, states will set up group exchanges by 2014, which will organize the insurance market and allow individuals and small businesses to band together to form groups, just like if they were part of a large corporation. "

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Giving A Hand To A Friend

Meet my friend, Pam Creamer.  The picture is not the "real" Pam.  It's Pam With Lyme's Disease.  The "real" Pam is a talented painter, lover of animals, vivacious, energetic, loving, generous, independent, gracious, FUN, loyal....and....painfully ill with Lyme's Disease.  She has fought it for years, handling it on her own (with her partner, Anita) until all of their income and savings, including their business, is gone.  But here's the thing...she has begun a series of IV treatments in NYC because her friends have opened a website  to help raise funds for this staggeringly expensive treatment.  There have been so many, many donations and she is moving through the treatment protocol like the champion she is - it is very painful and debilitating, but it is working!  This is an ugly disease that takes a horrible tole on the body, not to mention the mind and the spirit!  But Pam is a fighter!  We believe she will conquer this and be able to paint again - and painting is how she has always made her living and paid her bills.

The thing is, and why you are seeing this on my blog, is that we have stalled out on the donations, and we have a little ways more to go to finish the treatments.  So, I am asking all of you reading this, all of you who have loved my work, supported me with your purchases, taken classes from me, been inspired by my work or my words, to please show that today by clicking Pam's picture, and making a donation to this wonderful team effort to get Pam well.  I know we all get asked all the time to donate, donate, donate.  But, if you will make a donation of $10 to Pam, I will send you a packet of greeting cards with pictures of my gourd sculptures as a huge thank you for joining our team (that's a $20 value for your donation of $10 - not a bad deal).  Just leave a comment here on my post or email me through my website and I will get the cards in the mail to you.

Think of this as paying it forward, of being an angel, of sending some love like a pebble thrown in the pond - making ripples that go on forever.

Thanks for your help!