Art-Donation-Fun-C.Shovelinski - final 1

Art Donation Fun – Artistic Shovel Auction

We’ve all fielded requests for art donations. This blog post doesn’t answer the “do you?” or “don’t you” donate question. At some point you may say yes, “I’ll donate my art.” This blog post is an outright admonishment to have fun with the experience.

The original idea of an artistic shovel auction to benefit the National New Deal Preservation Association, seemed creative. In fact, I lauded the project instigator, Patti Farley, for her creativity. I never dreamed of participating.

Even when the shovel was in my possession, (my friend Patti had reserved one for me) I thought my sculpting bud and fellow Collaborheartist Pat Moorman would do it all. Not so.

This is the true story of an instance in which I dragged myself into the project and loved every minute after that. The moral of the story is, “Just do it!”

I thought I hid my reluctance, laughing that we’d certainly have to do something funny (Pat likes to make people smile) and then commenting that it had to be a cat. (Both of us are crazy about our cats.)

In her planned and thoughtful way, Pat presented me with choices for the shovel in the form of drawings in her notebook. Before I knew what was happening, I was all in.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Cat shovel – spec drawings

Of course, I loved the cat with the personality and had to put my creative touch in place: “Could we make her tongue stick out?”

The mechanics of decorating a shovel required making a stand which perfectly served the paw portion of our project. (Let me state for the record that Pat did the bulk of this structure work.) And then I started adding beads.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Cat shovel – paws and tails
©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Cat shovel – beginning head formation

A few observations about the cat shovel project:

  1. We could be crazy. Realism was out the door. Forgotten.
  2. Our choices tended toward the outrageous. For example, traditional white whiskers looked positively awful. Gaudy gold ones? Yep. That got the vote.
  3. We tried things: such as painting wooden beads to match the colors in the stripe of the material or adding sunglasses pins to the presentation in no particular order
  4. The final touch, a pair of lens-less sunglasses fit perfectly after we painted them in tropical colors and hung them jauntily over the bottom brace
  5. We added earrings, confident of enhancing the feminine portrayal of our piece. To our surprise, people unanimously refer to it as “he.” Then they laugh.
  6. We named our shovel C. Shovelinski. (C. stands for Cat.)
  7. Our bio reads as follows:

C. Shovelinski is designed by Pat Moorman and Mary Ellen Merrigan. Pat is a sculptor who specializes in animal shapes. Her favorite part of any project is the smile she can create with her work. Not surprisingly, Pat’s projects involve a lot of cats, most with a ‘tude. Mary Ellen Merrigan also loves cats and anything bead related. She and Pat often collaborate in an art group called “CollaborHeartists.”

Will we do it again? Probably.Art Donation fun like this is priceless.

Art-Donation-Fun-C.Shovelinski - final 1
©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, C. Shovelinski, Final

The auction event for artistic shovels is 5–8 p.m. June 5, 2015, at the Scottish Rite Center (corner of Paseo de Peralta & Washington) in Santa Fe. Proceeds go to benefit the New Mexico chapter of the National New Deal Preservation Association.

How will you participate in art donation fun?

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