HELLO!! Thank you for stopping inside the pages!! Optimal viewing is desk or lap top--mobile distorts. It was a challenge for me to make this website on my own but to me the Wix is best for those who need or want to do this themselves. It is pretty intuitive if you apply yourself to the tons of decisions you must make.
This website is mainly to display Art & Personality & Community Interest for "Sponsors". I do not sell anything as of yet, so it is created to be more "artsy", developed to let Sponsors get to know "me"....I hope all enjoy!~Cathie
Who AM "I" ????
I am named after both of my Grandmothers, Catherine and Caroline. So I use both names in print, as "Cathie Carol" because my Grandmothers were equally important and loved very much by me. My Father, never had sons so as eldest daughter, with permission from my husband to be-- I took his last name and hyphened when I married, I am thankful I did that. My Father died in 2007 suddenly. Two weeks before his 45th Wedding Anniversary so we had a Memorial of his death--instead of their "special party". He ONLY saw my first Clown "Dazzle" of my beginning Community Art journey. Unknown to him--he had been exposed to Toxic Water "poisoning". In youth as a Marine trained at Camp LeJeune and in The Reserves, but when he learned from the bible the new "commandment" of LOVE that Jesus had given, he knew war is wrong. To kill is wrong. He became a Ministerial Servant and he raised us as righteously as he and Mom could. He learned war---no more. I miss him.
And about my unique last name---my husband Michael's last name is Ukranian origin and actually means "half a mustache"! Well, "his mother Mary" told me that, oh so long ago, that "someone" in the family had made the King (CZAR) Nicholais very angry and supposedly the name was then changed/bestowed upon them as an insult, by the King!! Well that is what I was told!
My husband's dear mother by the way, was a prisoner of war as a child and as she says--was "owned" by a farmer when she was "taken" from her family. Her childhood was spent working in a sort of labor camp. She lived on bread mostly for meals and ---a bed of hay in a barn, back then. She often speaks of "My Farmer" where we would say my mother or father. Such sad circumstances she has shared with us. She is in her 90s now. I have highest admiration and love for her. ( I am pictured in slideshow with beloved "Mary"--she is standing at end of her driveway with a Seahorse and Michael, and she and I are standing beneath a hotel entrance, on Captiva Island Florida with my other seahorse "Stargazer" behind us...)
Note:*In April 2021 we lost our Mary at "95 years old".....and then, Uncle Stanley was 97 years old in July 2023 when he died...beautiful long lives well loved & lived and ---NEVER put in a nursing home.
To know about Mary: She was a prisoner of war but--- so was her older sister! Mary was taken captive. But her sister was "EXILED" to Russian Siberia as "punishment for her Faith". Her sister said "If God finds it acceptable that I am sent here, here I will stay." And she did ---all of her life-- into her 90s!!! SHE helped start several Congregations in that area. This was very remarkable. Both sisters stayed faithful until their long life ended. It is a wonderful spiritual heritage to have in our family. An article was written about her in The Awake magazine. Please see JW.org if you are interested in learning more about spiritual things that can make you happy--from your own bible. And I post a link here you can copy paste into google, it is a half hour video produced thru the Steven Spielberg Foundation "The School Girl, The Nazis and The Purple Triangles" --it is extra special for those who will appreciate the importance of the content and gain a better understanding with compassion.......https://youtu.be/h_5MJy4y3IU
MY "WORKING" CAREER that lead to MY COMMUNITY ART
My "working" career really began pretty early in my Father's printing company, all through his life that he owned it, you know how "kids" always help out the family business!! All of us did AND we had plenty of paper around for our ART!!
As a teen I worked in an old fashioned Ice cream Parlor. YEP serving Strawberry Cheesecake milkshakes to the Bag Boys on break from Publix and the old Theatro Movie Theatre in evenings. FUN "iconic" Job. Worked a Drive-In movie snack shop too. Wow!
While in High School I worked as Sales, Head of Sales, to Manager-- in Maas Brothers Department Store on Main Street!
It was great to be Medical Unit Secretary in an ICF Unit of a Nursing Home Facility where I loved the elderly ones like I had 100 Grandma and Grandpas! ICF is Intermediate Care Facility! I handled all emergency calls and transfers and DR Appointments!
Joyfully after that I enjoyed being a Preschool Teacher for Three Year Olds, having my own whimsical artsy fun classroom.
Then as a Family Pharmacy Technician I assisted Prescriptions and medical supplies. But left realizing salesmen pushed drug use.
With noble interest I was hired as an "Executive Assistant to the Director of The Bar Association Legal Aid" and Lawyer Referral Program offices on Main Street in Sarasota. When my boss was sick or on extended vacation I was her stand in as Boss. I attended several Bar luncheons and Board Meetings with my Boss and I wrote a monthly column for The Legal Aid newsletter.
I also had the privilege of creating a calendar for Probono Awards. It was caricatures of 12 local prestigious judges! I can tell you the judges all had a great sense of humor about that project. I worked with all their Judicial Assistants to get it done. My Father printed it for us at his own Company--the last page was a certificate designed by me with a large gold embossed emblem! I think I have a calendar upstairs stored away ---along with a Florida coloring book I created that my Father also printed for me!!
I next worked in an amazing Sarasota Estate on the Bay as a Personal Assistant to the Wife and as Nanny to their six year old daughter--was quite the privileged position 5 minutes from home on Sarasota Bay!!!
And lastly, I was very privileged to be employed in the "Maternity Wards and NICU Units" at local hospitals. In Lakewood Ranch Women's Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital, as a trusted Hearing Technician for Newborn Infants!!! I also was the person who trained new technicians, in the two separate hospitals.
Working at home now, from my own Art Studio affords me quality time in Ministry work-- helping neighbors learn from the bible how to live a life that makes them happy, content, comforted and knowing how to please our Grande Creator--Jehovah God, with the lives we lead. Life is a gift to enjoy and use to benefit others. Nothing is better than the bible to realize that. Probably the most fulfilling and important position of all that I have ever done.
Charity "Community Art" Fundraising is also something I care very much about. I am thankful that my Art projects have assisted many local agencies with funds exceeding $90,000 to date. It is a heartfelt joy for me to use my natural god given artistic talents to benefit and inspire others. My husband kindly supports all of these endeavors financially, and also helps me with mechanical and technical issues in producing some of the art!
So I have wide experience and applied myself diligently to every job I desired. I believe most of my positions really helped me--- "help people", in some way. I do have a victim's advocate sort of mentality, for human and furry friend---- and I will step up ---when I must.
JUST BEING ARTSY THROUGH LIFE!
MANY of the Community Art Projects are lifesize sculptures! Big and Heavy! Painting a 3D image is quite the challenge as you are working "around" an object and not a flat canvas so it becomes easier to forget details of the back and at the top or bottom----which also finds you working on your knees a lot!!!!-
Curves, roughness and bumps are a true challenge for indicating straight lines or fluidity of design on sculptures. My renderings start as a simplistic color pencil drawing and then I try to paint in greatest detail always adding special elements, like Swarovski jewels or whatever I feel enhances the art--far more than what "a piece of submitted paper" reflects. It sort of develops as I go.
At times, I have even created my own paper mache characters like the clown's monkey Punky and the olde Parrot Crusty on the pirate gecko to mention a few--all baked in my oven at home. I use wire hangers and newspaper and paper clay the old fashioned way. And while some artists submit fascinating art on paper ----sometimes they can not produce as intended on the 3D image. I find a simple start enables a grande finale by comparison.
I hope my art becomes something you remember, which is why I love detailing so much, as that is what the sponsor and the community deserves---nothing less. I always hope to create something I believe can be proudly displayed and people will really enjoy "looking" at!!!!! A lot of artists like simple quick "airbrushing" or just splash paints---but it is not my preference at all, as to me it seems too generic looking. So many do it. Just depends on art style--I like "details" and lots of joyful whimsey for people to enjoy viewing!
Community art provides "an honorarium or stipend" to each artist that we can use to reinvest in what we create, buying any supplies needed from that allowance. This is not a job by any means because ongoing opportunities are sparse and you must be chosen to participate. It is truly by generosity of artists and Sponsors involved that the art exists for everyone to appreciate and subsequently love. I do what I can when I am aware of a "Call To Artists" to lend what talent I have.
**NOTE** I am very selective as to what I will support and--- represent. When you see the pictures of my work, it is fairly evident. I have often had the privilege of doing multiples because I work very detailed and quickly using a free hand with joy. My sponsors have always appreciated my lighthearted whimsical artwork. Most usually though--many artists will paint their project as an American Flag, or highlight Veterans, or war dedications knowing that they then usually get top placement and big sponsors (I already know each time I will come up 2nd against military and patriotic--but I very often have "more entries" to make art than others and that makes me smile) For me, war and killing is wrong and I can not glorify it with my art. I have been offered many times to do "MILITARY" themed art--- but I must kindly decline each time. The death produced through wars breaks my heart and you can not paint with a broken heart. Also I know God does not approve of any war or patriotism-we are all brothers and sisters on this planet wherever we live. There are good people and bad people and that is the true divide. Nationalism causes hatred and I can't hate. I stand firm on that. I know soldiers are sacrificed and in many ways, harmed for life.....sigh. To maintain my peaceful neutrality I refrain from patriotic or military themes. I hope you can respect my choice not to accept that type of assignment. I have had an abundant of opportunities no matter, and I always love what I paint and design for my Sponsors. And -----there are so many artists that basically will just do it. I hope my life honors God.
My two younger sisters and I are generally self taught. Natural talent of our families it seems. We all attended the local VPA High School--Visual & Performing ARTS! I reference my own photograph collection for ideas and use various wildlife and nature books or magazines to sometimes compile further what I am trying to paint. Unlike Rockwell who always used live models, I can not call in a flamingo to pose for me! Some things I paint are just make believe! And that is when I have the best time creating!!! I have rarely displayed my own art at home and have painted for myself very, very limitedly. And what few early big paintings I had done in life as watercolors, were given away as gifts. I only recently painted my bathroom cabinet around a sink, with a fanciful mural though, as seen in slideshow-- if you noticed it.
oooooooH and most recently, in 2021 I "won" a National fun old-fashioned "Coloring Contest" through Facebook!! Sponsored by "TONY DOW" childhood Actor of wholesome family sitcom of the 1950's "Leave It To Beaver", associated with Fireball Publishing!!! I was among Four Winners, one was a child, and we received prizes mailed to our homes!
BUT the BEST prize EVER was a total surprise that shocked me---- TONY himself ---CALLED ME to "congratulate" me!!!! I almost fainted!! IMAGINE! I could almost NOT breathe when I saw his name on our Caller ID> And I was so excited, but home alone with no one to share in this extreme JOY!! Oh my!!!! Poor Tony put up with my gaga attitude and was SO VERY KIND.
What a sweet dear person he is and his wife Lauren. A 20 minute phone call!! THAT is just something I will never "EVER" forget and pics are in the slideshow!!! Thankful I had the mind to at least take a photo of our Caller ID!!!! I am very proud of that. It was a silly contest but it was sincere and a fun throwback to innocent times of simplicity! Well---Has "Tony Dow "ever called you!?-(SMILE)
(And very sadly not long after....... he was gone "suddenly" to cancer....sigh.)
I enjoy writing poetry, and have some children's stories I hope to someday publish and illustrate and songs I have written too. I even took a special evening songwriting class as a young Adult-- I loved it so much and got an A+!! My teacher was Ishmael Katz a great musician himself! Once I auditioned for a "showcase", they had those before the Idol Shows were popular! My husband and mother went with me. I actually won a placement to go to Nashville! I enjoy singing and we often performed singing bible skits and sometimes did karaoke, as many did when that began.
BUT to go to Nashville---- I had to sign a three page "contract".
I very carefully read it. What struck me was this one point that I was supposed to agree to-- if I "signed"--it said: "You must allow US to manage and "change your image" however we decide for best success!"
HA!. I CAN'T let them do THAT!????!!
S0------THAT was a BIG nope for me--I would NOT could not, sign that Conract--how could I know what they would change me into?!! Too risky! SOOooo that was the end of that. I did not go to Nashville for the showcase. And that was when Trisha Yearwood was "discovered", many strangers come up to me and say I favor her. I guess a little. I have no regrets though as I made a thoughtful decision and my bible trained conscience would not allow me to turn myself over to those Producer/Managers. Well youth can be a challenge for a lot of reasons. I am happy where my life is today and where I am going....aiming for Paradise.
MICHAEL & OUR EXTRA SPECIAL EFFORTS
My husband, grew up as an Ohio boy, living on a small 7 acre farm. Sadly, his Dad died before he was ever born. Michael kindly and generously helps and financially supports me on all of my art projects, especially when I need his drills, bolts, dremel and "how-to do it" knowledge,--- with what I think up!!!
We live in a unique historic 1908 cottage. Our property is "wildlife habitat certified" as we also do volunteer wildlife rescue and rehab at our own expense, for past 30 years,---when there is a wild injured or orphan in true need--I am there to care!! I have always LOVED all animals.
All kinds of creatures have been cared for and some kept as pets through my life. Regarding wildlife---- Best to leave an animal on its own unless it is small. Contact me I can advise. Or transfer carefully to a licensed Rehab Center and then----why not make a donation if you leave a creature!! It helps a lot!
PLEASE be kind to all animals--and if I may add, especially: Opossums they are truly meek creatures!!!! When I first started I had to educate myself with books from the library. I can never forget--one book said--"IF... THE MEEK, are TRULY to inherit the Earth--- then surely the Opossums will BE among them!! I was hooked!!! I have raised SOOooo many I lost count. They do not carry rabies generally. Too often Mamas are hit by cars though, so if you can "safely stop" please DO--and check for babies in the pouch!!! There are many capable rehabbers that Network through facebook nationwide!! Even seriously injured are nursed back to health. Tiny pink infants CAN be saved with teeny tube feedings if only people would check and ---save them from car tires....sigh.....
Our rescue efforts have always had great success! When an animal is sheltered here, we keep our home extra especially quiet and calm to provide a healing environment where it can thrive with gentle care. We have a motto--"EVERY living thing deserves a helping hand" and that began with the photo in the slideshow where my hand is holding a few hours old infant raccoon that Mike found hurt in our yard a few years ago. I was not sure WHAT it was but I was determined to save and raise it!!! I have also raised infant rats abandoned by their Mom. To me----ALL life is to be valued, not just some. I always do whatever I can. Some care goes round the clock.
Our home is still maintained by a "well" so we hand carry water to our pocket gardens around the property to conserve! We do not use pesticides or fertilizers but research natural alternatives as our "environment" should be respected in all ways that matter and by what is in our power to control. It helps the wildlife thrive here too!! ALL the photos in slideshow are of only some of our pets over the years and current to date with more than seen, we feel like a sanctuary or rescue! And all the wildlife you saw, are on our little woodsy acre bordered by a creek off a one lane bridge in the city!!!
We are basically homebodies so we are content enough, and we are fond of antiques. We have a collection of old toys, German and French dolls and bears, clocks and radios and cameras. Worthless to some but nostalgically meaningful to us. But our old 1908 cottage--referred to as "The Tentmaker's House" in an article by The Sarasota Observer, well the old house has enough and then some, so we are mostly retired collectors. One day we found a note in our gate asking us if they could do a story on our old house!!? We were shocked. I mean usually they do the million dollar homes in our area as features!! SO--- I replied saying--well here are a few inside photos if you decide not to that is fine! The man replied oh NOW we are surely coming to do the story and they did. Unique and fun community privilege THAT was--we still have some of the original copies--as we gave most away to anyone who visited our whimsical house!
Often we have given "things" admired, to those who visited and especially loved something---after all, they are "only things". And you know, there is more happiness that way---in giving!
We are very eclectic in our furniture. I can always find a uniquely styled "bargain" and love to re-purpose!! I enjoy doing that by choice. I think a home should reflect individual personality as it adds to the enjoyable fun of visiting each other! As the saying goes--"Collect what you love and your home becomes your story!" I believe that! We are all different people, so why have the same color trend of the year on the wall--- or a couch style because a movie star commercial "sold you"--I mean, told you to??-(SMILE) "Unique" should be ubiquitous!
I hope you enjoyed the lengthy "about me" and all the slides that took you on a winding journey down Community Art Avenue, past "The Tentmaker's House" and right through my "HeART Department" home studio!!!
Well, it has come to be the time when I must say----
"Thank YOU for spending your time at this site of WhimZCreations in reading and looking over the art--- and perhaps, you have seen something that made you smile!!? I hope so.......with all my heArt."
SONG SELECTED : Morning Has Broken (original familiar artist Cat Stevens 1973) THIS version supplied by JAMENDO.COM and is from the Album titled "Color of Music" by Ronny Matthes in the soothing style of traditional Galische melodie. NOTE: You do NOT have to pay to "use" unless you PROFIT and sell items as a regular business.
Lyrics to music I used for slideshow for those interested:
"Morning has broken, like the first morning, Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird. Praise for the singing, praise for the morning---- Praise for the springing fresh for the world.
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven, Like the first dew fall, on the first grass. Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning, Born of the one light, Eden saw play. Praise with elation, praise every morning God's own creation of a new day........"
Please~ make time to read in your Bible every day--it honors God who provided it to help us and it can make your life happier and your heart content.
I hope your lifetime is full of good and wonderful things and that any troubles you may have to encounter you will overcome and cope with and then achieve your......... "Happily Ever After" Remember.....Every "morning" is a new opportunity to do better than the day before!
It is my favorite time of day! ~Cathie