Jim and I are both participating in this year’s Oracle Holiday Gifts & Art Market along with 18 other local artists. Every year (this is our 4th) a group of us get together, rent an empty storefront on American Avenue (the main drag in Oracle) and set up a gift and art market. Sounds simple, right? Well, actually, the market is the result of many months of creating items to sell, assembling the group of artists, meetings, planning, advertising, finding and renting the space, cleaning and painting walls, designing the space to accommodate the artwork, scheduling shop-sitting, spending several days each manning the shop and more. In short, it’s a lot of work with occasional differences of opinion, lots of compromise, and in the end, a wonderful cooperative effort to make our work available to the public.

Jim wrote a post for the US Route 89 blog about our work in the Market. It has information about the work we have in the shop as well as an article about his fabulous 2013 calendar which is available both online and in the shop. He’s graciously is letting me pass his article on to my readers. So here it is–enjoy!

Oracle Holiday Gifts & Art Market by James Cowlin

Barbara and I are beginning our fourth winter in Oracle. The first year we lived here we were invited to participate in a holiday gift shop. The shop had become a tradition in our little mountain town with many of the professional artists living here producing work especially for holiday gift giving. We were pleased to take part and have continued to join in each year.

The selection of handmade gift and artworks will be outstanding this year. You’ll find everything from original affordably-priced paintings, to sculpture, fine-art photography, encaustic, jewelry, fabric art, knitwear, turned wood and art cards. Prices range for $3 to $300 so you are sure to find many things to fit your budget.

Barbara has been working on a wonderful new series of abstract paintings called Color Spots. Each painting is on a 6”x6” wood panel. They are actually mixed media combining acrylic paint with hand-made paste paper. The 2” deep edges are also finished with colorful tapes and paste paper. They can be set on a shelf or hung on the wall to add a bit of color to any space. She also has created one-of-a-kind collage art cards, hand-made books and card sets with images of her water reflection paintings. Below is one of the Color Spot paintings.

Wheat Fields, a 6" x 6" painting

I have made 4”x4” prints of my new series of wildflower photographs and will have them for sale matted and framed. I also have card sets of the wildflower photos and the National Parks along US Route 89. In addition, my 2013 Calendar will be available for sale (please see the article below)

The Oracle Holiday Gifts & Art Market is located at 1880 West American Avenue. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday beginning the day after Thanksgiving and closing on December 23rd. You will be greeted by one of the artists who can help you to find just the right gifts for your family and friends. Your trip to Oracle can be made more enjoyable by having lunch or dinner at one of our local restaurants. For more information, visit the Oracle Community Guide .

2013 Calendar-Landscape Photography of the American West

It has been a few years since I put together a calendar. Until the advent of print-on-demand publishing the cost has been prohibitive. Now I can offer you a beautifully printed calendar at a reasonable price.

I spent quite awhile reviewing photographs from my travels in the American West along US Route 89. I was looking for just the right image for each month of year. That doesn’t mean that each was taken in the month in which it appears. I was looking more for images that convey my feeling about that particular month. The process lead to the discovery of some images that I had overlooked in previous edits. I have uploaded a slide show of the calendar photographs to the blog.

The format is 11×17 with each month displaying a landscape photograph above the calendar. Major US holidays are indicated and there is space for you to note your important dates through out the year.

The price is $12 plus shipping. To order, click here to go to the website of the printer, Magcloud, where you can use a credit/debit card to complete your purchase.

Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will help us continue to publish this newsletter and support the US Route 89 website and blog which benefit the many small businesses located along the highway. Take a look a your holiday gift list and consider ordering several calendars. For orders of 20 or more, a discount of 25% applies.
Cover of the US Route 89 2013 Calendar

Sample of a month–November, 2012 US Route 89 Calendar