Tag Archives: artful

Gift Giving Made Easy – Buy Local

Does the holiday season put you in constant overdrive and are you feeling overwhelmed?  It’s a fun and crazy time of year.  Catalog shopping is fun, quick, easy and painless.  You can talk to relatives over the phone as you browse an on-line store.  You can each pick out the item of your choice.  How easy is that?

The tough one is the family member or friend that says, “I don’t know what I want?”  I found that to be difficult until I realized you can give that person anything you want.  A Gift Certificate to a local grocery store – nearly everyone wants that these days.  The most exciting gift of all, however, is a handmade gift whether you made it yourself or some one local made it.

The best options for feel good gift giving…

  • Buy local and support an artist close to home
  • Gift Certificates:  Local Winter Farmers’ Market or grocery store
  • A gift certificate to Adult Community Education classes
  • Draw, paint, knit or sew a gift.
  • Buy a gift from Island Grown Initiative.
  • Make them dinner some night.
  • Mix them a CD of your favorite music.
  • Make wreaths or ornaments.
  • Write them a poem…

Special Local and not so local Gifts …   

  • The Island Card for discounts – a must have for every island residents. Our Island Club.
  • Handmade Hat from SBS, locally spun yarn from island sheep, hand knit by islander.
  • Paintings from any of our fantastic artists.  Now showing at W. Tisbury Library is Billy Hoff.
  • New Compilation CD from Joe Keenan arriving soon!
  • Island made jewelry from Jen Jen Jewelry
  • Handmade African jewelry, dolls. Women Waging Peace.
  • Locally made Fuzzy Blue Blanket – an herbaceous floral reminiscent of Martha’s Vineyard summers.
  • Local Artisans have shops on Spring St. and Main St. Vineyard Haven.

What locally made gifts would you like us to know about?

Getting Organized with Painter Margot Datz

One of Martha’s Vineyard’s most treasured residents is artist Margot Datz.  I decided to interview Ms. Datz because she is a professional who works her craft in many ways such as book illustrator, muralist and fine art painter.  There is no end to her talents…giving her good reason to commit to staying organized.  You can view her delightfully beautiful and fun artwork at her website listed below.


CQ(Clutter Queen):  When did you learn that organizing would benefit your work?  Ms. Datz:  I have always known it.  Being a right hemisphere person, it never came naturally for me.  I can make a big mess real fast, which makes me miserable real fast.  I always knew I needed help, but was not sure how to go about it.  I am a lover of stuff.  Everything is interesting to me, so I had to edit.

CQ:  Do you have a “must be organized” area of your studio?  Ms. Datz:  I find that what I need most of all is an organized office in order to be free to paint. I learned that I was unable to  get the paperwork organized by myself, so I hired a bookkeeper to set up my monthly paperwork file.  Essentially a file that was organized monthly, year to year so I could turn myself into a bookkeeper each month.

CQ:  Any particular organizing tools?  Ms. Datz:  List making… for the day, month, year.  They lead me back to more directed behavior.

CQ:  How do you organize your paints?  Ms. Datz:  Because I am a muralist, I use liquid acrylics.  I have a lot of bottles of paint.  I separate them in groups of colors…light blue, dark blue, flesh tones.  It makes for faster painting.

Datz Mural Oak Bluffs Library

CQ:  What have you learned about yourself in the process of editing and getting organized?  Ms. Datz:  In getting to know myself, what I realized was that I could be sweeping the whole day but never getting the dust into the dustpan.  Never finishing the ultimate goal.  You just cannot do everything.  If you are going to pay your bills, pay them all.  If you cannot, hire someone else.  Sometimes we think we cannot hire someone, I thought I could not afford a bookkeeper.  I do what I can to get it organized then give it to the bookkeeper…suddenly I have an affordable bookkeeper and I can be accountable for what my piece is.

Datz Mural Oak Bluffs Library

CQ:  How do you organize a painting?  Ms. Datz:  I usually draw it out first.  Thumbnail sketch.  Then I draw it on the panel with a chalk pencil because it is easy to lift off the chalk to make changes.

CQ:  Does your studio space work well for you?  It is nice to enjoy a neat and tidy studio.  It brings serenity.  It streamlines me to the most productive.  I use the studio for just the fine art business.  I need power tools for when I am doing big installations.  I utilize a tool area, general painting area and a separate area for fine painting and organize things by their uses.

Margot Datz’s work lends itself perfectly to the written word. She delights in illuminating thoughts, and has enjoyed many very pleasurable collaborations with singer Carly Simon, on four children’s books. Now Margot is head over fishtail excited to announce her very own book that she has written and illustrated with Beyond Words Publishing for Simon and Schuster titledA Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids“.

To learn more about Margot Datz and her work, please visit:  http://www.margotdatz.com