How to Bribe a Writer…

Offer to critique her manuscript…

Laurie critiquing

while she cuts mat board, stretches canvas with a stapler that could cripple a weight lifter, and cleans a thousand annoying specs of dust off the glass for your art show.

Me slaving

This is how I spent several afternoons and evenings last week helping my critique partner, Laurie Benner, who also happens to be a fabulous artist and photographer, get ready for her first big art show.  
It was a lot of fun learning new skills–thank you Google and dear people who posted videos on how to stretch canvas–while brainstorming a heart-stopping ending to my current work in progress. 
The best part was seeing the fruit of our labor on display (the lines behind are chains for hanging):

Highland Dancers – photos on canvas & fine art paper

Rowing Scenes & Horse Scene in Oil Pastel

Photos on Canvas

Yes, we still had to spend a long time afterward fussing to get all those pieces straight and mount labels! But aren’t they interesting?

When she showed me the set of old locks and keys that I’m working on in the top picture, I immediately started imagining a suspense story they might inspire. And I’ve already got my eye on another one for future cover art!!!

For those who live in Niagara, Laurie’s work along with another artist’s will be on display for the month of September at The Mahtay Cafe in downtown St. Catharines.

Your Turn: What do you like to do to express your creativity?