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March 2021
There's a Mystery Afoot

The 510(k) Fiasco
Through fictionalized narrative of an earlier career spent in corporate America, The 510(k) Fiasco is offered as a loving tribute to ten glorious years this author spent in Half Moon Bay, California. Those years provided memories filled to the brim with pumpkin festivals and beach walks and flower-strewn hills galore.

Rae Charles, former documentation supervisor and never a singer/songwriter, was catapulted into a world of corporate intrigue when the white collar crime she was investigating turned deadly. She found herself playing cat and mouse with an unknown adversary bent on destroying the medical device company that hired her. Corporate sabotage was the name of the game.

Cheryl's novel, The 510(k) Fiasco, is available on Amazon.

If you would like to delve into the matters of corporate sabotage detailed in The 510(k) Fiasco, click here to go to Amazon.com.

February 2021
The Adventure Continues

Family Matters
Though this is a work of fiction, Family Matters started as most endeavors of this author do, with a detour on memory lane. Once begun, the story evolved until the lives of Sam Taylor, Maggie Hampton, Jesse Love, and Faye Allen became as familiar as her own.

The histories of Sam, Maggie, Jesse, and Faye were not born in the tradition of 1960 sitcoms where happily ever after was the norm. They each struggled with the results of their upbringing. Working to discover the origins of their family dynamics, they questioned whether it was possible to restructure that heritage.

What could be done to rectify their less than ideal circumstances? They reached out, and while dysfunction is called out and laid bare, the novel does speak to hope for all who believe that family does, indeed, matter.

Cheryl's novel, Family Matters, is available on Amazon.

If you would like a deeper look into Family Matters, click here to go to Amazon.com.

December 2020
How the Writing Career Began

This Stage of Life
Cheryl has written about how her art career began. Much earlier than that began her love of the written word. At age eight, the library allowed her a mere two books per week. When her mother explained that Cheryl read a book each day, the librarian relented and she was allowed to check out seven books every week of summer.

Childhood pleasures eventually turned into adult responsibilities and writing took a back seat, for years relegated to spare time pursuit. Cheryl says retirement has given her freedom, and with that, Jake Dimond and Elen Austin have appeared, ready to sort their lives amid all the rich possibilities that lie ahead, even at this stage of life.

Cheryl's novel, This Stage of Life, is available on Amazon.

If you would like a glimpse into This Stage of Life, click here to go to Amazon.com.

Stay tuned. There will be more.

November 2020
How the Art Career Began

Cheryl Hardin
As a young child, Cheryl's beloved Aunt Leota gave her a paint-by-number kit, and she discovered the joys of brush and paint. As most often happens with the onset of adulthood, Cheryl eventually put childhood pleasures aside and for years this child of the sixties willingly participated in 9 to 5, but for nourishment she always always turned with great affection toward a well formed phrase or wallop of color.

Her organizational skill set led to business opportunities where Cheryl found success leading departments of technical writers and graphic artists in activities encompassing the publishing, medical, and accounting fields. In her spare time she wrote. Then she acquired an easel and tubes of oil paints and set up a guest room as her own space. She furthered her art education with workshops from nationally known artists. Painting became an important outlet for expression and she sought out other artists whose talents influenced her own.

Cheryl’s paintings are captured on canvas in a fluid and impressionistic style. She creates original works in oils, using both palette knife and brush. “When a painting develops with the least interference on my part,” she says, “the work becomes what it was meant to be. When it evokes a tranquility that goes beyond the elements of a scene, it is complete.”

Childhood gave Cheryl Hardin the gift of time. Adulthood gave her means. Retirement has given her freedom.

October 2020
How a Painting Evolves

Mixing Colors Paint Shapes Do not replicate Set it free
What is the difference between a "good painting" and a "great painting"? The difference, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder. In most cases, what is considered a great or, conversely, a minor artwork has more to do with its audience than its author. Exceptions abound (think Monet). But there are many steps the artist can take to ensure their audience is enthralled with their works rather than disenchanted. To that end, I offer what has always rung true for me:

A painting will most often fail when the artist does not pay attention to the basics. The most highly regarded of my works came about in part because of the time I spent mixing the right colors. Often as much time is spent in mixing colors as in putting the paint on canvas.

For me, too much reality in my painting is always a disappointment. I'm working to create an emotional connection with my audience, not trying to recreate a replica of a scene. To begin, I block in paint shapes; I don't try to exactly draw in the objects of my desire.

It's true that odd numbers of objects are more interesting and pleasing to the eye than even numbers, i.e., 1 or 3 sails, not 2. Emotion rules over all, but still, one needs to pay attention to the basics. Shading and shadows are meant to anchor objects. Most objects are not meant to float. Shadows in clouds are lighter in value than shadows on the ground plane. To really "see" what you're creating, you have to put down the brush and step away from the canvas often.

Above all, SIMPLIFY. SIMPLIFY. SIMPLIFY. Only then the painting is freed and ready to go out into the world and meet its audience who, of course, will be enthralled!

August 2020
Share Those Unfinished Unvarnished Musings

In Process

Half year review 2020. Have I grown as an artist? Have I painted enough? I have an acute awareness of fleeting time and I must paint, must commit myself to this great devour of time. And yet I spend too many waking hours immersed in the distractions of everyday life. The easel sits patiently, a scorned lover, while I run errands or dither away time online. Yet I ache to create. It's nearly a hunger, once upon a time almost sated in New York while meandering through 30 impressionist galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My easel is still waiting patiently, calling out to my innermost self. You want to be an artist, you say? Get on with it. Share those unfinished unvarnished musings of the artist. You never know who's looking!

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