Friday, February 29, 2008

A Taxing Week

For over a week now I've been working on tax issues and tax reports, all very left brain activities for an artist with poor math skills. It might seem odd for such a person to be "bookkeeper" for a business, but trust me, that's better than leaving it all to my husband who absolutely hates paperwork and anything having to do with taxes. So, I took on the job in order to keep us out of debtor's prison or at least in economic solvency. And of course, I have to do it all for my art business, too.

Doing the annual art sales tax form was particularly challenging this year because I had to refund a portrait deposit last year on which I'd paid sales tax in 2006. Because I owed less in sales tax this year than the refund in sales tax would be, I spent the better part of two days trying to fill out the form in various ways to get the figures to come out "correctly". No dice! So, in desperation I called the state and was told that I would have to file an amended form for 2006 rather than include the refund on the 2007 form. I dutifully proceeded to do just that only to discover that the refund would only amount to $1.89 because of the discount I got that year for filing on time. I figured that the state would probably spend upwards of $50 to refund me that dollar eighty nine, and realized that cash strapped Michigan needed the money more than I do. I didn't file the amended report.

Don't you just love tax season?

So, after dutifully rushing to the post office to mail the tax reports by the deadline, I switched to Right Brain mode and did some work on the portrait of Bard. Earlier in the week I had toned the canvas a really nice neutral gray using Torrit Gray from Gamblin. It's a gray that Gamblin makes once a year from all the leftover pigment of that year's paint production. For those of you non artists, mixing all the colors together is one way of producing a very nice gray. Every batch of Torrit Gray, according to Gamblin, is slightly different because it's made up of different proportions of pigments.

By yesterday the canvas was dry, so I proceeded to enlarge the drawing and prepare to trace it onto the canvas. That's when I realized that the canvas was badly warped and wobbled on the desktop like a teeter totter. I could get a whole finger under one corner with room to spare! Not only was the whole frame warped out of alignment, but one of the stretcher bars was also warped. This would definitely not do since the canvas would be impossible to fit into a frame properly. And, of course, I didn't have another one of the same size which means that Bard will have to wait until I can get another canvas. But, I did decide to use this canvas for testing colors for Bard and such and went ahead and traced the drawing onto it.

By the time a new canvas arrives, I should be about done preparing our income tax stuff to send to the accountant, and then I can give Bard the concentration that he deserves and my right brain craves.

Don't you just love tax season?

I've attached a detail from one of my last pastel horse portraits just so I have some art to show you today.


Judy Wood said...

Gosh, Karen, that's a nice eye!! I realize this is a detail from a larger work, but I'd love to see you do some of these close crops as stand-alone pieces. Really good work.

Judy Wood

Alphamare/aka Karen said...

Thanks, Judy!

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of cropped images but was pleasantly surprised at how good this one looked.

Maybe it's time to reconsider....