Artists in the Wake of a Storm

Margaret Riley inspiration

Hours I spent in front of the television when Hurricane Katrina blasted into our grand USA. Lives and homes were destroyed. Now I continue watching the television plus view on my phone the devastation in Texas and Louisiana. As Americans, we are crushed to see so many lives touched by this storm. Our foreign talented friends are viewing our nation crippled by this storm. But what warms my heart more than anything is watching so many people coming to the aide of those in need. Color of skin, the language they speak, and rich or poor isn’t a barrier to those rushing into the hard hit areas from the results of a history making storm.

We each can contribute in supplies and prayers/thoughts. When a disaster hits, we each realize how lucky we are. We, who aren’t hit, find that we value the little things in our home, with our family, and our surroundings. But those that ARE hit find that they can replace the material items as long as family and friends (even pets) are still with them to embrace a hug giving them the love, security, and safety from surrounding elements.

It only goes to show that we, people in our industry, are reaching out to those in need from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. After viewing my internet this morning, I found that the Society of Decorative Painters is already working on assisting fellow artists and victims. Please go to to donate. Donations can be made in various sizes of contributions ($10, $25, $50, or $100).

After reading some of the postings on Tole Painters Unite, it appears that some are rallying to call for supplies for those that lost everything in the wake of Harvey. Hooray for those who are putting forth their kindness to get this project in place. If anyone would like to contact me regarding your assistance to the Harvey damage, please email me at: I will post it in upcoming newsletters.

A suggestion would be to have someone organize a funding of brushes to replace those that were lost of an individual in the flood waters. But it you do mail a brush, it MUST be in a bubble lined envelope and hand stamped at the post office window for mailing. If you know of a specific individual that lost art supplies, post it on a chat room. Let’s help our fellow artists get back to painting.

If you have never cleaned up after a flood, it is hard work. The smell is overwhelming, and the mud is a challenge to remove from the area flooded. Everything has to be dried out or thrown away. It is heartbreaking to throw away family treasures, have photos totally destroyed to never be replaced, and see a child crushed that their favorite toy has floated away never to be found.

Let’s help those in need! Keep us proud Americans that rally around the flag to help those that need our help.

I wrote this shortly after Hurricane Harvey. But now I am faced with the destruction from Hurricane Irma. I live near Ft. Myers in the southwest section of Florida. How can you mentally prepare for a hurricane? We came home from a 6 week trip in our motorhome to prepare for this massive hurricane. This is Friday night before the hurricane hits. We just were informed that the eye of the storm will be passing right over us. Preparation has been made with stocking up on bottled water, non-perishable food items, a generator with plenty of gasoline, items in the yard placed in a secure shed, and storm shutters pulled over the window. We have a pool and a hot tub that will serve for a bath when power goes out. We have filled 6 large storage tubs with water that are in the two showers for use in “flushing”. Gasoline stations are 60% out of gasoline. Grocery stores have no bread, bottled water, tuna, spam, and pudding/fruit cups. We are lucky to be able to go into our RV and cook after the storm passes and waiting on electricity to be restored, which could be two weeks to two months before resumed…depending on the area you live.

Just like Hurricane Harvey, many in Florida are going to be losing valuables along with personal treasures….like art supplies. Do what you can, Friends! And let’s not forget about those that are perishing from the fires out west. Many homes are a total loss from those fires. Right now, our nation is witnessing three major disasters. Reach out and help however you can. I will try to write an article for the next newsletter telling the experience(s) I felt during this massive hurricane about to hit our state. Hugs to all!!!

Margaret Riley

UPDATE: Margaret was directly in the eye of Hurricane Irma. She and her family are ok, but still without power and dealing with a lot of damages. Please send your best thoughts, prayers and kind messages to her and everyone affected in this disaster!

And bless her heart, she continued to write for this blog DURING the storm as long as she had power! That shows some true dedication to you wonderful readers! 

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  • Tammie Tuft on

    Bless all those who have been affected by these hurricanes. I have been tracking friends and family through this time. They too have been without power and water. God be with all of you

  • Elaina Appleby on

    I hope you all in harm’s way can feel the love and prayers from others that really do care. Hopefully you can get things up and running better in the quick of time. My thoughts are with you

  • Phyllis on

    So sorry for all people affected by storm, fires and earthquakes. Also I just got intenet back so just getting news of the bombing in London. Hope recovery will happen, as quickly as possible.

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