Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Southeastern Pastel Society 2009 Members' Exhibition

These two pieces recently won Third Place and Honorable Mention at the 2009 Southeastern Pastel Society Exhibition, currently hanging at the Lyndon House Art Center in Athens, GA. Go see it if you get the chance. Click on title to be linked to exhibition info.

I am sitting here with a cast on my left arm from hand to elbow. I fell off my husband's bicycle. Right on our driveway. Hadn't even taken it out for a trial run. Was barely moving, just couldn't reach the pedals or get up on the seat fully, pulled on the brakes and crashed (somewhat similar to the old 'Laugh-In' skit of a person on a bike falling over sideways). I look like I've been in a car wreck with enormous bruises all over my left leg. Because I'm so embarrassed at the stupidity of my actions, I'm racking my brain for an impressive reason for my current situation. I'm thinking of telling people I fell off my horse while playing polo with Charles and Camilla.

A free 5x7 (of my choosing) to anybody who comes up with what I think is the best story. Click Comments below to add your story.


  1. OK, Margaret, you asked for it. Here's my proposed explanation of your mishap. What fun!


    "I have had the most amazing thing happen.

    I was walking through my studio when, suddenly, the floor opened up beneath my feet and I found myself falling, falling, falling. It was like that dream where you wake up right before you land except that I did land.

    There I was, in the middle of a prehistoric landscape, face to face with a hairy, smelly, caveman with a big grin on his face and a club over his shoulder. Well. Since I have zero interest in prehistoric cavemen (or even the modern cavemen I meet from time to time), I started running. When I woke up, my leg was black and blue and I feel like I've been the ring with Mohammed Ali. Now I'm afraid to go to sleep at night."


  2. Hi Margaret,

    Right off the bat my partner Fran and I have two stories to explain your injuries.

    I suggested that you went skydiving and accidentally jumped with your plein air backpack rather than your parachute.

    Fran suggested that you have severe tendinitis from all these years of producing award winning paintings with one hand tied behind your back.

    We're likely to have more since our jobs don't require much use of our gray matter. Fran frames out of our house for artists and I paint so that I may sell store my work in many galleries around the country.

    Glad you are doing well - with your painting career anyway. Love your blog.


  3. How about you were attacked by that strange jackyll like creature that only you have seen in your driveway... your horse bolted and left you to fend for yourself against the forces of darkness!!

  4. It would be hard to improve on your original story! It is truly endearing! Hope it isn't your painting arm that's broken.

    Get well soon.

  5. OK, there is really only one reasonable explanation for injuries like that. Bears.

    There you were, minding your own business, perhaps sketching flowers in a meadow, when out of nowhere a small baby deer bolted through the treeline persued by a giant brown bear. Overwhelmed by sympathy for the adorable speckled fawn, without thinking, you grabbed your easel and whacked the hungry bear across the snout. The bear, hurt and somewhat ashamed over its life choices went back to the woods, but your elbow absorbed most of the impact as your easel shattered, sending pieces of hardwood careening into your legs. The fawn was very appreciative.

    Get well soon.


  6. you were trying to cook your children dinner one night. your best dish, fish sticks and box macaroni and cheese. as you stood watching the water boil, your children sat there, waiting very patiently (as they always did). then, something incredible happened.

    Chuck Norris EXPLODES through the front door to the house, sending splinters of teal painted wood everywhere, cutting up pieces of your leg! He walks straight up to you, all our mouths hanging open, and grabs you by the hand and simply shakes it and introduces himself, "Margaret, i'm Chuck. It's nice to meet you. it's good to see you're feeding your two amazingly beautiful girls such wonderful meals. they will grow up big and strong just like me one day, and win you award winning pastels in 3rd place in some place in Athens, Georgia. oh, and sorry about that door. pretty color, though. it's a shame i had to break it."

    with that being said, he walks out, all our eyes wide with wonder, the water boiling over in that frothy weird way that it does, the fish sticks burning ever so slightly. and your arm. the one connected to the hand he shook. dangling. as limp as the sticks of fish.

    this happened many, many, MANY moons ago. every year, to the day, your arm has this weird tingling sensation and seems to re-break itself.

    it's the power of Chuck, your youngest daughter would say. because she saw it happen. and she knows.

    life was never the same. your meals were always a little over cooked, sometimes not even cooked at all. your chicken seemed to have this hard chewy texture. kind of like...chewing on...cedar chips. but that's neither here nor there.

    it just so happens that the day you got on your husband's bike....was the very anniversary of that fateful mac'n'cheese and fish stick evening.


    good luck, Chuck. Ben will be coming for you soon. as soon as he finds out the REAL story.

    the end.

  7. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    How about just, "You should have seen the other guy." ;-)

    I took a workshop from you in Chicago a couple of years back. My husband and I recently purchased one of your 5x7s - a nude with blue and green. I've had it framed (3 in. ivory matte and simple espresso brown frame) and it looks absolutely beautiful hanging against a mid-tone olive green wall in my house. ... I still love your work more than any pastel artist (except maybe Degas ;-)
    Sorry to hear about your fall. Glad it wasn't your right arm!
    I'll say a prayer for your healing.

  8. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    You could always say that after your last art exhibit and sale, they twisted your arm so badly
    it broke. You were trying to hold on to your favorite paintings and prices but your collectors
    got the best of you... breaking your arm and bruising your ego. Just remember your trying to
    hold up in this economy.

    Hang in there!

    Sally Arnold

  9. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    Absolutely LOVE your work. I just bought one of your small pastels on EBAY (nude on flowered robe) and can't wait to get it. Totally enjoy reading your blogs, and had to laugh at your Charles/Camilla story.

    How about:

    "I had been asked to contribute a piece to the White House art collection, and went to the White House to personally hang it. I was on the top rung of the ladder about to hit the nail when I heard someone exclaim, "hey, I love that painting!" As I turned toward that familiar voice, I saw President Obama with an outstretched hand and big smile...and I woke up in the emergency room covered in bruises with a cast on my left arm -- autographed by the President." (where do these quotes go??)

    Keep up the great work!

    Sharon Price

  10. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    Hi Margaret,

    I'm sorry to hear about your accident! I too recently had a fall (off of a horse) and fractured my lower back (my sacrum). It's my first broken bone -- I know how painful it is! Now I'm thinking about giving up horseback riding for painting!

    I met you two years ago at the Bethesda Arts Festival. I am a huge fan!!! I would LOVE a Margaret Dyer original!!!

    Top 10 possible reasons why Margaret Dyer broke her arm:

    #10 Her new heavy-handed approach to painting was a little too heavy.
    #9 Fighting off the paparazzi.
    #8 Is thinking about switching to pigments that do not contain heavy metals.
    #7 Trying to do the moon walk during a Michael Jackson tribute.
    #6 Arm wrestling Hillary Clinton.
    (she recently broke her elbow!)
    #5 A twister game gone awry!
    #4 Training for the next space shuttle mission,
    "Painting: From white space to outer space."
    #3 She wanted to get it over with before ObamaCare kicks in.
    #2 Trying to calm frenzied fans at a recent art show.
    and the #1 reason:
    #1 Margaret was hit by a shoe while traveling in Iraq!

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery ... Feel better soon! : )

    Lori Newman

  11. Looks to me like you reached for a Unison and mistakenly grabbed a Nupastel instead, happens all the time.

    Please let me know whether you need anyone to carry your pastel box in Florence for you.


  12. Sheree LykensJuly 29, 2009

    I vote for the top ten list by Lori Newman above. It truly made me chuckle several times. I am not as creative as she. You could use a different one each time you are asked. My big idea was to say Ben did it...Ha! Sheree

  13. You may not know this, but on Margaret's off days she is a master LEGO builder. As she was putting the finishing touches on a 12,435 piece compound she was erecting she reached for the last 'brick' - a subtle sap green color - and she sneezed, fell into the middle of the structure which caused the table to flip, sending her plummeting towards the ground thus showering her with thousands of colorful LEGO pieces as she landed smack on her wee elbow upon the cement floor of her charmingly appointed studio. I told her to carpet that place!

  14. Jason MacDonaldJuly 29, 2009

    What the news stories haven't told us: Margaret was the taxi driver in Cambridge, Mass. who helped Professor Gates shoulder (or elbow) his jammed door open. When the cops arrived they also arrested Margaret and when handcuffing her she felt a "pop" in her left elbow. Gates and the cop got all the press. Margaret got a trip to Boston General. And Central Booking.

  15. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    I once had a black eye from falling out of bed, I said I did it in honor of Syd Vicious. Say you didn't want to cut off your ear, but you wanted to suffer for your art, so you did this to get in touch with your inner Vincent.

    Oh and I broke my left arm years ago, I can remember using my fingers which stuck out of my cast to tear paper for a demonstration for my cherubs, and actually seeing those cartoon stars swirl around my head...take it easy with the arm.

  16. Hi Margaret,

    Sorry about your calamity.

    I think that you should say you were trying to refute the premise that it is just like getting on a bike, and it is supposed to be easy. But was the stupid
    racing straps on the pedals that immobilized you and made you fall. I keep a little closer to the truth...but I see your point, you want it more fanciful.

    I fell off my bike, after I hit the
    'lip' of the driveway as I was trying to get away from oncoming traffic. Broke my left arm, had surgery and the works. I do admit that I was carrying about 20 cans of cat food in my front basket and it might have made it a bit unwieldy. I submit this makes me look a bit odd....and you could feel better this way!

    And I do love your have a shrine in my house...well, mybathroom! Very fem...

    Congrats on your awards...



  17. Hello Margaret, I cannot compete with all these explanations left by your well wishers but join them in hoping you make a speedy recovery. You really must take greater care of yourself. Don't forget to use a knitting needle, or even a long brush handle if the itching beneath the cast drives you to distraction.The airline commercial staring your sister Catherine is very amusing. Are you sure Lt.Frank Drebin wasn't involved in your mishap?? Regards Roger

  18. Jason MacDonaldJuly 31, 2009

    Did I win? Did I win? Huh, did I win?

  19. We go out of town and look what happens. You break your arm using your best Kung Fu move while protecting Ben in a dark alley against masked men. Sorry I missed the contest! Who won the painting? Hope you are not in too much pain!

  20. tell the truth, Margaret. Dad came over to your house last saturday with edith. you were still in bed and he became irritated so he went in your room and rolled you out of the sack. Remember?

  21. Terry PowersAugust 02, 2009

    Picture this; you were in Giverney France on your way to Monet’s Garden when a little old French lady wearing black and looking a hundred years old walks out in front of you, while you where on your bicycle sight seeing and being one with nature. You turn to miss her only to hit the edging of the pathway which landed you in a creative ditch that caused you to end up with an artist cast on your arm. The only thing the old Lady said was “bicycle no good!”

  22. Don't try to hide it..My speculation due to previous information is your injury was suffered from an arm wrestling match with Ben over various political issues :-)

  23. Margaret,
    If they only knew the real truth...
    Well here it is:
    While holding your left thumb up to get a perspective while composing another original work of art, some awe struck fool thought "this is my lucky day" upon perceiving this lovely hitchhiker, and was so smitten that his perspective went down the tubes and he hit you in his attempt to proffer you a ride!
    I guess such are the tribulations of the truly great!

    TOPIC (does that translate to tongue only partly in cheek?)

  24. YOU POOR BABY, Margaret!!

    "Did your Momie give you an aspirin?"

    My favorite commercial of a jillion years ago was of a little boy asking his playmate's mother that question!

    I'll let you use my excuse-"I was trying out my neighbor's new moped and it was about to go over the stone wall when I hit the brakes!" This was years ago , of course, and I broke my toe when I hit the GAS not the brake!

    Hope you're feeling better.

    Jane Y.

  25. Hi there, sitting here with a cast I just got this morning, still in pain and have swelling! How will I last 4-6 weeks in this cast???? I have a bad story as well so if you can lend me one of these stories that your friends wrote I would appreciate it! I live in NY and was running in the rain to catch a taxi and I swear the curb came out of nowhere and I tripped and stuck my hand out to break my fall and broke it in not one but 2 places! I sound like a klutz and just need a better story to tell my co workers when I go back to work! Feel free to type of peck one handed like I am doing now,,Dave

  26. My condolences. I feel for you!