Thursday, June 7, 2012
We were driving to the White Sox game last night when my cell phone rang. It was Joan of the Old Town Art Fair. They found a place for me so I'll be exhibiting this weekend on Lincoln Park West. Booth number 93. I am so excited!!! Hope you can come by and visit if you are in the Chicagoland area. Show hours are 10=8 on Saturday and 10-6 on Sunday!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
I've been painting my vertical slices for about 5 years. They are done on prepared gessobord, made my ampersandart.com out of Austin, TX. And, I have a ton of fun painting the verticals. But, every once in a while, I have some great ideas that get stuck in my head for horizontals. And they (the ideas) won't leave if I don't get them out through my paintings/drawings. So, I've done a few but have been a bit unhappy about how they hang on the wall. I can solve the issue easily in the booth--thank you carpeted walls--with a bit of velcro on the back. However, I don't think many of my customers have carpeted walls and so that doesn't really help. I've tried the sawtooth hangers coupled with some felt bumpons on the bottom corners and that helps, but isn't perfect.
So, a customer of mine asked if I had ideas for hanging the piece more flush to the wall. I responded that some of my other artist friends just hung it straight on the nail. But for him, with his 3 adorable children and at least 2 dogs that I know of, I don't necessarily recommend this approach. "Seems risky" I think were his words. But, I've come up with a very simple addition to this hanging method that provides some security. So, from now on, I'll make these little notches on all my small horizontal pieces.
Basically, all I did was to use my drill and drill bit to made a small notch on the inside top of the piece, at the center point, about 1 centimeter from the outside edge. It was pretty shallow and just wide enough to fit partially on the drywall screw I angled into the wall. Then, when I hang the piece I merely feel for the notch with the screw. Gravity then holds it in place without worry that a slamming door will slide the piece off its hanger...
Friday, February 24, 2012
Additionally, I've got to figure out where to put all the extra Sprinter parts another artist suggested we carry. As it turns out, if you need a Sprinter van part and are in the middle of nowhere--a place we spend much of our driving time--most vehicle repair places don't have the parts. Well, in some cases you might actually miss a show if you can't get the part. So, thanks to my friend, Scott Swezy, and to Rees who ordered all the parts--we are hopefully prepared for those eventualities. We've got extra belts, heater hose, harmonic balancers and the like. Just in case. But I feel like I now have an auto parts store in my studio!
Friday, February 17, 2012
"Fish fine, and far off." --Charles Cotton
(From John Gay, an English poet)
When if an insect fall (his certain guide)
He gently takes him from the whirling tide:
Examines well his form with curious eyes,
His gaudy vest, his wings, his horns and size,
Then round his hook the chosen fur he winds,
And on the back a speckled feather binds,
So just the colours shine thro' ev'ry part,
That nature seems to live again in art.
Although the possessive pronoun "His" in the above poem refers to the "Gaudy Vest" of the insect, I thought that theme might be what directed my decoration of the fishing vest for Casting for Recovery. I got a little carried away with the decoration of the fishing vest. But it was fun, if perhaps a tad too time consuming. And there won't be another one of my oil pastels being had for a song at an auction. Instead, hopefully someone will get to bid on the fishing vest. Now, I did paint all of the flies, river and fish on canvas rather than directly on the vest (how does one hang a vest on an easel to paint it?) and instead of gluing the pieces on the vest, I used velcro so all the decoration could be removed. So, in theory, a person could buy the vest and remove the canvas pieces and frame them. Or they could buy the crazy vest and keep it just the way it is. What would you do with it?
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Studio work is going well. Mostly oil pastels since I haven't been applying to shows much in the painting category. I think the work I've been putting out is strong and I have some good ideas of where I would like to take it. Whether it goes with me is an entirely different story!
After watching a reality tv show about a failing restaurant, I turned to Rees and said "I can't believe this guy doesn't know the costs that go into his bread." And then I had a moment. A moment when I realized that I did not have a strong handle on the costs of my "products" either. I did at one time. But, I've upgraded the frames, my mat supplier has raised his pricing, and frankly, I don't know if my glass costs more now than it used to. In fairness to me, I am not on the verge of bankruptcy. I am making a decent living. Still, a good business person would have a handle on both fixed and variable costs involved in his/her business. And, so I am going to calculate those things out. Then, at least I'll know and won't be a pot calling the kettle black the next time I watch that silly tv show....
Oh, and by the way, my new year's resolution of "Being Nice to People" is going pretty well. I do try to get Rees to answer the phone in case it is a solicitation or something, which would probably elicit a rude response from me. But, so far, the nice thing has been pleasant. Tough when I had to hand the receipt over to the anti-theft person at Sam's door on the way out...but I did smile. Couldn't quite get myself to say anything nice but I did smile. How is that for resolve!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I thought I'd be varnishing some pieces I sprayed yesterday but with the humidity the snow brings, I think I'll wait. Lucky me, that means I get to paint....and maybe watch a little football....
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I've been preparing for a "pastel" show at the Scottsdale Exhibition Gallery for the month of February. I believe there are 5 artists total in the show. The opening is February 2. Groundhogs Day. My favorite holiday. But, I won't be attending it. Too much else to do. And, while painting/drawing/coloring for the show was a pleasure. The other preparation not so much. First, the taking and editing of all the photographs of prospective pieces. The titling. The framing. The photographs of me at the easel. The rewriting of the bio. And, then the packing! How time consuming that is. I spent a good half day yesterday just getting the inner boxes of art into the actual shipping boxes! Egads, someone needs to remind me of all the extra time that takes!
Additionally, we prepped a photo for a new business card. Thanks to some of my facebook friends for some great new ideas.
And, then my mind gets full of show schedule stuff. If shows are really good, I cannot possibly do all the shows I've been lining up. But, if they aren't so good, would I have enough inventory to do more? Or if sales are mediocre, should I even bother with some of the lesser ones. It is way to early to tell, but I will be having to send in those booth fees soon. I've got that crazy optimism--I know the shows will be good and I know I can do them all!