Friday, February 24, 2012

Better safe than sorry

All winter long I've been drawing away.  Trying to build up my inventory for the upcoming show season.  And since we are leaving for Scottsdale a bit early, to enjoy some sunshine and some R & R.  But now I need to figure out which pieces to frame and /or varnish to take with me and which to leave at home.  They all won't fit in my gynormous Sprinter van.  Additionally, my mind is trying to calculate and remember all the things I'll need in addition to the art.   I leave all my display equipment in the van so I don't need to worry about that part. Clothes, sunscreen (last year I got sun burned through the van windshield on the way down!), bags, wrapping materials, drill, frame kit, show clothes, summer fun clothes, dog stuff, good knives--most rental homes have crappy ones,etc.

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

His Gaudy Vest

"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

Resolution Revisions

I'm beginning to think New Year's resolutions are not for me.  They are too vast.  And by setting so many tough resolutions, I feel like I am bound to fail.  So, I'm implementing a new plan.  A monthly revisit of what I want to accomplish.  After all, a year is a long time and I may like the opportunity to change that resolve and those goals.

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!