Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Halfway Mark

I just realized that I have finished 5 shows and I have 5 more to go. I reduced my season this year; due to my gallery show (back in April) and teaching gigs, I didn't think I could handle my usual number of shows. With the "recession" (oh my goodness how I hate to utter that word out loud), I didn't quite know what to expect but I have been blessed with abundance all year long.

Until now, that is.

Geneva was not kind to me or to others. I know a few people who did ok. But not me.
If you read my blog regularly, you usually read my Pollyanna point of view and sure, I am all that. But today I am going to share some of the guts of this business with you and tell it like it is.

The booth fee for the Geneva show was $280. Gas costs were approximately $120 . I shared a Priceline hotel with a friend. My part was $140. I ate. Duh. Not a lot, my food was maybe $100 because I packed some of my own stuff.

I had one sale. $285. I think this was my worst show ever, like in all the years I've been doing shows. Peoria (click here for my write up) wasn't even this bad. Nor was that crazy Boca Raton Museum show, back in 2006. That's the one where the dogs were wearing better clothes than me.

Yep, I lost money. Sometimes I think that artists are just insanely optimistic. Doing the shows feels a little bit like gambling. Except its a lot more work. Drive 6 hours, set up tent. Sit with work for 2 days. Keep smile on face. Do not show desperation. Tear down tent. Drive home.

You should see the bruises on my legs, from bashing myself with tent poles (ok, ok, so I'm a klutz). My back and neck are killing me from the drive and the tension of it all. And I am just so thoroughly bummed out. My next show is Lake Geneva, WI. I am very pleased that I'll be staying with a friend and I've asked John to come with me. I know I can do the tent part myself, but I need him for emotional reasons as I'm feeling a little raw right now.

On a happier note, here is a pic of me and Crystal Neubauer. She is my new stalker. I say that with great affection cause you know years ago Beth was my stalker? And look at how we ended up being great friends! Anyhoo, I love it when folks come to see me. It is especially nice to see a friendly face when I am having a cruddy show. So thanks Crystal & Larry.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer days or daze

I haven't written anything substantive for awhile, so this is long overdue, this stream of consciousness hodge podge. Last week I mentioned that I was busy, well.....actually I was busy relaxing at the beach with family and friends. We went to the Outer Banks, which just happens to be one of my favorite places on earth.

Take one beach house. Add 2 kids, 1 dog, 8 adults (including one who is a pastry chef). Mix with steady wave action, low 80's, no humidity. Sprinkle with boogie boards and sand dunes. What do you get!??! Ah.......perfection on earth. Just couldn't have been any better.

This is me playing with my baby watercolor set and seaweed. I did a few "plein aire" paintings and that was fun for a change.

Here are "goodies" that Deb made for us. I ate a chocolate covered brownie with my coffee each morning for breakfast - can you say YUM!! And those almond cookies.....oh my!

Ian, age 4, was adorable on the beach. He is a little tentative (as you might expect) but this picture pretty much says it all.

And Aidan, jumping age 7, he was the optimal age for the full beach experience and we had to practically drag him out of the water he loved it so much.

I got back home and switched into art mode. I was just so inspired that I launched into a million things at once which is pretty typical when I get energized. Or maybe manic is a better word?

In addition to the "real" art, I've been decorating and painting - guest bathroom and bedroom.

As you read this, I am doing a show in Geneva, IL, then I'm home for maybe 12 days! I can't wait.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Head Case

Remember all those heads I made back in January, the ones that were centerpieces for a fundraiser? Well, I am teaching a class at Chesterfield Arts on Saturday, August 1st. Click here if you want to register. You'll find the class listed under the Adult section. I promise you it will be fun. There is something strangely addictive about decorating these heads. I think I enjoy them so much because I can let all my personalities come out and play, tee, hee, hee.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ties That Bind

I am pleased to announce Ties That Bind, the book (!!!) is now available. Remember the doll - you can click the link in my sidebar to buy auction tickets - well, there is a book now which shows lots of the art, plus inspirational writings. All the profits go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Click here for a link to the book. You can preview some pages and also order a soft or hardcover edition.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Scenic Route

I just finished reading the book, The Scenic Route, by Binnie Kirshenbaum. Lately I have had a tough time with fiction, preferring a steady diet of memoirs. This book, however, held my interest. Its a simple tale so beautifully crafted that I savored every single word. You can click here to find out more from the author's website. And me? I'm heading off to my library's website so I can request one of her previous novels.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sorry for no posts, I am otherwise disposed at the moment.
Life is very very good right now.....more later.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Artistic Process and Progress

I like to read about how other artists approach their work. I am especially interested in how they think and enjoy watching the progression and development of their art.

Signe Grushovenko and her hubby Genna are art fair buddies of mine. I haven't even seen them this year, but I am proud to own one of their paintings. Check out Signe's blog to see a fascinating photo log; she has revisited the same scene (think Monet with haystacks) a number of times over the past years and it is cool to see how her work has changed during this time.

It made me think of something Jonathan Talbot told a class (back in 2001 when I studied with him). One of the girls in our class had made an especially successful collage. Jonathan congratulated her on the piece and told her to go back to her studio and make 50 more. I was a baby artist in those days and was kind of shocked when he said that. But I get it now.

Do it, do it and do it again. Own it.
Haystacks, baby.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

You don't spit into the wind

I've been taking spitting lessons for several months now. Yep, its true. John is teaching me. I don't know what it is about men, why spitting comes so naturally to them. Its almost like women with the laundry buzzer, like why does it come naturally to me to instantly respond?

Anyhoo, when I first met John we jogged together and he would always spit while he was jogging. I had never spit in public before but I tried it and hmmm, made good sense. Especially while jogging. Lately however, I have wanted to be able to spit further, like really spit, maybe even aim my spit, you know what I mean?

John and I frequently walk to the creek that runs behind our neighborhood. It is a daily visitation for me, part of my walk, I always stand on the bridge and check out the fish. If John happens to be with me, he will spit way out into the creek and the fish will swim to the surface. I want to be able to do that too. He has tried to show me, but it never fails that I will get my spit all organized in my mouth but then completely s-p-r-a-y it all over with only a droplet or two even making it into the creek. And that's if I'm lucky. I am a shotgun spitter. John is a rifle spitter.

Today we were walking in a fine misty rain. It was lovely really, a cool morning and the mist felt delightful on my skin. I decided to jog ahead and took off running. Which is when I turned my head to spit to the left......and ended up spitting on my own shoulder. don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Jim......

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Demo of Claybord Techniques

Another Flip video for your pleasure......I will cover these techniques (and many many more) at Valley Ridge and at Squam this fall. Click on their links in the sidebar to register for classes. I am thrilled about teaching at both these amazing locations, oooh la la. The Valley Ridge class will be especially nice since it is 2 days and we can really get into lots and lots of stuff, the whole enchilada so to speak.