A Change of Season

[singlepic id=258 w=460 h=340 float=] Today is my first day home from Sausalito, my last art fair of the season. I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that summer is almost gone. Although the weather is still beautiful, it was cold when we walked into our house last night, which seemed telling. At the moment I am debating whether to go get a hoodie, as the chill has lingered. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe it will help me transition into the studio season. But the fair season has been so fantastic that it is not easy to let go.

Fantastic comes in a lot of different forms. Of course we all hope our shows will be fantastic in terms of sales. In some places, this was true. But in other areas, the economy definitely seemed to be taking its toll. All in all, I was lucky enough to have a pretty much profitable season thanks to a few shows where the patrons really came through for us. To all of you who purchased art this year, thank you. It means everything to artists.

This year was also fantastic for me in terms of recognition from show juries. I won three awards this season: the President's Award at the Edmonds Arts Festival, a Benchmark Award from Art in the High Desert (Bend, Oregon), and First Place in the Drawing Category from the Sausalito Art Festival. All awards include an invitation to exhibit at the following year's festival, so I will happily return to all three shows in 2010.

One more aspect of the show season I will miss is the fantastic camaraderie that goes with the show circuit. Every summer brings an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and I did more than my share of both this year. Over the past few seasons the shows have evolved from odd places filled with strangers to familiar haunts full of friends. With each passing year it takes longer to walk from one end of a show to the other as I stop to chat at more and more booths. And in the towns, annual traditions take root, such as shopping at Burnsies in Ketchum, eating at the Lotus in San Rafael (we ate there so often the restaurant bought our dinner on our last night in town!), and now lunch from Cafe Yumm in Bend.

Thankfully, there is still a little bit of summer left to savor. I have one more outdoor event ahead: the Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour. It promises to once again be a beautiful event and a great way to wind down the season. Much more info to come, so stay tuned.

Sausalito Art Festival 2009

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This weekend is the Sausalito Art Festival at long last. It's hard to believe the festival season is almost over. But after my one day at home after Art in the High Desert, I am packing to leave for California tomorrow. I'll be showing oils for the first time in Sausalito this year, including Serenity, above. Serenity is my most recent oil painting (save one), and was just varnished today for its first showing on Friday. In addition to Serenity, I will have lots of new work in both oil and pastel in my first double booth at Sausalito. For those that have seen me at Sausalito in the past, I will still be on the tennis courts in the farthest aisle from the show entrance. I hope to see many new and returning collectors there!

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Sausalito Art Festival

When: September 4 – 7, 2009

Where: Marinship Park, 2400 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA

Hours: Friday (Opening Gala), 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m, Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #416 (on the tennis courts, farthest row from the main entrance)

Benchmark Award at Art in the High Desert

This morning I received one of five Benchmark Awards at Art in the High Desert. The award is described as representing excellence in art, booth and display, interactions with the public and with other artists. The award is a huge honor in light of the amazing quality of work at this beautifully juried show. And best of all, I am invited back for next year!

Art in the High Desert: August 28 - 30

[singlepic id=292 w=320 h=380 float=left] This weekend I am heading to Art in the High Desert. I am very happy to be doing this show. It is only in its second year, but I have already heard wonderful things about the jury and the quality of artwork selected. Also, I know some of the artist-organizers and expect great things. As I think I mentioned here before, I missed the jury deadline for the inaugural year of the show. I had heard the show was coming, but didn't know what the name of the show would be or its jury deadline, so I missed it when it appeared on the jury submission website. As a result I am particularly thankful to be included this year, especially since it is such a small, high-quality event.

I will be bringing some new artwork, not including Shoji Study, pictured at left. I made Shoji Study last week in anticipation of the next round of shows, and sold it at Arbor Crest last weekend (thanks, Arbor Crest, for a pleasant and profitable show, and thank you to my new collectors). But I am spending the few days I have before I leave for Bend creating a few more red hydrangea pieces, so if you liked Shoji Study, don't despair.

I hope to see some of you in the High Desert this weekend!

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Art in the High Desert

When: August 28 – 30, 2009

Where: The Shops at the Old Mill, 661 Powerhouse Drive, Bend, OR

Hours: Friday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m, Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #10-11

Art and Glass Fest at Arbor Crest

[singlepic id=291 w=320 h=390 float=left]This Saturday and Sunday, August 22nd and 23rd, Arbor Crest Winery will hold its annual Art and Glass Fest. The show runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. This is a seriously fun event with lots of original art and crafts, live music, food, wine and a beautiful hilltop setting with a spectacular view of the Spokane Valley and the river. Come see me and some new paintings in pastel and oil, including one of my newest small pastels, Magnolias Study, left.

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Art & Glass Fest at Arbor Crest

When: August 22-23, 2009

Where: Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4705 N Fruit Hill Rd, Spokane, WA

Hours: Saturday – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

In Between Days

[singlepic id=289 w=320 h=460 float=left] Where has the summer gone? My friend Amy just reminded me she will start teaching again in two weeks. I am already most of the way through my show schedule. Summer has become my favorite season, but it disappears so quickly---divided among show days, travel days and in-between days. I'm taking advantage of a few of the latter at the moment, gearing up for Arbor Crest,  Bend and Sausalito with some painting. I took my new "daisy" pastels with me to Bellevue a few weeks ago, and was somewhat shocked when I sold out of them. So, my priority for the next weeks is to paint a few more for my remaining shows.

Before getting back to the studio, I had the idea to turn one of my horizontal daisy sketches on its end and make some adjustments to create a new composition. I don't have a lot of time to paint, and planning my designs can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of the process. So I worked on that for quite a while, and even made a small sketch. I liked it, but in the end it wasn't quite as inspired as I would have preferred to take to a large size. I tried tweaking the sketch some more, but eventually set it aside and started fresh. And within a very short time, I had worked out my idea for Golden Ascent, left.

This isn't the first time I've chucked an idea and started a new sketch, when I really just wanted to get into the studio and paint. Now that I think about it, some of my favorite and perhaps strongest work has come out of similar situations. I think my tendency when clearing the slate is to go simpler in my designs. While Golden Ascent isn't simple in every respect, the overall concept of the winged shape is. This is especially intriguing to me at this moment, because on a whim last week I purchased and read the book, "In Pursuit of Elegance" by Matthew May.  I don't want to give too much away, because it is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. But in essence it is about editing, leaving out, clearing the mind of the urge to solve problems by adding. My latest pastel drove the point home nicely.

For a few more examples of my favorite simplified designs, go here.

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Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival

[singlepic id=130 w=460 h=420 float=left] This upcoming weekend is the Sun Valley art festival and I am so happy to be on my way there. Sun Valley is always a great show for me in so many ways. The collectors are wonderful, the show staff is extremely organized and helpful, and we always see several artist friends. Not to mention KB's, my favorite burrito place away from home. Their tofu soft taco with miso sauce is amazing. I'm getting hungry already.

This year I'm bringing oil paintings, including Red Skies, left, to SV. I've only shown pastels there in the past so I'm excited to be showing a new medium. And, of course, I'll have plenty of new pastel work too. If you are planning to be at the show and want to see a particular piece of art, please contact me by Tuesday. I may already have the work with me, but if not I just might be able to talk Paul into bringing it when he meets me there.

 

The details:

Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival

When: August 7 – 9, 2009

Where: Atkinson Park, 900 3rd Ave., Ketchum, ID

Hours: Friday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #G8-G9 

Park City-Kimball Arts Festival

The Park City-Kimball Arts festival is this weekend!

Park City Kimball Arts Festival

When: July 31 – August 2, 2009

Where: 638 Park Ave, Park City, UT

Hours: Friday (preview) 6 – 9 p.m.,  Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #165

Thanks Bellevue!

[singlepic id=288 w=460 h=360 float=] The Bellevue Arts Museum show was a great success for me, and this year I am especially grateful. I know this would be a very easy time to cut back on art purchases, but Bellevue came out and supported artists in a big way. I had a great time selling art, meeting new collectors and catching up with established ones, and seeing some old friends as well. Thanks again to everyone who came out.

In fact this year, Bellevue went beyond the scheduled three days for me. After driving home to Spokane, I turned around and drove back two days later to deliver a painting to a wonderful new collector, who met me at the halfway point between Spokane and Seattle. I was thrilled that this young couple ended up with this particular painting. It was a happy ending to a story that was oddly typical of Bellevue this year.

In this case my new collectors had just missed out on a small pastel study they wanted to buy. Undaunted, they asked me about possible commissions. Later the same evening, they looked at my work online and discovered that I had made a large oil painting from the small study they has seen earlier, and as it turned out, they really needed a large piece anyway. So we made arrangements to meet before I left for my next shows and the rest is history. But not every incident like this turned out so well.

For as many pieces as I had in my booth this year (photo, above), I was astonished at how many times multiple people would want the same piece. One customer would see a piece they wanted, but decide to do some shopping and come back for it later. Meanwhile someone who had seen the same piece earlier would come back and buy it within minutes of the other person's return. My husband and I were marveling at this, and trying to understand it. Perhaps the amount of work in the booth caused people to feel confident no one else would want "their" piece. Or perhaps the purchase is such a big decision that people prefer to leave it up to fate---if it's still there when they return it was meant to be.

It just seems to be the way it works that if one person loves a piece of art, several others will love the same piece. It was so hard to watch the disappointment when someone just missed the one they really wanted. But that's the nature, and the value, of one-of-a-kind work. I know I certainly have missed out on my share of things by hesitating. So I have resolved in the future to keep this in mind, and I hope some of you will do too: if you truly love it, buy it. You may only get one chance.

Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair - July 24-25-26

[singlepic id=277 w=320 h=360 float=left]The Bellevue Arts Museum Artsfair is this weekend! Bellevue is the only show this year where I will not have oils, so I have saved some of my best new pastels for the occasion. Dancing Half Moon, left, is one of the pastels which will make its premier appearance in Bellevue. This is always one of my best shows, so I am very excited to return. Just a bit more packing to do and we will be ready to head out in the morning!

Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair

When: July 24 – 26, 2009

Where: Bellevue Square parking garage, 510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA

Hours: Friday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels

Booth #J-8 (Straight west from the Information Booth, in the parking garage)

Out of the Studio and on to the Road

[singlepic id=286 w=460 h=400 float=] After a very enjoyable week in the studio, it is time to face the prospect of seven weeks with no studio time at all. Art Fair Season is now upon me.

With that in mind, I've tried to get the most out of the last few weeks at home. As I mentioned previously, I've lined up some gallery shows for next year. So over this last week I made a large painting specifically for my oils show (to make me feel like I've gotten a head start, I suppose). Lacewing (detail, above) is the result of my efforts. Not a very good photo, I'm afraid---I took it in the studio with absolutely the wrong lighting and lots of glare. As a bonus, my studio is so small I can't actually get far enough away from the painting to photograph the whole thing. Thus the detail shot. But, considering the quality of the photo, that's probably for the best.

And that will undoubtedly be my last new painting post for a while. It's time to head to the basement and reprise my role as Framing Troll in preparation for the next several weeks. Beginning with the Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair next weekend, I will have an art fair every weekend save one until after Labor Day (and Sausalito). For the complete schedule click here.

I'm very excited to get out there and do my shows, but I'm pretty sure the magnitude of the travel schedule hasn't quite hit me yet. Not to worry, it will soon enough.

Serenity

[singlepic id=284 w=460 h=362 float=] Serenity is both the title of my newest pastel study, and what I hope to find a bit of in my studio for the next few weeks. My next show, Bellevue Arts Museum, isn't until the last full weekend in July and I hope to get some serious painting done between now and then. My goal for next week is to use this study for an oil painting to take to Bend and/or Sausalito later this summer, although I realize I will be pushing it for drying time. It's not as if I don't have plenty of oils to take with me already. I do, however, have other shows coming up, and I guess I'm just never quite satisfied with what I have. I suppose that's to be expected in a situation where a sale requires having just the right piece in front of just the right person at the right time. Small wonder artists are constantly second-guessing themselves. Or are they? Is it just me?

See what I mean?

President's Award at Edmonds

[singlepic id=283 w=360h=300 float=left] This past weekend was the Edmonds Arts Festival, and I enjoyed a laid-back four days including great booth neighbors, visits with old friends and collectors, and re-familiarizing myself with the smell of the ocean (much needed). The weather mostly cooperated, and I made it through setup and tear down without ripping out the stitches I received after a freak utility knife accident during my preparations for travel. All in all not too bad, but I must say the possible highlight of the weekend was receiving the President's Award for my booth. Not only is the award an obvious honor, but possibly better still, it came with the single most ginormous ribbon I have ever laid eyes upon (see photo for scale---the Pro Panel wall is seven feet high). Now I need to figure out what to do with it... maybe someday when I have a bigger studio, I'll have room to display it. Not likely anytime soon, but a girl can dream, right?

Edmonds is this Weekend

[singlepic id=282 w=460 h=360 float=] See my pastels and oils at the Edmonds Arts Festival this weekend:

Edmonds Arts Festival

When: June 19 - 21, 2009

Where: Frances Anderson Park, 700 Main St, Edmonds, WA

Hours: Friday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #22 (O’Keefe Blvd along Main St.)

Above: my booth at last year's show.

Back in the Studio, For the Moment

[singlepic id=281 w=320 h=360 float=left] Artfest left me a bit disconnected for the last week or so. There's something about starting the fair season that really messes with my painting mojo. Invariably I return from the show with a great to-do list of details missed during initial preparations. This time it was price tag holders, an extra naugahyde baseboard and a few other things apparently too inconsequential to remember at this writing. I can't seem to shift gears out of show-prep mode after the show, so I tackle these projects instead of doing what it is that I think I am supposed to be doing, i.e., painting. After finishing those items and still feeling incapable of entering the studio, I moved on to more framing, sending out packets to persons of interest in the art world, and unexpectedly getting together a group of paintings for a new gallery

I'm finally back at the easel (at least somewhat) this week. I just finished Lacewing Study, shown here, which may be the beginning of a large pastel or oil. I hope to complete a few more small pieces in the next few days, but then it's off to Edmonds. Hopefully my recovery time will improve this go-around. Riiiiiiight.

Artfest 2009

[singlepic id=280 w=460 h=360 float=] Thanks to everyone who came down to Artfest this year. It was a fantastic show. I had fun, saw lots of friends, met some great new people, and of course sold some art.

One of my favorite stories from this weekend involved one of my very first and most loyal collectors. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that she mentioned a piece of work she saw on my website which she thought was long gone. It turned out I still had the painting, and collector and painting were united at last! I am so happy she ended up with it---things just could not have turned out any better.

Also, I may soon have some more gallery show news. I have a few things in the works and will post again when details are more concrete. All in all, an extremely fun and productive weekend. Next stop, Edmonds, Washington!

(Above: this year's booth at Artfest with oils and pastels.)

Artfest is Today!

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Artfest

When: May 29 - 31, 2009

Where: Coeur d'Alene Park, 2nd & Chestnut, Spokane, WA 

Hours: Friday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

What I'm bringing: Pastels and Oils

Booth #47 (fourth row from Second Ave. facing north, toward the east end of the show.)

Artfest Week!

Finally, it's the first week of my official show season. Artfest (Spokane, WA) starts on Friday. I'm finishing up my framing, varnishing oil paintings, making price tags, doing those last-minute organizing things that I never seem to finish, and hoping I still remember how to back up a trailer. Two days to setup! Whoo-hoo! Above, a photo from last year's Artfest. This year I'm in booth #47. Hope to see many of you there!

Getting Small

[singlepic id=278 w=320 h=420 float=left]With my first show of the season only two weeks away, I've been spending some time on my traditional last-minute activities: framing and miniature pastels. Actually not so much with the framing, as it is not exactly my favorite thing to do. So I'm procrastinating a bit. But in a good way. Anyone who has been in my booth at one of my shows has probably seen the basket of miniature pastels on my desk. I've been making these for a few years now. They are tiny, either 4" x 6" or 6" x 9", matted and ready to pop into a standard-size frame. I started because I wanted to offer original art that would be accessible to just about anyone. Not everybody comes to an art fair having budgeted for a major work of art, and not everyone has room for one. But if someone walks into my space and likes the art, this way they can take home something handmade and original without digging too deeply into their budget or their wall space. (I did try offering reproductions for about a minute and a half, but this is much more fun.)

So, every year about this time I spend a week replenishing my miniature basket. I love it. The pieces are simple and fairly quick to make. Plus it means it's almost time to get out there and start the summer!

(Hazy Day, above, is one of this year's crop of miniatures. It is 6" x 9".)