Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour THIS SATURDAY!

[singlepic id=444 w=260 h=240 float=left] Join me and twenty-three other professional artists at five studios this weekend at the Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour. This wonderful event just keeps getting better!

Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour

ONE DAY ONLY: Saturday, September 25, 10 – 5

Studio tour map

Google map to Hulda’s studio

Sausalito Art Festival

[singlepic id=436 w=320 h=440 float=left] It's hard to believe the season is almost done! Sausalito Art Festival is the last of four shows in four weekends, and my final festival of 2010. We're at our hotel, digesting the first of probably several dinners from Lotus Indian Cuisine in San Rafael, and waiting to set up the booth in the morning. This is a fun and busy show and I'm excited to sell some paintings and meet my fellow traveling artist friends one last time this summer. Of course I just ran into half of them in the parking lot after retrieving a missing bra from the car, but that's pretty much how it goes, isn't it?

Anyway, here's the pertinent info:

Sausalito Art Festival When: September 3 – 6, 2010 Where: Marinship Park, 2400 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA Hours: Friday (Opening Gala), 6:15 p.m. - ?, Saturday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m, Monday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. What I’m bringing: Pastels and Oils Booth #310

Art in the High Desert

[singlepic id=422 w=320 h=320 float=left] Art in the High Desert starts Friday! I'm so looking forward to this small, beautiful, and beautifully-juried show. If you're in the Bend, Oregon area, please stop by!

Art in the High Desert

When: August 27 – 29, 2010 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 #14-15

Art and Glass Fest at Arbor Crest

[singlepic id=435 w=320 h=360 float=left] Art and Glass Fest at Arbor Crest is this weekend. I'll be in my usual spot right by the entrance, with some new work in both oil and pastel, plus a few "classics" for a change of scenery (I spend a lot of time looking at my paintings all summer!) Arbor Crest is a beautiful winery, and the weekend promises to be beautiful as well. I hope to see you there!

Art & Glass Fest at Arbor Crest When: August 21-22, 2010 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

The Trials of Unpaid Help

[singlepic id=434 w=460 h=360 float=] So that's it for Sun Valley. As always it was beautiful, fun and a bit sleepy.

Luckily it was a bit better for me than last year, when I bought a double booth space and seriously regretted it. This year I decided to minimize costs and make the most of a single space by going up. I extended the tent, and finally put to use the extension walls I bought from another artist at this very show.

Problem was, I bought the walls so long ago I didn't remember exactly what came with them. More to the point, I forgot. I quickly realized as I went to put up the first extension that a crucial piece of hardware was missing. We looked in the box, and found a single item rolling around the bottom---a steel pin with a ridge around the middle. Unfortunately, I needed eight. At that moment I could picture them, in their little case on a shelf in our basement, ten hours northwest.

There was NO WAY I was going to have gone to all the trouble to raise the tent and not use those walls, so we set off to find a replacement in a town without a hardware store. My husband Paul was less than thrilled about this. It turned out to be with good reason.

After a frustrating time looking through densely crowded aisles, he finally spotted some turnbuckles at the local drug/hardware/variety store that appeared to be about the circumference of our pin, except with a hexagonal profile. Thinking the ridges might make the turnbuckles a bit too big, he picked up a file to take off any extra material. I thought they would fit just fine as-is but bought the file, just in case. TWO HOURS of "just in case" later Paul finally finished filing the ridges off of seven, much-tougher-than-they-looked aluminum tubes. The walls went up.

And after that very long, hot and trying setup, Paul had the grace to tell me the booth looked "awesome." Thank you, Paul. Your patience is epic.

p.s.

Later that day we learned that as much as our setup sucked, it could have been worse. Our friend Jody, a jeweler, realized halfway through setup that she had forgotten a crucial part of her display. She actually drove home to get it before the show opened the next morning---four hours each direction. What a life.

Sun Valley Center Arts & Crafts Festival

[singlepic id=431 w=460 h=240 float=] Friday the 13th kicks off the 2010 Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival! This is one of my longest-running art fair traditions: it will be my fifth consecutive year in the show. I am so excited!

I have to admit last year was a little rough to say the least. The area appeared to be hit hard by the economy, and between that and the unusual stormy weather, attendance was way down. As were my sales. Upon leaving I swore I would skip this year. But, as the jury deadline drew near, suddenly I could only remember how much fun the show is and how much I love the scenery, and the KB burritos, and the people running the show, and the other artist regulars. So much for that!

(OK, I'm having a major deja vu right now. I must be repeating myself from an earlier post. But hey. This is my Sun Valley story at the moment.)

So beyond all the drama previously mentioned, I'll be showing pastels and oils again, including some new work such as Raintree Study No.3, above. I'll also be debuting a taller tent, since I can't stop messing with my display. My original set of Pro Panels included some wall extensions and I realized that with my latest redesign I can actually use them, so I'll be giving that a spin. My long-suffering booth and I hope to see you there!

If you plan to go, here's the pertinent info:

Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival When: August 13- 15, 2010 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 #G-5

Bellevue Arts Museum Artsfair

[singlepic id=419 w=320 h=460 float=left] The Bellevue Artsfair starts this Friday and I couldn't be happier. It's been a long break between shows for summer, so I'm anxious to get back. And Bellevue is one of the best!

This year I'm thrilled to be showing my oil paintings along with my pastels for the first time in Bellevue. And I will have a lot of them after I take down the Metamorphosis show from the Kress Gallery on Wednesday. Show weeks are always busy, but this is especially crazy... after spending today framing and delivering my Alice in Wonderland piece to the Tinman Gallery, I have to take down shows at Pacific Garden Design tomorrow and the Kress on Wednesday before loading the car for the show. Plus the usual million little pre-show details like price tags and artwork lists. And covering my entire studio in plastic so my upstairs neighbor can sand his floors.

SO. Anyway. If you're in the Seattle/Bellevue area this Friday-Saturday-Sunday, come by the Artsfair! It's an amazing show and I will have more new and different work than ever before. The details:

Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair When: July 23 – 25, 2010 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 and Oils Booth # J-08

And Now For Something Completely Different

[singlepic id=416 w=320 h=420 float=left] [singlepic id=415 w=320 h=420 float=] Despite more than the normal amount of the Traditional Artfest Rain, Artfest was a great weekend. Friday (the rainiest day) gave artists a chance to catch up with one another. At length. But Saturday and Sunday brought sun and crowds! Thanks to all my customers and friends who support my art habit. Also a big thanks to the Artfest jurors, who honored me with the Tinman Gallery 2-D Merit Award. So nice to know I will be returning to a show that is clearly on the upswing. Which brings me to my last big thank you, again to the jurors, who picked a high-quality, even show.

But, Artfest is over and it's great to get back to the studio! I've missed it lately, since some soundproofing has been going on with the ceiling and everything has been piled up under plastic sheets. But with almost two months until my next show, it was time to put the construction on hold and make the studio back into a studio again.

Art fair season can really mess with creative energy, as getting outside and fiddling with the booth plays perfectly into spring fever. On the flip side, getting to the shows and actually selling some art is the best motivator I know to go paint. This week I played with an idea I've had for a while now, resulting in the two "Raintree" pastels pictured above. They will serve as studies for oil paintings which will, hopefully, be ready in time for Sun Valley.

And, the idea of stopping at twenty-four Teacup Oils is out the window. The Teacup Oils have been to exactly one show and I am already down NINE! So six more mini-canvases are stretched, gessoed and waiting for paint and tea-licious titles. Barely back in the studio and there's more on my plate than I can probably finish before Bellevue. All or nothing... that's the art life.

p.s. Many of the paintings from my booth at Artfest plus a few more are on display at Pacific Garden Design through mid-July. PGD is open to the public, but if you plan to go, give them a call first to be sure someone is there! It's a beautiful space with amazing pots for sale (and garden design, of course).

Artfest Starts This Friday!

[singlepic id=413 w=460 h=240 float=] Artfest is upon us! Opening this Friday at noon, it runs through Sunday. I'll be there as usual (still don't know what booth!) with new pastels and oil paintings, including my new Teacup Oils - little 6" x 6" x 2" canvases painted on five sides and named after delicious tea flavors both real and imaginary. (Pomegranate Twist, Chamomile Bliss and Guava Mint are shown above)

Something new: this year I will be donating 1% of art festival sales to the ASPCA. I'm calling it my ASPCA Summer of Love. I get asked for a lot of donations every summer from various arts organizations, many of which I know nothing about. This year I decided to choose where my donations went. Since I love animals enough not to eat or wear them, the ASPCA seemed like a good place to start. More on this later.

In the meantime, come to Artfest, enjoy the day, and support the arts by buying real art from real artists!

Artfest

When: June 4 – 6, 2010

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.

Back from Belleville

[singlepic id=403 w=460 h=360 float=] Last weekend was the show In Belleville, Illinois, and we are back and pretty much recovered. Belleville is a three-day drive from Spokane, if you drive ten-hour days. We drove down in two days. I do not recommend this.

Horrendous drive aside, we arrived to find a very nice little show with a very high quality of art and one of the most helpful groups of volunteers I have ever encountered. This show staff treats artists like rock stars that they think are too skinny. Despite all the work of setting up and working an art fair, I think I actually gained weight with the constant barrage of treats (including homemade cookies in the shape of a #1 to commemorate the shows national ranking).

Once we opened up the booth Friday night (photo of my inexplicably Hello-Kitty-Pink booth above), the supportive and savvy local art collectors quickly relieved me of some of my prized work. The show drew large crowds Friday and Sunday. On rainy Saturday, when the masses stayed home, serious buyers braved the weather relieved to have the show more or less to themselves.

[singlepic id=404 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=406 w=260 h=240 float=left] Sunday morning I unzipped the tent to be startled by a pair of mourning doves fluttering and flapping around the ceiling, perching on my walls and critiquing my paintings. As much as they seemed to disapprove of the art, they very much liked the tent, and refused to budge. We had to leave them there during the artists' breakfast and shoo them out later that morning. Fortunately Sprayway glass cleaner is a good multi-tasker.

The show went well overall which made for a pleasant ride home. During our more leisurely three-day return trip, we saw some sights that in a former life as a T-shirt illustrator, I drew repeatedly and ad nauseum: the Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Sturgis. We even stopped in at Wall Drug. I had no idea you could see all of them in one day. If only I had seen a wolf, that day would have been complete, because yes, in my past life, I made WOLF SHIRTS. How cool am I.

Onward.

(p.s. I documented this show from the road on my Facebook fan page. To follow future odysseys, "like" my page here.)

Evolution of an Art Fair Booth, Part Three. Seriously.

[singlepic id=398 w=460 h=380 float=] After last year I was absolutely done with my art fair booth. No more changes. Ha.

As always on the long trip back from Sausalito last year, Paul and I, sick of tedious setups and tear-downs, discussed how we could make things easier. Of course it would be easiest to just skip all the extra stuff I've added, set up the Pro Panels and be done with it. But if you have read my previous stories (rants? storants?) about how all of that came to be, you may understand that at this point I am kind of attached to the look.

So how, without sacrificing the basic feel of the booth, to make things easier? Well, we came up with a plan. And although this plan will admittedly make life easier in future, it did definitely NOT make my life easier the past few weeks.

First order of business was to redesign the naugahyde "baseboards." The current ones were frankly a giant pain in the ass to unpack, wrap on the walls, then unwrap and re-pack for every show. Worse yet, despite all my loving care and handmade individual flannel bags (yes really), they were starting to look pretty bad. The stain that I spent weeks putting on over the past few years was, predictably, coming off.

[singlepic id=402 w=250 h=240 float=left] I think it was Paul who came up with the idea to make one permanent "baseboard" per wall that stayed on at all times---brilliant! So, back to the upholstery store for about a mile of new, copper naugahyde that DID NOT NEED TO BE STAINED. Yay. Then I had only to cut then sew about 300 (really maybe 16) loops of the stuff, pop them on the bottoms of the walls, and hot glue foam inside to keep them from sagging. Oh, then go back to the upholstery store for 15 yards of bungee cord to keep them from sliding down from the weight of the foam. And... six months later... Done! (OK, so the breakdown on that was actually 5-1/2 months of procrastination and maybe two weeks of actual work. But still.)

[singlepic id=399 w=220 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=400 w=220 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=401 w=250 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=396 w=250 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=397 w=250 h=240 float=left] Then, on to the wooden top rails. They looked pretty nice and were in good shape, but had problems of their own. They were unwieldy to transport, and my original design severely limited wall arrangement options. Every year I made more and more rails to gain a few more possible booth layouts, until eventually at each show we ended up storing almost as many as we used. They needed to be modular, to be one-size-fits-all. I took on this problem, and after a few days came up with a design inspired by a combination of Greene and Greene's Gamble House stairwell and Tinkertoys.

The new design had one separate top rail for each wall, all the same, all interchangeable. Various simple connectors---straight, corner, and end pieces---would hold everything together. The scary part: the new rails would be made from the old ones. After that first chop there would be no turning back. Terrified, I procrastinated even longer than for the baseboards. But with a show just a few weeks away I was out of time. Luckily, after a week or so more of cutting, routing, drilling, sanding and staining, I now have a simple lightweight system that looks surprisingly not so different from the original. And as a special bonus, I still have all of my fingers! Hooray!

Finally, Major Booth Revision Number Three is complete. Today I took advantage of my trial run to take some booth photos for next year's show entries (see top of this post). So that's it then. No more booth revisions. No "Evolution Part Four." That's a promise to me.

Want more? Read Evolution of an Art Fair Booth Part 1 and Part 2.

Sun Valley and Artfest: The Jury is In

[singlepic id=377 w=460 h=320 float=] This week has ended on a definite high note. Yesterday, I finished the last of my twelve miniature oil paintings. Today, I got invited to bring them to Sun Valley and Artfest. Nice! Of course I'll be bringing pastels, too. But at this stage, getting in with oils still feels like an accomplishment.

A confession: I very nearly didn't send in my application to Sun Valley this year. Last year the show was a little rough for me, to say the least. Economic troubles hit the area hard, and we artists definitely felt it. I vowed to be strong and wait a year before applying again. But months later, after some profitable shows and a long winter, I caved at first sight of a jury deadline notice. Because whatever else it may be, Sun Valley is seriously fun. And I was NOT going to risk missing out on a KB burrito---not deliberately, anyway.

But first, there's Artfest. Or not, actually. For the first time ever, Artfest---my mellow, ease-me-into-the-season hometown show---is not first on my schedule. By the time Artfest rolls around this year, I'll have opened my oils exhibit at the Kress Gallery in Spokane, then driven to Illinois and back for Art on the Square. I sure hope I can adjust to all of these gold-plated problems, as my friend Vicky describes them. I'm looking forward to trying. Just a few more "little" projects to get through beforehand. But that's a story for another day.

(Above: three of the twelve miniature oils, currently untitled. What can I say, I'm busy.)

Getting Small Redux

[singlepic id=376 w=320 h=460 float=left] Now after all this business about going big, it's time to go the other direction. Last week I ordered some tiny canvas stretchers the same depth as my large canvases, making some nice, chunky little 6" x 6" x 2" supports for a dozen soon-to-be paintings.

I've always really enjoyed small work. I love the idea of tucking an original painting into a bookcase, a mantel, a windowsill or a hundred other unexpected spots.

Since I began selling at art fairs, I've always included some miniature version of my work in an effort to make original art available for a relatively low price (and for those avid collectors without another inch of available wall space). Although I did offer some reproductions of my work the first year, I decided to discontinue them and focus exclusively on original art. While the miniature originals may not be quite so potentially profitable as repros, I feel good about making them. I also find that I get along much better with my printmaking neighbors at shows.

Up to now my only miniature works have been in pastel, but since I began showing oils, it followed that I should make oil minis as well. The little canvases pictured at left will be my first efforts. I've always loved the almost-sculptural look of chunky, cubular little paintings. I'm so excited to see how they turn out. I'll post some favorites soon!

A little bit of this...

[singlepic id=368 w=460 h=320 float=] Things feel a little scattered now... I have the neverending cold and only made it to the studio sporadically this week. I did manage to complete my oil version of Springrise (above), which felt pretty good under the circumstances. It was one of those paintings that just falls off the fingers, then in what should have been the last few minutes I went too far with part of it and had to wipe it down and start over---twice. I was afraid I wouldn't finish at all today which was pretty annoying considering I expected to walk in, dab at it a few times and walk away victorious. I just kept thinking of John Singer Sargent as I wiped at it with my Gamsol-soaked rag... he is reputed to have wiped down parts of his amazing paintings multiple times to keep that "fresh" look to his brushstrokes. It's scary, but it works. I ended up somewhat happier in the end. Sargent, on the other hand, ended up with Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Onward.

And now for something completely different...

It's not really news per se, but I just got my acceptance email for Art in the High Desert. After last year's Benchmark Award, I knew I would be in the show, but I have to say it's still exciting to get that "Congratulations!" email. Especially if you are a Big Dork. But I'm not naming names.

More on the subject of Big Dorks...

I'm loving my studio right now. It is packed with fresh art, just like it usually is this time of year. I think it's more noticeable this time, perhaps, because unlike my previous studio, it started out big and empty. A 10' x 11' room can only look so empty with two shelving units, a desk, a table, a taboret, two easels, two air purifiers, photographic light stands, a roll of canvas, a chair, a few rugs and various and sundry leftover drawings. But 675 square feet can swallow up all that plus that much more again and still seem cavernous. Which is why I was hit with a little teeny tiny bit of dread recently... soon there will be festivals and shows to hang and all the paintings will be gone and it will be empty again. Which is always just a little bit sad.

For photos of the studio as it looked last week,[singlepic id=370 w=320 h=240 float=]

[singlepic id=369 w=320 h=240 float=]

[singlepic id=371 w=320 h=240 float=]

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Meanwhile, at the Tiki Lounge...

[singlepic id=361 w=320 h=460 float=left] Okay, so it's not really a tiki lounge. It's just my studio, although I have toyed with the idea of adding a grass skirt to my framing table and occasional bar. In any case, I just whipped up another of my little cocktails (i.e. little 10" x 20" oil paintings named for vintage drinks).

Ruby Fizz, left, is now both a painting of a red hydrangea and a crazy old cocktail involving sloe gin, grenadine and egg whites. I confess I've never had a Ruby Fizz, though I might just see what happens if I order one this weekend. I'm intrigued.

I found the recipe in my own cocktail book, but found this gem of a recipe book here as well. (WANT!)

As for my own Ruby Fizz, it will be served soon at an art fair (possibly) near you!

Villafranca

[singlepic id=360 w=320 h=460 float=left] Between the Pastel 100 coming out and my acceptance to Art on the Square, I thought I probably had better get my butt over to the pastel side of the studio for a bit. I'd been having too much fun painting in oils, and was getting into a pretty nice groove there. But no matter how many hundred pastels I might have on hand, the first early shows going onto my schedule always seem to induce unnecessary and unreasonable panic.

So I rolled with it and made a few small pastel pieces first, then Villafranca, left, which I named after an obscure species of lemon. The piece looked... well... lemony, and sort of Mediterranean, and the name seemed to capture both aspects. I wasn't even through with it before I was back on the oil side, though---seized with panic yet again as I realized I may have oil shows while most of my oil work is hanging in the Kress gallery.

The drama never ceases.

Art on the Square

More good news! I've added a new show for 2010: Art on the Square in Belleville, Illinois. This show has been ranked #1 in the country by the Art Fair Sourcebook (the art fair artists' version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). It's going to be a long trip, but I am so excited to do my first-ever midwest show. By the way, I only got juried in with pastels. The competition to get into this tiny but excellent show is tough!

Bellevue Arts Museum artsfair

[singlepic id=356 w=320 h=460 float=left] I am so happy right now! I just learned that I have been juried in to the Bellevue Arts Museum show again. This year, not only did I get in with my pastels, I get to show my oil paintings! This is a first for me in Bellevue, one of my very favorite shows to do. To celebrate, I've decided it's time to fire up the Art Fairs 2010 page. Then I think I'd better get some painting done.

(Left: Frost Line, one of my newest oils. See it at the Kress Gallery in May.)

Digging In

[singlepic id=343 w=460 h=340 float=] Things are starting to happen in the new studio! After spending a weekend moving in (enough to start painting, anyway) I got to work on my first oil painting in my new digs. It went surprisingly fast, which I have decided to attribute to the good energy in the room. Pretty impressive for a 100+-year-old basement. I would have expected something, well... spooky. But it is just the opposite---cozy and inviting.

Shiva (above) practically painted itself. It is not completed in the photo, but it was finished maybe an hour after that. One more piece ready for the Kress Gallery show in May! By the way, I do plan to start posting my more professional-looking "official" art photos again soon. One side effect of my ongoing move has been to separate my art and workspace from my usual photography spot, but I'll get that worked out shortly.

Oh, by the way, I seem to have  a correction due... last summer I mentioned that I won an award and thus a re-invite to the Edmonds Arts Festival this June. Turns out the award does not include a re-invite after all! Ooops. Anyway, I went ahead and applied so we'll see what happens. It would be pretty sad if I didn't get in after all that, but I guess I'll just have to wait for it! (LOL!)