American Art Collector

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Ascending (left) is featured in the current issue of American Art Collector Magazine. It appears on page 87 as part of an article on botanical work. Although the piece is surrounded on the page by botanic-themed pieces, it could not be more different from the rest. For some reason, this always surprises me.

The actual piece is currently available at Cole Gallery in Edmonds, WA. Many thanks to the lovely Denise for submitting my work to American Art Collector!

 

Thirteen Blue Hydrangeas

[singlepic id=619 w=460 h=360 float=] Well, this is embarrassing. I forgot to post for about three months, it would seem. But I had a pretty good reason: I was busy.

Last time I posted here, I was off to Edmonds for an event at my new gallery there. Let me tell you, they put on a fun Third Thursday! One of the best parts was getting to see my childhood friend Sarah, who drove all the way from Bellingham to see the show.

I followed Sarah back and stayed at her house. In the morning she did a very convincing impression of my parents---meaning, she wouldn't let me leave without a carload of stuff. On my way out the door, I scored a box of pumpkin scone mix, and, more importantly, a giant garbage bag filled with the thirteen blue hydrangeas I had been eyeing in her back-stairs window.

I had already been thinking about hydrangeas for some time---the way their billowy, cloud-like petals resemble a hazy sky when softly backlit. As an experiment, I made some new pieces for my gallery in Cannon Beach, using  my thirteen new friends to create stormy beachscapes.

Happy with the new work, I painted more for my upcoming show, Earth and Sky, at the Tinman Gallery. The show will have a mostly-sky theme, including the hydrangeas and other new sky-themed pieces.

Earth and Sky opens Friday, March 30 at the Tinman, from 5-9 p.m. To see more work from the show, click here.

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Cole Gallery - First Glance

[singlepic id=566 w=320 h=400 float=left] Want to find my work in the Seattle area? Unless it is Bellevue Arts Museum Artsfair weekend, up to now that would have been difficult. Not anymore.

Cole Gallery in Edmonds now represents my work year-round, and I am very excited to be working with them. If you are in the Seattle area and haven't been to Cole Gallery, it is worth the short trip. The cozy and inviting gallery represents many top-notch, nationally-known artists.

Cole Gallery will introduce me this month with their Third Thursday event, making me December's "First Glance" artist. So long as I am able to drive over the pass, I will be there with new work. I hope many of you can come down!

Here are the specifics:

Cole Gallery 107 5th Ave S Edmonds, WA 98020 425.697.2787 3rd Thursday, December 15th, 5-8 p.m.

 

Bellevue, and Us vs. The Jury

[singlepic id=505 w=460 h=320 float=] Bellevue Arts Museum artsfair: It's on!

First things first: I am more thrilled than ever to announce that I made it into the Bellevue Arts Museum artsfair once again this year. And I only got in with pastels. Why so thrilled? Let's just say it's been an interesting year in jurying. And it's barely begun.

Me vs. The Jury: The Paranoia

As you might know, I was rejected from Cherry Creek again this year. I also re-applied to Art on the Square in Belleville, Illinois. I did that show last year and loved it, but alas, no joy this time around. So by the time Bellevue, my go-to show, announced jury results, I was shaking in my boots. Of course, Cherry Creek and Belleville are longshot shows---small, top-rated, highly competitive. Getting in once is no guarantee of getting in again, ever.* I've consistently juried in to Bellevue, but even so, those rejections had me worried. Did I choose the right images? Would the jurors, who appeared to be experts in fine craft more than 2D art, appreciate my pastels?

Art Fairs vs. Artists: The Dilemma

So yeah, I got lucky and made it into Bellevue. But here's the thing: not every artist did. And by "not every artist," I mean amazing, talented people who have done the show for years and count on it for a good bit of their annual income. We (artists) all find shows that work for us---our style fits the show, our work is at a level that consistently juries in, our customers show up and buy. But we can never get too comfortable. Far more artists who apply to any given show don't make it in than do. For shows like Cherry Creek, the odds are less than one in ten. For Bellevue, it's maybe three in ten. We can't just "do the show" that provides our best income each year. We submit our four best pieces of artwork, cross our fingers and wait. And hope.

From the show's perspective, it's necessary. Look at it this way: have you visited a favorite show and seen the same artists year after year? I know I have. It makes me crazy, never seeing anything new. If nothing ever changes, customers get bored and the show dies a slow death. To keep things fresh, shows have to bring in new faces. But each show has a finite number of spots, so for every new artist, there's a veteran artist sitting at home. In the big picture, both the shows and the artists benefit from change. But this is our livelihood---what artist wants to be the one sacrificed?

The Economy vs. Artists: It's Not Helping

Just to add a little extra challenge to the art fair life, enter our awesome economy! Don't get me wrong, people are still buying art. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much. But there's definitely less to go around. One result is galleries failing in great numbers. So what happens to all those fantastic career artists who lose their galleries? Many turn to art fairs. We need our best shows more than ever, and the jury odds just got steeper.

Artists vs. Ourselves: Fix it!

On the other hand, what if we artists do get into our favorite shows year after year after year? If it ain't broke, why fix it, right? (If I find a specific style of work or set of jury images that gets me into shows, I'm afraid to do anything else.) If the unnatural selection of the jury process leaves us comfortably in place, where's our incentive to grow and change? Aside, I suppose, from the gradual decline in sales that might come from stagnation---and that is way too easy to blame on other factors. So with that in mind, I've decided to take this uncertainty as a challenge to keep things fresh, do my best work and stay in the game. Meanwhile, I've got about five more jury results coming down in the next several weeks. Fingers crossed!

 

*and let's face it, shooting off my mouth here and on various forums may not exactly be giving me that winning edge...

Aviary

[singlepic id=448 w=460 h=350 float=] Yes, in case you were starting to wonder (I was!), I do, in fact, still make art. Things have been beyond crazy here, which I will explain in a later post. Suffice it to say that I have added "general contractor" to my list of semi- and/or un-paid occupations alongside "artist," "framer" and "traveling huckster." BUT... I finally forced myself to go clean up my studio and make something before I drove myself and everybody completely batsh*t. In the nick of time, I might add. The result: Aviary No.1 Study, above. Whew.

First Friday at 1900

[singlepic id=437 w=320 h=460 float=left] This Friday is First Friday! (What happened to September, anyway?) For the October Visual Arts Tour I'll have pastels and oils on display at 1900, the fantastic interior decorators' shop upstairs from my studio. If you've never been to 1900, it is a real treat. It is filled with fabulous and funky furniture, rugs, and decorator's delights of all sorts. I'm bringing as many new works as I could muster at the end of a long and busy show season. Oh and here's a bonus: 1900 is right across the street from Robert Karl Winery. First Friday one-stop shopping!

Here are the particulars:

1900 Opening Reception Friday, October 1, 5p.m. – 9p.m. 114 W Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA Map

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

Little Spokane River Artists Studio Tour – September 25

[singlepic id=438 w=135 h=140 float=left] [singlepic id=439 w=135 h=140 float=left] [singlepic id=440 w=140 h=135 float=left] Jinkies, the Little Spokane Tour is just over a week away! I am so excited. Last year's tour was a tremendous success, as many of my beloved paintings both old and new found homes.

This year there is one important change: the hours are longer! We will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday September 25th. Other than that, not much has changed but the art. Once again I will be showing in the beautiful screened gazebo at Hulda Bridgeman's studio, and once again, I will bring a mix of new and older work, much of it at special prices for the tour.

I've even created some new pieces just for the event: my three Peachberry mini pastels, above. They were inspired by the abundance of mountain ash berries in our yard. The pastels are only 6" x 6", but I have found some extra-funky silver frames for them which give a striking effect.

[singlepic id=441 w=320 h=210 float=left] In addition, I'll have plenty of larger pastels, some unframed pieces, and a few oils including some little 6x6 "teacup oils." This is always a fantastic event. I hope you can make it!

Here's the info:

Little Spokane River Artists Studio Tour

Saturday, September 25, 10 am - 5 pm

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

Alice Invitational Opens Friday

[singlepic id=418 w=320 h=340 float=left] The Tinman Gallery's Alice in wonderland Invitational opens tomorrow night. My pastel, Why Not (left) will appear along with the Alice-inspired work of over 40 well-known regional artists.

The opening reception starts Friday July 30th at 5:00 and goes on until 9:00 p.m. The show itself stays up through August 21.

The Tinman is located in Spokane's historic Garland district at 811 W Garland Ave. Regular business hours are 10-6, Monday-Saturday.

Pastellistes du Monde: a little trust

[singlepic id=420 w=460 h=340 float=] When an artist spends as much time online as I do, they tend to accumulate a lot of unsolicited offers. Apply to this show, pay for space on that online gallery, get great deals on framing, have your art reproduced by our company! Most of these emails (many of which are scams) are quickly "filed" and forgotten. But not always.

A few months ago I received an email in near-perfect English from someone claiming to be a representative of a French art magazine. She had seen my art online and wanted the option of posting my artwork in the "Portfolio" section of their website. At least, that was my understanding. I was given a deadline to send hi-res images to be considered for publication.

Requests for hi-res art images out of the blue can be a little unnerving. Is it legit, or is someone planning to send my artwork to be knocked off in China? Why hi-res if the images are being posted on the website? This looked real enough, with a link to the French art magazine Pratique des Arts. Of course it's not hard to link to something in an email---it proves nothing.

I pretty much forgot about it until the submission deadline, when another email asked if I was still interested. I decided to take a chance; I sent  the images. And heard nothing. A few months went by and I forgot about it again until some random Tuesday brought a fleeting thought of the French art website. Oddly, that afternoon I received one more email, asking where to send a contributor's copy. Now I was really confused. I thought the images were to be posted in some minor online supplement. Whatever. I forgot about it again.

Arriving home from the Bellevue show yesterday, I opened the mailbox to find a large envelope from France containing an absolutely gorgeous art magazine, unreadable to me but stunning, with amazing pastel work from a collection of international artists. There were Dewfall and Medusa No.2, representing the U.S. on the first two pages of the "Pastellistes du Monde" section. Turning the page I found a pastel by the amazing Sally Strand. Elsewhere a spread on the celebrated Alan Flattman. Here was my work in the company of these incredible artists and an apparent international who's who of pastel. What a thrill! All for something I very nearly didn't do. Maybe a little trust isn't so bad once in a while.

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

Why Not?

[singlepic id=418 w=320 h=460 float=left] And now for something else completely different... an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired piece titled Why Not? which I've just completed for the Tinman Gallery's second annual Oz-vitational. Huh? Well, Year One was an Oz-vitational. This year all of the artwork will be inspired by the childrens' classic, Alice in Wonderland. (Much to the relief of the artists who participated in Year One, I'm sure. Fresh inspiration!)

I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never read Alice in Wonderland nor even seen a movie version until receiving this assignment. I tried both several times as a child and never quite made it through for one reason or another. Luckily for me, a fresh movie came out on DVD just in time for my research. Better still, this particular movie had a CGI Tweedledum and Tweeedledee played by/modeled after the hilarious Matt Lucas, from the seriously funny Little Britain USA.

Anyway, back to my point if I had one. I did stop laughing just long enough to catch an approximately four-second reference to Alice and the Red Queen painting white roses red, and there was my idea. Roses dripping with shiny red paint, forming the shape of the Red Queen's heart surrounded by white roses yet to be painted. This piece and "Alice" works by many wonderful artists will be available for purchase at the show.

The Alice in Wonderland Invitational runs from July 30 through August 21. Opening reception is from 5 - 9 p.m. Friday, August 30.

The Tinman Gallery is located in Spokane's historic Garland District at 811 West Garland Avenue.

Springdance

[singlepic id=417 w=320 h=460 float=left] Nothing fancy to report here---just spending some time in my studio actually PAINTING! This week I finished six new Teacup Oils to (almost) replace the ones I sold at Artfest. I have promised myself that this will be the last batch this year! Once they're gone, they're gone, until next season. Then, it was over to the pastel side to paint Springdance (left). This piece was actually inspired by one of the Teacup oils. I came up with the idea for it and liked the sketch so much I tried a variation in a small pastel, then went on to make the little cubular oil piece, then worked the small pastel idea into a large piece. Whew! Next week I plan to revisit my Raintree sketches in oil. I'm curious to see how they will turn out. The little pastel sketches reminded me of a combination of a 1940s barkcloth print and my older bunchgrass pieces--which I've never painted in oil. Here's looking forward to next week and a new challenge!

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.