Monday, November 23, 2015

Brad Fishing

Good friend for many years Brad posted a photo on his facebook timeline that I couldn't resist. I asked if he minded me painting the scene and his only request was to show him the results, which I did throughout the creation.


24x30 oil on canvas was created by an inspiration from a sunset from the Dunedin Causeway.
In an effort to release my inner creativity I trying to escape m;y ties to detail of realism painting.

$504 without frame or shipping cost.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Osceola Art Fair

Monday morning and trying to recover from a hectic weekend.

Loaded up the U-Haul trailer Friday morning and headed to Kissimmee later in the afternoon. Using the bed of my little Toyota Tacoma to house most of the walls of the booth, I had plenty of room for all the artwork I was taking. From the fair's website they expected a large turnout and the beautiful sunny days should have helped.

Motel reservations were set-up through Verizon to use some of my accumulated points. I had selected a Howard Johnson motel not far from the event, but when we found, what we believed to be the right one, it wasn't, and they reported that there were three within two miles. Asking it they could call the others to determine which one had our reservation, we were told that they were independently  owner so they didn't communicate with the other ones.

Climbing back into our pickup, we headed down the street to the next HJ - which didn't have our reservation nor a helpful reservation clerk.

With the last location just down the street, we decided to call them to see if they had our reservation - nope, they didn't have a record of it.

By this time we had connected with our friend ,"Cynthia Creque", who drove from St Augustine to help us set-up and work with us on Saturday. The three of us decided to find an affordable motel near the venue, which worked out well, but the cost of the room was double even though the quality of the Super 8 matched that of the HJ - two stars.

We grabbed a bite to eat and drove into Kissimmee to check in and set-up the booth. Trying to find the allowable entrance to sign in and drive to our booth location was tricky. What I didn't expect was the truck's gear shift becoming locked in "P" park. A line was forming behind us while one of the fair attendants Googled for a solution. After twenty minutes and a nail file we were able to move the sifter into neutral and proceed.

By the time we finished setting up the tent, wall and hanging artwork, it was midnight - boy were we happy the motel was close.

At 9am on Saturday we arrived at the fail in Cynthia's car, since the gear shift was stuck in park. As we faced the front of our tent, the vendor on our left was an artisan of glass blowing and his work was excellent, which drew a great deal of interest. On our right was a photographer who printed his colorful pictures on aluminum. His work drew a great deal of attention, especially the outside wall facing our booth. We hung a few of my art pieces on our side, but unless we told people that we had pieces on the sides of the tent, they ignored my work to gaze upon the photographs.

Over all, Saturday was not very productive, a lot of tire kickers but not one sale. The turn out was lower than expected - the consensus of many vendors. We all hoped that Sunday would be better - I wasn't, but there were more people buying.

One customer, an older lady, purchased "Water Lilly" and she was very interested in another piece, "Egret Fishing", but she had to measure the wall space in her condo to see if it would work - if it works out it would make the two day trip affordable.

I thought one couple might buy "Fall Meadow" for they returned twice to view it, and they asked if we were going to be open on Sunday. They didn't return so my expectations of a land-fall weekend were dashed.

All in all we questioned if traveling to shows is worth the time and money spent. Today Lynne's Fibro is kicking up and she'll remain in bed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mountain Meadow in Fall

18x24 oil on canvas is a continuation of my efforts to present a new style blending abstract elements with the realism of subject matter. Pure abstract displays an artist's creativity since his work is not based on a known object, such as trees, mountains, grass, rock and other objects. His inspiration comes from within then transferred to his choice of platform, such as canvas.

The open, free flowing brush with a mixed color pallet merges well with the hand tremors of Parkinson's.

$195 without frame or cost of shipping.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Art Show at Kissimmee

The 2015 Osceola Art Festival in Kissimmee will take place this coming weekend, Nov. 14-15.  I've been assigned booth space #25, whose location remains a mystery. This will be my first festival without crafts so I am excited to see the difference between people who attend art and craft shows to those coming to see different forms of art.

I am trying to tame my expectations of doing well, but remain optimistic that my work will sell. For those in the Kissimmee area, please stop by and view my work.

Today was a recovery from yesterday when I received an email that I was not invited to attend the Sidewalk Art Show in Winter Park. It was strike two for Winter Park since I wasn't invited to their fall art show. But today I received an acceptance to the Cape Coral Art Festival, which is a very large affair attended by 100,000 people. It takes place January 9-10th of next year.

I believe my work needs to be more creative to be accepted by judges. It seems that the pendulum has swung back towards abstract art and away from realism, like it did in the fifty's and sixties. I find it difficult to approach true abstract art - it just isn't in me. I believe the closest I'll get is a blend of abstract and realism  - something less precise and more colorful.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Art Fairs - What does it take?

If you're like I was your wife dragged you, kicking and screaming, from a Sunday football game to attend a local arts and crafts fair. As you approached the affair the row upon row of white tents reminded you of a jousting match between knights.

Arts and craft shows are an accumulation of people's imagination and a testament of our free enterprise system. I marveled at the imagination and ingenuity of some vendors, but it never occurred to me what it took for them to attend until I became one of the roadies.

I bet you didn't know that for most shows the vendor must send an application along with three images (examples) of their work, as well as an image of their booth (tent), and application fee, which ranges anywhere from $15 - 35 dollars.

A jury of knowledgeable people will review everyone's application and images to decide which vendors get invited. From an artist's point of view the process is problematic for two reasons - money and planning. To attend a festival I have to apply months in advance and have to wait to hear if I was accepted.

I'm trying to attend one show every month, which forces me to analyze each festival, which entails looking it up on the Internet and review the type of show and how many visitors attended. There are two basic shows, Art and Craft and Art. Attending art and craft shows is less productive than going to art festivals. After attending a couple of A and C shows I discovered that they draw in a different clients than art festivals. Most of the A&C attendees are interested in the crafts and not interested in handing over hundreds of dollars for a painting.

 Getting back to my original train of thought, attending shows, I'm forced to send applications, and money, to at least two shows, which costs me about $775 a year just in jury fees. The real expense is getting accepted. The cost of renting booth space, 10x10 is dependent on the show's draw. A popular show, like "Arts and Apples", which takes place in Michigan, will cost $500 or more. Most charge 250 - 275, which isn't chicken feed. For me to attend a show I must rent a trailer for a long weekend - $75 and I can't forget the cost of accommodations - $200-300 or food.

To maintain an inventory to sell, I have to paint four or five paintings per month and build frames - cost of canvas, paint, and frames vary but adds to the cost of my habit.

If I don't sell two or more paintings per show, my expenses are not covered, which makes it difficult to justify future shows.

Two days prior to the show I get my booth and its walls out of storage and set it up in order to do any necessary repairs, as well as determine the layout of pictures to be hung.

Next time you attend a show, take into account what it takes for that vendor to show you his wears.