Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New website (Two Willets Gallery)

I decided to take one more step towards becoming a successful artist- I hope - by creating a business website. As you know, or may not know, I have Parkinson's and have focused on honing my skills over the past six years so I can sell paintings to raise money to pay for medical expenses, supplies and above all donate 10% of paintings sold to the Michael J Fox Foundation to help find a cure.

To start fresh I have changed my DBA from Coxen Creations to "Two Willets Gallery" where visitors can view my work and buy it online.

I have shipped paintings, without damage, as far away as Alaska so do not let distance stop you from buying one of my very affordable paintings.

On a separate note: Most of you do not know that I am a self publish author who has both a paperback, "The Great Promise" and an e-book on Kindle, "World War One - An Unkept Promise". For those who know little about WWI the e-book will bring you up to speed. It is non-fiction based upon my grandfather's WWI Journal, which contains information never published before. He served in the Royal Field Artillery from 1905 to 1919 and went to France with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force). If you like history based upon fact and compelling commentary check out these books.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Burst of Color

18x24 oil on canvas is one of those rare abstracts I stumble upon when the spirit moves me.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Arts and Apples

I just received the acceptance e-mail from one of the top 100 art shows in the US, Arts and Apples. It takes place in Rochester, Michigan in September and draws over 200,000 visitors. I was not expecting to be accepted so I put it out of my mind until the e-mail. There are hundreds of artisans attending and most return every year so open booth space is limited and new applicants's work is carefully reviewed by a jury.

Booth space is expensive, $450, but artisans on an average bring in $2500; not a bad return on investment, if one can only afford the investment.

This painting is one I'm currently working on

Monday, March 21, 2016

Art Shows are Like Fishing

Packed the booth walls and paintings into an 5x8 U-Haul trailer and headed east to St Augustine. I was lucky for we have friends who live about twenty minutes from the venue so I was saved the cost of housing.

The show was held in a large field across from the parking garage which was different for all the previously attended events were on main streets closed to traffic. Because they had excess space they placed booths into quarters so each booth had an outer display wall. They also allowed the exhibitors to set-up on Friday from noon to seven, which is less stressful than putting your booth up in the dark.

Since St Augustine is a popular spot and with strong ties to art, I thought the show would be well attended by art lovers with money; sadly, this was was not the case.

There was a forecast of rain on Saturday, which did not occur except a few sprinkles, but it may have been the reason for a mediocre turn out. A few tire kickers stopped by the booth to view the paintings but were not serious buyers. One can identify those interested in purchasing a painting by the excitement in their voice and where it would fit in their home. Most view those paintings that seem interesting and say, "I really love your work" as they exit the booth.

While accolades were once a validation of the quality of work I produced, it now passes as a polite expression viewers say as they walk past me on their way out.

Others are what I call, "Drive by viewers", they look towards the booth as they walk by, which differentiates them from the ones who just walk by. I figure that most of those who attend art or arts and craft shows are doing so as something to do. They might stop at a booth if they find something of interest but there is only a 20% chance they might make a purchase. While talking with the vendor next to me, I told him that attending shows is much like fishing. You may or may not have the right bait but one has to wait in hopes a fish passes and takes the bait. Then it is up to the fisherman to land it.

Using this same analogy, there were view fish walking around and even fewer interested in what I had to offer. Saturday was a long day full with disappointment. In order to be a fisherman one has to be optimistic expecting at any moment the big one will bite.

The weather improved on Sunday and it seemed more fish, I mean people, were milling around but few stopped by the booth. An idea slapped me across the face, hang the large painting, "Two Willetts" on the outside wall. For those who are not familiar with my paintings, it is a 3 foot by 4 foot black and white painting of two willetts. It is an eye catcher for sure and it did the trick. Those entering the gate noticed it immediately and walked up to look it over.

Two women were drawn to the booth to look over the painting and I showed them my other paintings hanging inside. When one of the ladies saw, "Sea Grapes" she told her friend to purchase it for it would go well with her couch.

My spirit was soaring until they said they wanted to walk around, but they would be back to purchase the painting. From experience those who leave the nest never return, or to return to the fishing analogy, once a fish throws the hook, they swim away.

Later that afternoon I began to smile watching them approach the booth. They walked to the side with the "Two Willetts" and one lady said she would buy it and then we walked in side and she wanted to buy the "Sea Grapes". Wow!! two paintings that would be over six hundred dollars. The second lady didn't see anything that would go in her house and that is when I pulled out my pad to show her paintings I had hanging elsewhere. I struck pay dirt when she saw "Egret Taking Flight". The colors and subject matter worked - she said she would take it. I had to tell her that it was hanging in a gallery and I couldn't pull it until the end of the month, which wasn't a problem.

One never knows when a fish may strike and make your day. I asked for a 40 dollar security deposit, which they provided - their purchase made my day!

As for the show itself, it had weak attendance for those vendors who spent a great deal on housing, food and the 250 dollar booth space. After attending over six art shows I still haven't found how to identify profitable art shows or if they exist. As I said, it is a lot like fishing.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Old Mill Pond

Oil on 12x16 canvas paper - I liked the way the sun played on the trees and mill. The mixture of cloud colors and shapes brought drama to the painting.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Where The Wind Blows

Oil on 12x16 canvas paper - In the winter when the night approaches the jet stream drops down and winds howl through the passes. Clouds of snow are pushed through the trees seeking refuge behind boulders or low areas until they are drifted over.

$45 plus shipping

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hallett's Peak

Hallett's Peak is located in Rocky Mountain National Park and I was inspired by the memory of the 40ft repel fall I took after climbing the third buttress. It was the grace of God that prevented a bad ending to this story and allowed me to hang around and become a painter - of sorts. This beauty to can be yours for $50 plus shipping and I'll throw in the use of my story. Contact me either through my Facebook pages, "Frederick Coxen" or "Coxen Creations" and we can use PayPal to seal the deal.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Forest Road

12x16 oil on canvas paper is available for $75 plus shipping and the transaction can go through PayPal