Monday, June 30, 2008

Rhapsody Update..

This last weekend was the Rhapsody in Bloom art show at the Luthy Botanical Gardens in Peoria. The show was just as I expected a leisurely day at the park, a few more people than usual but they were more of a garden crowd than a fine art crowd. Sales were slow (unless you were the guy selling cast concrete garden stones or copper garden sculptures) so as I was packing up to go home a freak storm came rushing through and folded my tent in half. No paintings were terribly damaged that I noticed yet but it does appear it is time for a new tent.

Because of the tent being destroyed I packed up and was not able to do the show on Sunday. I still have to send my apologies to the show chairman. Earlier on Saturday she had stopped by to present me with the first place ribbon and framed poster. It was probably not the best way to show my appreciation by not showing the next day - but without a shelter at an outdoor show - that would be asking for disaster.

I will be scrambling to get a tent for the upcoming Sugar Creek show in Normal, I was hoping that mine had one more weekend left in it ..... I was wrong.

Spent Sunday by the pool finishing up Wrigley South, some more brick on the wall and putting up the foul pole and we should be ready for the Fourth of July weekend. Inviting the Bohemians to stop by so it should be a great party weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Couple of Vacation Days

The gazebo is finished and I'm working now on the replica of the Wrigley scoreboard to house the TV and stereo for the pool area ( I'll have a photo of everything when it's finished ) . I have another show this weekend , Rhapsody in Bloom at the Luthy Botanical Gardens in Glen Oak Park - Peoria. It is usually a slow show so I'll know Monday if it was worth doing again.

Since I'll be working this weekend again I'm taking a couple of days off to hang out with The Woman. Hanging out by the pool is a lot more fun than sweating at an art show - it doesn't pay as well though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If I'm not Blogging I'm Busy....

I actually don't like the word "busy" because you could be busy and get nothing done, I prefer the word productive. Now being productive has a lot to do with what I'm focused on at the moment. I have referred to controlling artists as "herding cats" just when you get going the way you want some other thing catches their attention and then they are diverted to that task, at times it seems that they won't get anything done.

For myself I would use a different analogy - it's like a flashlight - when I'm focused on a certain task that I'm interested in, that is pretty much all I see. Everything else is in the darker corners and I'm not to worried about them. At this point The Woman is controlling the flashlight and it is focusing on the gazebo...

A few days ago we were at a local chain store ( Sears) and I saw a metal gazebo that would look cool by the pool, good price - under 200.00 and all the features - shade - screens - and reasonably good looking. At that point I was told ours would be made of wood, just a couple of boards a little cutting and nailing and " You could build one of these for less than that" . After a trip to Lowes for supplies I was started on the adventure ... the creative flashlight in The Womans hands and no idea of what it would look like.

Much to the dismay of people who like plan things out- I like to figure things like this out as I go. The structure to me is a sculpture - the wood wants to be a gazebo - so how do you form it into one. After a few failed "creative" features The Woman brought me back to a more traditional look and the structure is taking shape. Although the price of the unit is steadily climbing far beyond the 200.00 range.

After I'm finished I may be able to wrestle the flashlight out of her hands ... but she is pretty tough ... so you never know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prints Galore

I still haven't made it back to painting yet but I should this weekend as I have taken Friday off work for a much needed extended weekend. One of the problems of a two day weekend show is that it doesn't give you much of a weekend. The sun saps the strength out of you as you stand outside for the show. Even though it is not too physical (besides set up and tear down you are mostly just talking to people or if it's a really bad show sitting and watching the other vendors) it still takes a lot out of you.

Before the show I had made lots of prints in anticipation of future sales and I guessed pretty good as I only ran out of two of them. So earlier this week I took advantage of the 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby and picked up some more mat board and made some more. The Woman had to make a trip to Des Moines to see our oldest daughter and I was alone - I just don't feel motivated when she's not around. She is back now and all is right in the world, so this weekend hopefully I'll be very productive.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Tent

After this weekend in the rain and very high winds I have come to the decision that it is time for a new tent. The 10 x 10 Ez-up that I purchased 5 years ago has served me well, but it is showing it's age and it is not the best looking thing at the show. In a market where image is everything it would be advisable to have what the President of the Peoria Art Guild, Kim Armstrong, called a "Big Boy Tent".

I was told by Kim that I have a very good chance of getting the call to exhibit at the Fine Art Festival at the Peoria Riverfront this fall. So in anticipation of that call I will be looking into a new structure. I have sort of settled on the Trimline Canopy a 10 x 10 barrel roofed exhibit tent designed by artists and sells for about 850.00. It has the benefit of being "waterproof" as opposed to "water resistant", which is a huge thing if you have every been in an art show tent in the rain. I contacted the Flourish Co. that makes them and am getting a catalog with all the optional equipment. I will probably start with the base unit and add on some of the better options ie: awnings.

Even though the crowds were thin at the show the business was good, hopefully after a good night sleep last night I'm ready to get back to the studio and the DAR Hall painting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Junction City Show

This last weekend was the Art Fair at Junction City. Friday was a very windy day and cause great concern as the weekend forecast called for more of the same only with a mix of thunderstorms. I did manage to get my tent set up Friday evening only to find it in a foot of water Saturday morning. The event staff was very accommodating and help me move to a dryer location. As the weekend progressed the wind and the rain probably caused the thin crowds and much horror as you would hear the periodic crashes of product to the pavement.
I survived and actually sold pretty well - much to the dismay of some of neighbors. Next show is the Rhapsody in Bloom at the Luthy Botanical Gardens at the end of the month. Hope to make enough money this year to afford a new tent, as this weekend showed me that a barrel tent is much better than the pop-up that I currently use.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rainy Day

A rainy midweek day here in the Midwest. The air conditioner was turned on today to take some of the humidity out of the house so that will make for good painting. Last nights Illinois Art League board meeting only enforced my resolve to quit the board at years end. The last three months they still can't focus on completing one task, yet another vote on whether to go ahead with a show that we have approved in each of the last two meetings.
Calling for a chance of rain this weekend for the Junction City Show - hope they are wrong and the crowds are heavy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Printing All Weekend

After an evening of totally annihilating the women in cards and consuming much adult beverage on Friday, I got going with the prints for the upcoming Junction City Show. Saturday I started off with framing another dozen "Spirit of Peoria" and then took off for my monthly platelet donation. ( I usually give on Sunday afternoon but with the art shows falling on those weekends I had to go on Saturday) Back home to run some more ballparks. Later that evening off to pick-up more mat board and frames, a camp fire at some friends house and then a rematch to again beat the ladies at cards.
Sunday after church all I did was print and mat. All told I managed to get 13/ Wrigley- 10/ New Busch- 10/ Yankee- 2 full size St. Marys / framed - 12 framed / Spirit of Peoria and 7 matted only - 10 / Vegas. Then I ran out of mat board ... again. I went through 27 sheets of white, 4 sheets of midnight, lots of paper and 4 cartridges of epson ink. But I think I'm in good shape for the show now so I can relax the rest of the week. Except tonight I have the dreaded Illinois Art League meeting to suffer through. Oh well ... such is life.

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