Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Painting a Day

When I first started this studio blog I was sitting in the rain at the upcoming Lincoln show five years ago. It is interesting to me to go back and read the posts and see how far I have come from that point. It is sort of ironic that I will be right next to my art friend Linda Wilmot who gave me the article that started this blog.

At that time I had still had not got the printing process down, as I didn't mention any print sales, which are a huge part of the outdoor show business. I was just venturing off into smaller canvases and bemoaning the "painting a day" thing.

Well, a lot of things have changed in the last five years. I have got prints - and lots of them - paper - canvas wrapped. Over the brief time that I have been producing them I have got the prices down to a point that everyone can collect art. (8" x 24" paper prints for $20.00 - 9" x 32" wrapped canvas prints $40.00)

When I look back at those first years shows, I cringe, I would be out there for the weekend just hoping that someone would see my work and hopefully remember when it came time to make a purchase. I sold some art back then but just like now people just don't swarm to your booth to buy pricey originals. I like to tell other artists that lightning does strike - but it's nice to make money in the rain!

That brings me to the title - "A Painting a Day". Well that has changed also, this year I started a new series of shaped canvases. I must say that when I first began it was challenging to perfect the process. Like all things the first offering were not my best work - but the first two sold at the first show I offered the in the first 10 minutes. They have now become even as important as the prints, I won't leave home without them.

The latest set of canvases I stretched Saturday - Monday evening, I started and finished two. Tuesday evening, started and finished two more. Wednesday evening, started and finished two more, while still managing to go out to the ballgame with my family for my birthday. Not only am I painting "A Painting a Day" here lately I've managed to double that output.

Hopefully I will have some new images soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fantastic Weekend!

This past weekend was one that happens too infrequently, no show, just hanging out at home. I took The Woman out Friday evening. We started off the evening brosing through the CIAO exhibit at the main Peoria Public Library, Awesome art work and a really nice new library building. For dinner we ate at Beignet's on the corner of State and Water ( recently made famous for the Jambalaya take-out order for President Obama). Then we walked up a couple blocks to take in a Peoria Chiefs game ( the Cubs Single A affiliate) and after the game the fireworks show was a wonderful cap to the evening.

Saturday, very relaxing start, after breakfast I started working on a series of three new shaped canvas signs, Tropics (for the upcoming Lincoln show), O.T. Johnson ( for the upcoming Galesburg Civic Art Center show) and a new Ford sign ( this a cool neon sign in Depue IL) . Managed to finish Shane&Showers Shoes and Mom's Diner also new. After what I thought was a very productive day I get to go out with my girl friend again! This time we went to a local steak house Sky Harbor and then after to the Comedy Club just down the street.

Sunday we had a slight power outage in the night ( yet another tree fell and took out our power most of the late evening ) that caused everyone to oversleep and miss church ( at least that was the story we are sticking to). So after breakfast, back on the canvases. Then in the early afternoon friends started coming by to hang out at the pool. (Tom and Lisa just got back from Cancun) We ordered Pizza later and picked up a movie - washed the car for The Womans first day back at school and then a game of Dominoes with the kids.

These weekends don't happen that often so I'm glad I put this all down! I'll be frantically working on things for the upcoming month long show list!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Galesburg, IL.

I get around a little bit with this art thing, but at the same time I try to limit myself at home. Since I have been on the board at the Peoria Art Guild I've sort of been an advocate for other artists and stepping out of the limelight a bit. It's not that I don't want or need local support, I just don't want people to think I'm always blowing my own horn. ( I've always thought that you aren't what you call yourself your what other people call you, and you don't want to be like the kid on the diving board yelling " look at me jump - look at me jump!")

So it was sort of nice when the Galesburg Civic Art Center contacted me last year for a joint show with a Moline IL scuptor David Zahn. I sent my images in and signed some forms and it has been sort of cool seeing the poster advertizing the different shows when I go to Dick Blick to pick up supplies.

The other day though it hit me ( mainly when they sent me the layout of the gallery and saw how many walls I needed to fill) that I have a very hectic September - three major outdoor shows - two in Springfield and of course the Peoria Riverfront. I have to have two very different booth setups and still fill a rather large gallery.

Luckily I've been a fairly prolific painter and I think I'm OK - well at least so far!

The opening reception is September 2nd from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - If you want you can come a find out if I made it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Final week of Summer

With summer winding down, it is about time to get back in the grove that lasts most of the year. The groove is the mainly a morning routine of highly coordinated shower, tea, breakfast, and then off to our own various duties. It's back to school time, one is off today for her junior year in college, one is off tomorrow for his senior year in high school , and The Woman is enjoying her last full week off as she starts next Monday.

It has been a very fun summer - the whole family went to Cancun for a week of sun, fun, and of course a wedding. Lots of art shows, many weekends and holidays just hanging around the pool. The 4 of July weekend this year was loads of fun, with many of the wedding party coming by for the party in East Peoria ( think about how much they saved on airfare).

We had a lack luster show in Washington IL this last weekend. Hopefully we can recover in Lincoln IL the weekend of the 27th.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Storm and Taste of Peoria

Monday evening as I was at home just getting going painting. We had just finished dinner and everything was as it should be, we thought.

I noticed out the dining room slider that it was starting to rain and the wind was picking up. We all went to the living room and opened the blinds to look at the storm and could see that it was getting very bad. The wind was smashing down the trees all around the house, like a giant hand. When we saw a wall of wind coming our way we all went the basement. For about one minute we could hear the wind and see the rain pouring down out a small window. Then the power snapped off.

As fast as it came in it left - when we went outside, tree limbs and debris was everywhere . The storm had broken off trees that were a foot in diameter 30 feet in the air and one of those limbs from a neighbors house had ripped the weather head that provides our houses electricity completely off the house.

After we attached the weather head ( with help of a friend that is an electrician ) we waited for the electric provider to come by and reconnect us to the grid ( we were without power for 30 hours - two dark and really unproductive evenings as far as painting)

The good news is that the storm front that came through has brought some very nice weather to the area. we took advantage of that and went to the Taste of Peoria last evening with some friends Loren and Linda Wilmot (if you are art followers may be familiar with the latter name - as she is a very talented artist) . With the mild temperatures the crowds were heavy but the food was great , in our humble opinion the teriyaki chicken skewer was the best entree and the bananas foster was the dessert of choice.

I'll be working with my lovely assistant this evening to finish up some things for this weekends show.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Charlie is coming!

Charlie ( our older daughter ) is coming to visit this weekend, and we can't wait. Although she only lives in Des Moines ( a mere 4 hours away) it seems that we never get to see her enough.

It seems that the only time we get to see each other is when there is a show in Iowa - and now she is coming when we have a show in Illinois. These things happen - we are just glad that we get to see her.

This weekend I'll be at one of the only two local events that I'll be participating in, the Washington Art Show.

I try to limit my exposure in the local market ( I don't want to be out there too much) and have avoided this show for the first three years that it was held. Last year I was sort of cornered to apply. So as I sat there in my booth and pondered reasons why I would not do this show again (foam bow and arrow tent/tupperware tent) the only reason that I came up with was pride. Yes, there were people that should have not been there at all, but the people came out and the show was successful and most of all to the artist involve - cheap.

The Washington Show is only 60.00 and is 15 minutes from my house and pool - it's hard not to do a show like that - as long as people keep coming - I'll keep going.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blazin' Hot

I am thoroughly enjoying the time off in between shows - mainly because it is too hot to do any work outside and hanging out with The Woman has been a blast. The kids have been out and we have enjoyed a week of "empty nest" .

After the last few weeks, I have again been released to work in the studio on the current painting "LaSalle Street Bridge" ( ran across the images for the painting while researching the commission painting "La Salle Street Station" earlier this spring) .

The Woman has been deluged with requests for -movies-lunches-dinners-and pool visits from all her friends ( see she is the popular one) So I have had to let her go be with her public at least for a while. This also gives me some time to get back at it.

This last weekend the weather was a little milder (Hi 80's and less humidity) so I could get out in the shop and stretch some shaped canvases. It does seem that the new series of shaped canvas sign paintings is a big hit at shows. So much so that it is hard to keep inventory up.

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