Friday, October 16, 2015

how to assemble an art booth.

Today I set up my art display to take a new booth shot to apply for an upcoming art fair.  Since it was only my second time setting up the Craft Hut canopy I bought earlier this year, it was a little hard remembering how it all went together.  I found these instructions on Craft Hut's website, but because a couple things are different about my canopy, part of the instructions were a little confusing.  But we figured it out. :)  (Also, I just found these instructions online and they're even better than the ones I found before.) 

I thought I'd take photos of the process just for fun and also for future reference. 

Boxes of my paintings, waiting to go out into the booth.

The kids & I had assembled the canopy last night (no pics of that part) in our back yard, and this is how it looked at 6:00 this morning when I went out to finish getting it ready for the photo.

Close up of the center support bar, with the adjusting screw things.  Took me a while to remember that those adjusted the width of the center bar.

With the side walls zipped on at the top.

Inside shot before zipping the sides together.

All zipped together with the legs extended.

Note to self: this is how high to go on the legs. :)

A photo showing how the support poles go.

With my Propanels propped up and ready to attach to each other.

Ready for my paintings.

The reason I was up at 6:00 this morning putting my display together is that I had a fellow artist coming over at 7:45 with her Canon to photograph my new booth shot.  It was just the best time to get it done with both our schedules.

The following photos are from her camera as she was adjusting settings.  I'm sure you'll notice the difference in quality...

And here's my new booth shot.  :)

This whole process is making me really look forward to being in some art fairs soon.  Yay! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

night at the (art) museum.

Something we love about Phoenix is its First Fridays event on the first Friday of every month.  Art galleries downtown have evening hours and the Phoenix Art Museum offers free admission so that people in the community can enjoy the downtown art scene. We don't make it every month but love visiting the art museum a handful of times a year.  They change some of the exhibits, so there is a bit of variety from month to month.

These photos are from our last visit, in December.

She loves having her photo taken.

In the modern wing of the museum.

This was a mixed media piece with objects such as old books affixed to the surface.

Can you tell my husband just *loves* selfie time? He's a good sport about it.  ;)

Photogenic girl asked me to take her photo by this lady.  (Really quite an impressive painting, a portrait of a wealthy lady long ago.)

Did I mention our daughter loves to have her photo taken?

This enormous painting is one of my favorites in the Phoenix Art Museum.  He is larger than life, and I just love the leeks in his hand and basket.  Such an amazing piece.

I call this "Family Abandoned in an Art Museum."

In the Southwestern part of the Museum. Lots of older Southwestern paintings, as well as more contemporary ones.  I love this.

I suppose it's bad that I haven't acknowledged the artists whose works appear in these photos, but there you have it.  

I can't even begin to tell you how much more I love visiting art galleries and museums now than I did as an art student! (Sometimes I wish I could take those required art history classes again, or at least go back & somehow get the younger me to care more about them.)  I am ever so thankful for the art scene here in Phoenix and am glad we can enjoy it. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

progress of a painting.

I thought it might be fun to post the progression of a painting from start to finish.  Here's my latest piece, inspired by our recent trip to our place on the shore of Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.

It's been a long time since I've updated my website with my most recent paintings.  Look for more updates soon...

Amelia :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

gallery representation.

Yesterday, I received word that I am now represented online by Xanadu Gallery!  Here is my page in their online gallery.  Several of my pieces are available for purchase directly on their site.  My hope is to eventually be selected to exhibit paintings in their bricks & mortar gallery in Scottsdale.  We shall see...

carefree fine art & wine festival, november 1-3, 2013

This was my third juried art festival ever, as well as my third one in 2013.  I had heard good things about this one and was super excited to get in.

Set up was either the evening before or early the morning of the first day of the event.  I liked the idea of going a day before to familiarize myself with the layout of the art fair without the pressure of having to be ready by opening time.  When I arrived, I was so glad for that decision.  It seemed that the organizers are used to so many returning artists that they assumed everyone knew where to go and where to park.  What I longed for was a map of the festival layout with the booth numbers on it.  It took asking several people to figure out where my booth location was and how to get my vehicle there, since the streets were closed for set up.  I felt like such a newbie!

There were three rows of booths and most of us were trying to set up at once.

Once we got to the time when we were allowed to bring our vehicles in and start setting up, it was a little insane.  Some artists were a bit tense, but I enjoyed watching some of the seasoned artists and their relaxed attitude about the whole thing.  Just be patient, help direct the other artists as they positioned their vehicles, and have a smile on your face.

My booth location was right by one of the main roads, so I was able to load my paintings in each day pretty easily and then go park my van in the artists' parking area and walk back to my booth.

The back wall in my booth, with the new sign I made just in time for this art fair.

I admit I had really high expectations for this art fair.  I forgot the admonitions of experienced art fair artists who told me earlier that year that you have to really give it several art fairs before you can really decide how you're going to do.  Besides that, at this particular art fair, the artists around me were quite disappointed by the lower numbers of patrons and the lower amount of sales they were making compared with previous years at the same event.  I think it took into the second or third day before most of them made their expenses.

The beautiful view I had when I peeked out of my booth. :)

I, on the other hand, didn't make my booth fee.  I did sell two of my small original paintings and that is pretty exciting.  The one lady asked if she could take the painting off the wall to look at it more closely, and once I put it into her hands, I knew she was in love with it and was going to buy it.  So that was pretty cool, it really was. :)

An in-the-booth selfie.  It was a little slow...
Overall, I was disappointed with how I did at this art fair.  In retrospect, though, I had much too high expectations for what this art fair was going to do with my art career.  I just need to keep at it.  Paint, paint, paint.  Always painting.  And I continue to explore other ways to get my art in front of people who would like to own it.  I am taking a break from the spring shows in the Valley and will take a look at trying for some again here this fall.

A booth shot from day three.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

a little break.

Last week, the kids & I did our schoolwork in three days, my husband took a couple days off, and we went to California on a mini family camping vacation.  It was a nice break. :)

At Jalama Beach, California

Monday, September 9, 2013

flagstaff art in the park.

This was my second juried art fair.  Two years ago, when I was in the beginning phases of learning everything I could about art fairs, my family and I were in Flagstaff and checked out the Flagstaff Art in the Park 4th of July event.  At the time, I was taking lots of mental notes and thought to myself, maybe next year?  Maybe by then I'll have a display put together and enough art and get into this art fair.

So, two years and a couple of months later, it was pretty cool to be juried into their Labor Day event.  

We borrowed a big white van from friends and took out the middle two benches so we could put my art display in the center.  It was pretty funny-looking, having the kids so far back from us, but it worked really well.  If things go well for me in the art fair world, we may be in the market for a 15-passenger van. :)

Pringles duck faces when we were out running errands before loading the van. :)  I forgot to take a photo once we had everything loaded in, but this is where in the van the kids were seated.

My artist neighbors' booths to the left.

Neighbors to the right.

First day booth shot.  Before the downpour.

After the downpour.  Thankfully, the two ladies who had sought refuge in my booth during the storm were very helpful.  As we watched the drips in my display (which my husband & I had taped off & sealed beforehand) multiplying rapidly, I remembered a roll of 3.5 mil plastic painters dropcloth I had bought "just in case".  We installed it as an inner roof, and my paintings were saved from the dripping water! :)

My family stopped by again, later on in the day.  They had been out when the downpour happened and got to me as quickly as possible.  There was so much rain, my husband said he was almost afraid to drive in it... the puddles were the size they always say you should not drive in.

After the downpour on Saturday, it rained most of the rest of the day.  This is quite a gloomy-looking shot of the row I was in.  Thankfully, the remaining two days turned out so lovely! :)

I wasn't sure going in how I'd do at this fine art & craft fair, being more on the "fine art" end of things.  It seemed that the lower-priced items were more popular with the patrons of this event.  We had a major downpour on Saturday, which definitely hampered things.  It was amazing to see how many people came out after the heaviest rains were over, carrying umbrellas and wearing raincoats.  These people didn't seem fazed by rain.

On Sunday & Monday, we had beautiful weather and lots of crowds.  On Sunday, there was a farmers market nearby, so a lot of the folks going there came through the art fair on their way to and from the farmers market.  I had so much fun people-watching and dog-watching, and talking to a lot of people who came into my booth. On Sunday, a lot of kids practically dragged their parents into my booth to look at my avocado painting.  Funny thing was, I was slightly surprised that they seemed to like avocados as much as our kids do, but didn't really think any more about it.  On the next day I didn't have *any* comments on that piece.  I started wondering perhaps if it was because of all the farmers market patrons that came through on Sunday that I had so many avocado-loving kids come by that day. :)

Partial booth shot on day two.  It seems my booth is a constant work in progress during an art fair.  I sit there and notice things I'd like to rearrange, so I move things around.

After I was done for the day on Sunday, we walked around downtown Flagstaff and got pizza for dinner.  There are some amazing murals, and one of my sons positioned himself so the NAU lumberjack was splitting his head.  (Yikes!)

We took the kids into this historic hotel downtown, and happened upon a group who get together every Sunday night for drinks & to play Celtic music.  It was such a nice surprise! :)

The three most commented-on paintings for the whole weekend: 
1. Wild Blueberries (which is for sure one of my best works)
2. Adirondack Chairs (I wish I could count how many people walked by and said, "I want to be there!" as they pointed at my painting.)
3. Horse Eye (either people loved it or it made them feel creeped out, but I had some truly heart-felt compliments on how I had "gotten" the horse eye just right.)

On day 3, we opened my booth up to the street behind me again.  It's how we originally started out before the downpour on Saturday, but I'd been afraid to try it again in case of rain.  I had paintings on the back outside wall, too.

Another shot of my booth on day 3.

As for how I did?  Well... I sold some smaller prints, but didn't come anywhere near to making my booth fee, let alone meeting my total expenses.  But it was still a lovely weekend, fun to visit with the other artists and talk with a lot of really interesting people who came by, a nice getaway for our family from the heat.  And, it was pretty cool being a part of the event that I had hoped to get into, back at the beginning before I had a display or even enough paintings to really contemplate getting into a juried event.

A shot my older daughter took right before the end of the art fair, on Monday afternoon.  I enjoyed meeting my artist neighbors.

 A shot my daughter took, looking down towards my booth (on the left behind the lady walking by) just before the end of the art fair.

I'm still trying to find my niche for my art, whether the art fair market is even the right place to try to sell my work.  But I'm not giving up on this art fair thing yet.  I've got a juried art festival coming up in a couple of months, and we'll see how I do there.  I just have to pace myself on applying for more art fairs, because paying booth fees without selling enough to cover the fees adds up pretty quickly.