And by” pretty close”, well she’s signed but I’m gonna live with her a little to see if I want to change anything.
I had to force myself to stop, because I was beginning to overwork it. Sometimes it’s best to let go and move on.
This was the first time I worked on white suede. I prefer a pewter-ish color (this allows me to go darker and lighter) but I had a sheet of white laying around and at over $40 a sheet I decided to put it in play, especially since there wasn’t going to be any white on the cow herself.
I did take a few in-progress shots so expect a start-to-finish on her in a day or two.
Looking at my collection I need to do some profiles, but the head on shots are grabbing me right now. Still I gotta get some variety going. I also need to introduce some new background colors. More blues, purples, yellows and (gasp) reds if I’m brave enough.. Freckles has “more” blues but still lots of the green. I need to push myself on this.
What I Need/Want For The Exhibit is minimally 16 paintings.
Cow Paintings So Far 6 (not including anything that has sold)
Cow Paintings Left to go 10.
I love my bright cows but would also like to get a least a couple of more realistic works in the mix. They take so much longer it is a commitment to my time management to try to include this.
The good news is I’m rather excited about art right now and don’t mind doing cow after cow. I’ve got some crow sketches laying about but I’m not sure what way I’ll go. Perhaps crow … perhaps cow.
Holstein Cow Safari
I finally got a few shots of some Holsteins yesterday. It was a sunny and a small herd was out enjoying the gorgeous Fall day. I asked the owner if it was okay and was met with a dazed and confused look but they gave me the go ahead. I explained I was a painter and about the cow art show, but that didn’t seem to help it make sense to them.
At any rate, expect a holstein or two in the future. I printed a bunch of photos today and now I just have to figure who gets done first.
Working Title: Rosie (though it may be Ginger depending on what color story I finally settle on)
Water Soluble Mixed Media on White Suede
Approx 18×22 inches (though finished painting will be cropped more)
All That Color Is Like A Slap In The Face
All that solid color scares the heck out of me. There’s a reason I paint stripes and spots. It’s in my comfort zone. As such I have been hitting this one pretty hard. I don’t want to stop until I reach a certain level of comfort with what I’ve got down. In reality the heifer itself is nearly completed but the lighting is gone today for photo taking so you’re getting an earlier in progress shot.
“Freckles” is nearly complete but I have set her aside to allow myself time to decide how I want to progress. Right now Freckles is a much more pastel piece than ALL of my other heifers. I think that’s okay … but I’m not sure. So she’s propped up where I can ponder my dilemma without forcing an answer. And thus I began another.
Because I Create Artificial Rules For Myself.
Anyone else do this? I really want to do something else, though I am loving doing my cows. Crows, Pelicans or a Christmas card design. But I decided I really needed to get one more cow painting done before rewarding myself with painting something else.
Recently when discussing all things art with a group of fellow artists there was a moment when I was talking about my fears regarding sales for next year. I have sold more original works than I produced for the past several years. This has left my inventory quite depleted. Yes this is a good problem to have … it is none-the-less a “real” problem. Having my own gallery is awesome. It’s also stressful and exhausting. The only way my tiny gallery, in my tiny town keeps my lights on and my belly full is by juggling half a dozen different art related income streams. I gotta keep all the balls in the air to make it work. Drop one … say like loss of original artwork sales for a year … and it could potentially be financially serious. I’m single so it’s all on me to keep the cash flow … well … flowing.
So when trying to broach the subject with my art group I was met with jeers about “Oh poor you, selling too much art.” And I know it was in good fun. These are in fact a group of artists that I have known and consider some of my best friends for 10-15 years. They have been there and supported me during many of life’s trials. So to be clear I was not hurt by it, but it did in fact shame me just a little bit and thus put me on a bit on an introspective path.
I mean did it sound like I was bragging? Did I not include enough hand wringing to be clear it was in fact “not” about that. Or was I just over sharing?
Even now I feel compelled to place a disclaimer “Well, I am not a prolific artist so my outselling what I produce isn’t as impressive as it sounds.”
When did it become shameful to talk about money?
After spending a summer talking openly about sales with fellow art fair artists I forget sometimes that not everyone is comfortable with this kind of conversation. Many of my art fair artist friends discuss money and sales openly because the exchange of this type of information is invaluable. Speaking vaguely serves no one. My idea of what makes a successful event, and your idea and the guy down the street, will be all very different.
When talking with my art fair friends talking real monetary numbers and whether an event was successful isn’t usually seen as bragging. Merely a sharing of information. therefor shaming at least in my circles, doesn’t occur. But when talking with other artist friends, celebrating one’s success “too much” can be seen as an abundance of ego.
All this got me to thinking and curious what you guys think. As professional artists … do you talk openly about your successes or sales (successful or otherwise) with other artists?
Working Title: Freckles
Mixed Media: Water soluble ink, pencils, wax pastels
Approximately 19×20 inches
So many ideas … so little time.
I really have a hankerin’ to do some bird art. Pelicans, crows and owls. But since I had this cow all drawn out and laying on my drafting table for months … and since I really wanted to throw some color down, I began her.
I am half way through a drawing of Pelicans and now of course since it’s October and my yard is full of crows cleaning up the walnuts I may finally get around to trying my hand at them as well. So many ideas … so little time.
But for now I am having fun with the latest of the Moo Crew (aka The Cowgirl Collection, aka The Happy Heifers) She’s a long way from being done but you get the idea. Unlike my last heifer “Hattie” who I’m not sure ever even made it to the blog. I have been taking in progress shots of this one so there will be a start to finish post on this painting.
While slinging color on this piece I am also toying with Christmas card designs for this year’s card. (Because you know I am a multitask master) I have a deer that I sketched out last year that I’d love to try.
But it seems to me …. since I need (want)to have 12 more cows for next years exhibition … well it seems like a cow card may be in order. Moo-ey Christmas and all that.
Here I am all smiles for so early in the morning. I couldn’t have asked for much more outta my last art fair of the season. The weather was stellar, sales were small but brisk and I got away withoutbeing hit by a truck.
I am always happy when the season is over and also sad. I really do enjoy doing art fairs (as long as you don’t ask me how much in the wee hours of a frosty morning or when I’m packing up in a heavy downpour.) I like meeting people, hearing their critter stories and well … making money. I usually come away feeling very motivated to create which is huge.
So thank you to all who purchased from me this past season. Not only does it help me keep myself and my critters fed, the lights on at home and the gallery but it also motivates me to continue to do what I love to do, make more critter art.
In case you’re wondering yes, I am wearing a fanny pack. I realize they are oh so trendy but I like to keep my cash on my body. I can make change easily and never have to worry about my cash box when taking a bathroom break.
The season is already about over for me (I’m not planning on doing any holiday events this year) and I didn’t really even mention them on the blog as I did them this year. This is in part because there has a bit of chaos keeping me rather preoccupied and partly because I’ve pretty much done all the same events I usually do and so there just wasn’t much to talk about about..
It’s All A Crapshoot
The above photo was from Riverssance held in the Quad-cities of Iowa and was where I was last weekend. As you can see by the photo there were just no people. This normally booming event usually boasts great crowds which like to buy. This year was slow. (mind numbingly soul sucking slow) I did half of my usual. Sadly, this meant I was one of the high earners among the artists I talked to. There were 101 talented artists, live music, wine tasting and fun foods. I don’t know why it was so poor this year. It threatened rain but for a small sprinkling Saturday morning, didn’t.
At any rate, events this year for the most part were better than expected, so on the whole I’d say things are looking up for the economy. Many of the events I did, I sold original work as well as prints which is certainly not the case most years. So I am rather optimistic about the art business.
The Last Hurrah.
This weekend I’ll be in Ames, Iowa doing the Octagon event. I wasn’t there last year as it conflicted with Riverssance. So hopefully that means good things sale-wise this year. Wish me luck and if you happen to be in the area come say “Hello” I am booth 109 which is somewhere in the center (sort of.)
So recently the transmission went out on my art fair gallery van “again.” As in I just got it replaced … oh … about 9000 miles ago. And yes, it was out of warranty … just barely.
While the cost of the tranny alone is depressing the fact that it happened literally on the eve of me doing 4 events in 5 weeks was enough to put me in a tizzy. Loss of art fair income at a time when I need to pay for work on my gallery roof was not an option.
Note The Similarities Between My Gallery Building And The Truck. After calling half a dozen car rental places to no avail I tried someone with whom I’ve had business relations for, well … as long as I’ve been in business. Chris Cakes is no longer housed in my gallery building in Rolfe and even though I’ve owned the building for many many years, I just never quite got around to taking down the sign.
He was a doll and generously let me use the truck not once but twice keeping it set aside for me. I can’t express how much this meant to me. At any rate while cruisin’ this bad boy I learned two things about people.
People love cake! And when I explained that Chris Cakes is actually “pancakes” well …
People love pancakes! Pretty much the same reaction. Folks were following me around like the pied piper.
So thank you Gregg. You were truly a life saver. A big hug to you for being there when no one else was able to. You really saved my booty.
I am a working artist living in a small rural town in Iowa. I own Wild Faces Gallery & Frame where I spend a great deal of my time in order to keep my critters in kibble and hay. This blog is is a place for me to showcase my artwork, my business and the wanderings of my mind.