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Archive for September, 2010

Yup just Sunday only. Today is drizxly and thunderstormy but the weather bug promises partly cloudy and calm tomorrow so here’s hoping. The event is located on Main St and runs from 10-5. My booth is located pretty much dead center (In front of Gallery 319) SO if you’re in the area stop by and say “hi.”

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I hit a new record 5 lenses in 5 days. I was feeling pretty dang proud of myself until I was in the forum and read that one lensmaster has set a goal of 1000 in 4 years. Suddenly my goal of 50 lenses in 2 years seem a little pale. At any rate here they are.

The Draft Horse Art Of Wild Faces Gallery Because I am constantly making more horse paintings my previous lens The Horse Paintings Of Wild Faces Gallery was getting a bit long. So I removed the drafts from it and created a new lens specifically for draft horse art. Not much in the way of new stuff here for my bloggy folk. But thought I’d list it anyway. Plus it was recently awarded a purple star which is kind like a “job well done” medal.


Music For The Art Of Creating This lens was created as a challenge lens. This is the first time I have ever created a lens specifically to meet a squidoo criteria in this case music. Though I love music I don’t really follow anyone in particular. But since I do love various worldly music I decided to make a lens about the music I play while creating art. Because much like a well lit, quiet comfortable space is needed to tap into your creative so does the right music. Anybody else listen to these (or any other) artists?


Create Your Own Holiday Or Christmas Art Cards (Excerpt from intro for this lens.really says it all.)When I was younger it was a local tradition with my family and friends that every year for the holidays we’d all create a new Christmas ornament and then gift them to each other. The result was a lovely tree filled with lots of memories. Unfortunately as my art business took off I had very little time left for creating ornaments. But still wanting to keep up the tradition I started making a new unique holiday card design to send to friends and families.

I know when I get handmade cards from people I always cherish them and keep them. So I thought I’d share a few of the various way you can make your own one of a kind Christmas cards. One of the best things about making these kinds of cards is that they are suitable to be kept as a keepsake for can be framed when the holiday is past.



The World Percheron Congress.
At the moment this lens is really a factoid about the breed with a breif roster of what you might expect to see when visiting the event. After I go to it, I will do a massive update to the lens. But I just couldn’t see putting off publishing until the end of October. Why not make a little money on it now.


And Finally, A Debate Lens

Is Declawing Cats Cruel and should it be banned in the US. Since I was a vet tech I have an intimite knowledge of what all goes into the actual surgery. It’s was my least favorite to assist with. And yet I think making it illegal would eventually cause more trouble to a nation that is already over burdened with feral and abandoned cats. What do you think? Visit the lens and voice your opinion. But play nice. Bad behavior will not be tolerated.

So thats all of them. I think I will address the horse slaughter issue in another debate lens. And other than that I will once again take a lenswriting break until the next time Mike leaves for his massage classes. (Because I have access to all computers all the time when he’s gone. Not just briefly in the morning and before I fall into bed.)

Once again anyone with a facebook account OR a squidoo account can comment and rate the lenses.

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The Definition of Awesome (a rant)

Disclaimer As with all my rants for those of you who don’t want to be smudged with my cranky mood juju, it might be best to skip the post. I often ponder the wisdom of ranting online. You know because I like my blog to be a happy place where magical unicorns spronk through imaginary meadows. But sometimes I just need to let the crazy out.

You know what’s awesome?
A year and a half ago I got my property tax bill and it was double what it was the year before. And I’m like “awesome.

So I talk to my banker who happens to be the guru of all things monetary in our humble little town and he says I could and perhaps should file an appeal. So I call the court house and they are not at all very friendly. In fact grumpy would be a pretty good assessment. The gist being I would need to file during a two week period sometime 8 months in the future. (Yeah, seriously) So I make notes to remind myself to be sure to get the appropriate paperwork during the tiny little window known as the required time.

And a miraculous event occurs, I actually do. I really hate government paperwork because it is not exactly easy for me to comprehend. I fill out the form and mail it in before the due date requesting a meeting with the board. I am later told that I have no valid (legal) leg to stand on for my appeal and my only hope is to talk to the board. (Well isn’t that just ducky. ur … i mean awesome.)

So when the board comes to the gallery and I give them the nickel tour. it goes well (I think) and the assessor is very nice. A few weeks later I get a letter stating my building’s value have been lowered and thus my taxes. I’m like “AWESOME!” Best not to really think about what that means.

Fast forward to the present

I just got this years tax bill and I’m like “WTF Dude!” It’s actually MORE than previously charged. It seems that despite my property being declared less valuable, the taxes actually went up again.

According to the radio the property tax for the average iowa family will go up about $200 this year. And yes with the business it’s more. And yes I get hit twice because of the farm and business.

“Well that’s just totally awesome!”

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Artsplash (the un-illustrated version)


Yup I totally gave up on the idea of drawing illustrations for describing the event. Not enough time. (Somehow in my mind I always think there will be.)

And that’s why I have even more gray hair

It was shocking windy on Friday afternoon during setup. Like tents were leaning at 70 degree angles from their weights. Artsplash has patron’s night on Friday, that we are supposed to be open for, for 4 hours. I seriously thought about skipping it. However this is when the judging takes place and also I really didn’t want to tork off any art fair folk (meaning show promoter types) so I compromised by putting up only 5 panels (instead of the usual 9) in the center of my tent with no print shrink bins because they have a tendency to blow away like so many dreams upon the wind. By the time the Patrons gig got started at dusk, the gale had relaxed down to being merely blustery. (Note: photo was taken on Saturday before opening.)

More Surprises

When the judges came around I apologized about the puny display but explained that I wasn’t willing to risk all more work with the wind. They apparently understood because I actually got an award this year. This is the first time in the decade or so that I’ve been doing this event that that has happened here. What’s even more surprising is that several of my friends also got awards. Not that they didn’t deserve them but this event tends to favor the modern, contemporary type artist. Not generally folks like myself.

One such award winning friend is Olga. I had a good time catching up with her since we see each other only 1 or 2 events a year. She and I have lots in common. So much so it makes me think we could be sisters. Well … as much as a chunky brunette from the Midwest could be related to a beautiful blond Ukrainian.

A Few Changes That Artsplash Has Made

The event is still quite excellent artistic wise. The jury is high level and the artwork exceptional.

A positive change was that instead of holding an artist auction the night of the adult’s only patron party they are now holding it pre-Christmas. Also they sprinkled the wine and food location in amongst the artists so as to encourage the patrons to move about.

These are wonderful changes because before the auction and food and wine were held in an adjoining area with a party like atmosphere. We donated art that the patrons bid on at the party and thus they didn’t really feel the need to walk the show. Now in order to get art, they need to shop for it from the artists.

Mind you I still didn’t make anything on Friday but I believe the change to be for the betterment for the artists on the whole.

I must say I do love it when an art fair asks it’s artist’s opinions, listens to what they say and actually implement the changes. Well done Artsplash!

For previous artsplash information The good the bad and the ugly of it, check out this previous Artsplash post.


UPDATED:
I completely forgot I said I would write about clowns and something akin to a drug deal. Apologies for the length this post has become.

When I won my award the first sign I had of it was a big clown standing outside my booth shouting to come out and give him a hug. I looked at him like “I don’t think so buddy.” Turns out he was part of their hoopla for award presentation. In previous years they had Laurel & Hardy look-a-likes and one man bands. They do this because it gathers a crowd instead of the traditional judge handing you a ribbon and a pat on the back in secret. There is much shouting and cheering and the clown grabbing random strangers and forcing them to congratulate me. Much like the first date of my youth, the whole experience left me feeling excited and humiliated all at the same time.

“Much like the first date of my youth, the whole experience left me feeling excited and humiliated all at the same time.”

I’ve always hated (okay hate is a strong word) been uncomfortable around clowns. Actually anyone in a full body costume. I never understood why people think they’d be great for kids parties. Frankly there’s little more scary than a clown. I mean really if you were walking down a dark alley and suddenly a clown entered from the other end. Tell me you would turn around promptly.

As to the other topic. Weeeeell … it was funnier in my head like a week ago. What it amounted to was I bought a silk skirt from a vendor but since she didn’t jury skirts in she didn’t have them in her booth. But she did bring a bunch along, we just had to sneak off to her van to do the deal. She kept looking cautiously around apparently expecting some art fair folk to pop out and confront her. But all went swimmingly.

So yeah, waaaaay funnier in my head. 🙂

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And The Winner Is….

The Big Blacks Percheron Horses
Watercolor Pencil on Suede
22×30


Adjective or Noun
So yes, I know I said something about not wanting to use the word black in my title. So then what do I do? I turnaround and use black in the title.

But you know changing it from an adjective to a noun makes all the difference. At any rate since he was the first to use the word black, I do believe Robert is then the winner of a print. Yes I’m stretching it a bit here since I am merely using one word and not the whole suggested title so to compensate I’ll be sending you a smaller signed open edition collectible print.

A disclaimer
As mentioned previously the suede sometimes works against the whole print making process. In this case I totally lost all the subtle nuances in the shadow areas which are apparent on the original but are just a gaping black void (kinda like how it looks on the blog really) on the print. I’ve made the image smaller because of this but am still a bit disappointed in how it looks.

Bearing this in mind Robert do you still want one? If so contact me with your mailing address.

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The event was less than hoped for, especially since sales inr Omaha are always good. We got really lucky with the weather and it was fun (despite the lower than average sales) because I got to catch up with some of my favorite artist friends.Not really much more to say about it I suppose.

As it’s getting on toward the end of the season, I am finding myself in an almost constant state of fatigue despite my daily diet coke transfusions. I’ve got lots to say on the blog but not enough energy quite yet to say it. Gimme another day or so to get the gallery under control and I’ll be a posting freak.

Posts Coming Soon;
Artsplash illustrated.
The Percheron Painting has finally been named (and the free print goes to …)
I experience a comeuppance
and most likely a rant. (because I’m feeling ranty)

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Yup totally overshot my ability to deal with gallery customers, shipping out web orders and preparing additional stock for this weekend’s event and still think I could blog to boot. So sorry guys. The illustrated post will have to wait until I get back from a different event. The upside though is the weekend after, I am home (Yay) and should be able to get back to making posts and art. (sweet)

Anywho I’ll be doing the Rockbrook Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday. The weather appears to be quite good so should be a repeat of last weekend.

See ya’ll on the flip side.

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Rhino Painting Update


So this is what I got accomplished while at Artsplash this weekend. I actually could have completed him fully while at the event but I thought it was more interesting to leave him “in progress” so it would be easier for folks to see the various stages. I think it is most unlikely that I’ll get any time in on him this week as in counting today, I have 3 days before we leave for the next event in Omaha.

I’ll do an Artsplash post (hopefully) this week. I have an urge to showcase my wicked good stick figure drawing skills so may do an illustrated version. (Just goes to show the urge to entertain myself outweighs the urge to rest.) We’ll have to see if I remain that ambitious. But if I do It’ll have clowns, bad weather and me in something that felt akin to a drug deal. (Not that I’d know. Just say’in.)

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Where I'm At This Weekend: Artsplash 2010

Artsplash is held in Sioux City, Iowa along the river front every Labor Day weekend. The event is held both Saturday and Sunday as well as a Friday night adult only evening. I’m in booth #18 on the river side of the main strip near the entrance. If you’re in the area stop by and say “Hi!” I’ll be back on Monday

For a comprehensive scoop on the event check out last year’s Artsplash post.

Rainbow Rhino UPDATE: I have actually worked on him just a little but not enough to make it worth while posting an image. I am however, taking it along to this event and plan on working on it there. So hopefully I’ll have completed or nearly completely the beastie part by the time I return. Of course, I should be hoping the sales are so fast and furious that I have no time to work on it at all.

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Preparing Art Fair Jury Slides

Since I mentioned in yesterdays post about this lens I thought today I’d talk about it a little. And to be honest I’m kinda phoning it in.

I am packing to leave for this weekend’s event and the gallery work hasn’t let up lately so I’ve not got a lot of time to devote to making this an outstanding post. You’ll just have to settle for an informative post that points you to an outstanding lens on the subject. So here’s my latest Squidoo lens. It’s about preparing art fair slides and digital images for the art fair jury..

Quality images of your work are the single most important determining factor that gets you in the event. In this day and age you really need to be as professional as you can in order to compete for the limited number of booth spaces available for any particular event. I read somewhere that Cherry Creek had over 2000 applications for 200 booths. (Yeah I know right? How do you think you’d stack up in that kind of competition? Well here’s a few of the basic pointers on how your slides. Refer to the lens for more in depth information as well as a bit about Zapplication and how to maximize your images with it. As with the post the word slide and image are used synonymously.

What constitutes a good quality image.
1. Clarity. No fuzziness or blurry areas. Also no shadows or glare.
2. Color is true to the original. Too light or dark is not acceptable.
3. Image Only. No framing, matting, glazing, or fingers, grass, carpeting. You get the idea.The nice thing about digital files is this is easy to crop out.
4. No Distractions As mentioned #3 the focus should always the artwork. In a like manner the background color should be neutral and muted. Bright White or Very Dark backgrounds should be used cautiously.
5. Image is square. This means the image is not crooked or fading off into the distance on one end.
6.Your best work only. You will be judged on your weakest work guaranteed. Most applications take 3-4 images. If you have 3 outstanding pieces and one so-so piece. It is the so-so piece that will determine your entrance into the event.

The lens also discusses the importance of a good quality booth slide. There was a time when the booth slide was simply meant to be used to show the scale of the work. More and more though the booth image has become a factor in the actual jurying process.

What Makes A Good Booth Slide/Image
* Your slide should contain no banners or obvious things that indicate who the artist is.
* No people in the booth including yourself or customers.
* Just like in your actual booth at the event, no items on the ground (ever.)
* It should not be overcrowded with work.
* A good idea to create a new booth image every year.

So if you are entering art or craft fairs and want to learn a little more on what a jury is looking for be sure to visit my preparing art fair slides and digital images for the art fair jury lens. Also for those of you on facebook can now vote on liking a lens.

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