Archive for June, 2011

Well I am working hard and getting ready to leave for an art event this weekend, I’ll be in Des Moines doing The Other Art Show. It’s the one held during the same time as their big Summer Arts Fest. This one has the bad wrap of being the event that has the lesser quality artists (sigh) so most people go downtown to “look” at all the art there because it’s often too expensive to “buy” and then come to this event to buy something they can actually afford. Ah to be an artist who’s work most people can’t afford. (said wistfully to self) Last year a driend and I went downtown on a little reconnassaince and the art was quite good but not I think in general so much the better than at the other art show. It just goes to show that pricing art truly is subjective. Okay moving on ….

For me the big draw of doing this event is being indoors. (Whoohoo!) We set up on Friday and then just walk in and out each day at start and finish. Its total bliss not to be in the searing heat and worrying about torrential downpours which Iowa has been having nearly every day now for many weeks.

As I’ve said though indoor events don’t make nearly as much money usually as outdoor events so we’ll see what happens. I’ve done this show several times and so far its always been worth our while. It’s our only indoor event this summer so I plan to enjoy it.

So in preparation for the upcoming art season I’ve made a handy dandy chart for me to check the stages of emotional progress of art fair income.

Stage 1. Please God Let me make expenses.
Stage 2. Sweet it’s all gravy from here.
Stage 3. Cool, we can afford to eat this week.
Stage 3.5 Woohoo! Our monthly bills are paid
Stage 4. Happy Dance Time!
Stage 5. Kneel before me, I am an art fair god.

Most events we fall between stage 3 &3.5 area. It’s been a few years since I’ve made it all the way to stage 5 (not since the economic downturn, but I still hit stage 4 once or twice each year.

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The bottom most image is the most accurate color-wise as to what the original looks like. I was kinda surprised at how dark all my WIP’s were.

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In The End I Blame Disney

It has been awhile since I’ve done a rant.
So at the moment my marriage is going through a rough patch. This is not news to most who know me personally. After 20 some years these things happen.

But nonetheless it gets me to pondering my own ideas about love and marriage and how did I miss out on getting my “Happily Ever After.” Indeed why did I ever think I’d get a happily ever after in the first place. So I felt the need for letting a little of the crazy (and by crazy I mean bitterness) out. On the whole this helps me to feel far less stabby.

This post has nothing to do with art or critters or my usually perky disposition
, so feel free to skip over and come back tomorrow for the Tree Topper painting start to finish post.

Bad Boys are sexy.
I am currently out of fresh reading material so I have started rereading the twilight series books as I enjoyed them the first time despite being far older than their target audience. I was talking with a friend the other day about how I can see the huge allure of the storyline for teens despite the fact that the book is full of really bad messages for young girls. She agreed and said the bad boy type is a strong fantasy for most girls. Truthfully most never grow out of it and maybe that’s why so many … um … older than target audience type women read them as well.

Why is this do you suppose? Well as the post title implies I blame Disney.

Both Disney and Twilight like to think their message is “Love conquers all, even death.” But here’s what the Twilight books are really telling young girls and the various and subtle ways in which Disney said it first:

Twilight:: If a boy doesn’t like you, just keep trying. This is especially true if he hints at wanting to kill you. Also his being rich makes it all worthwhile.
Beauty and the Beast: Scary, dangerous men (or beast) who are rich will in the end, make a good husband because you can change him if you try hard enough.

Twilight: Creepy stalker behavior like watching you while you sleep is really just romantic.
Snow White: Rest easy and eventually prince charming will arrive to be there to wake you up. And if you’re really pretty, it doesn’t even matter if you’re already living with a bunch of other men.

Twilight:: If a boy dumps you, start doing life threatening activities because you are really nothing unless you’re with him.
Pocahontas You need to be willing to leave everything you’ve always known including family and friends for a man when he asks you to or else he’ll leave without you.

Twilight: If all else fails, change enough (ie die) and you will get him in the end.
Little Mermaid If you’re willing to change everything that you are, you can win yourself a handsome husband.

Bonus Twilight Message: Nice guys are not nearly as good a choice for life partner as scary, murdery types who hurt you.
Bonus Disney Message: Cinderella: If you are a pretty girl, you don’t need to work your way up in the world. You just have to “pretend” (deceive is such a ugly word) to be rich in order to get a man to fall in love with you and then he’ll take care of everything.

I just googled I Blame Disney and apparently I’m not the only one. It has 18,500,000 search results. Wow! And here i thought I was being original.

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So here she is. She comes in a variety of print sizes so if you want more information please visit my gallery website in the African Animal Gallery or click here..

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I actually discovered this blog (Oh, Noa) because of this art museum post. It’s about pretentious art folk who make up stuff about art to sound smart.

Once again I have a warning on this edition of Phoning It In Friday
since there is a huge amount of profanity (Um … pretty much all the major no-no words are used with abandon here) on this site. So if that’s not something you’re comfortable you should avoid clicking through on the link above.

I, on the other hand grew up in a family that swore like some drunken truck driving pirates so I when I read this kind of stuff it’s like coming home.

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So pictured above is my Birds Of A Feather painting sporting a white linen liner. I hate the white. It does nothing for the piece which I was pretty sure was the case when I ordered it but I was hoping by some small miracle that it would somehow be magical when I put it on the painting;. Alas no.

Now I have covered my share of liners in the past and it’s kinda messy and much easier to do when the liner is yet to be assembled (as this one clearly is) so I thought I’d cheat fate by trying to create a colored liner without covering it in fabric.

My totally brilliant and genius idea?

Dye it.

Yup so I went to my local Hobby Lobby and nearly through my shoulder out with all the patting myself on the back because i used my superior intellect and creative genius to get a finished result with far less effort. I select the dye called Tulip Red though was very drawn to Flamingo Pink and thought I might be mocking the fates by passing up on that color. In the end it really mattered not at all.

So I return home, covering my framing table with multiple layers of cardboard and mix up half the packet. I sponge it on and gasp! … it is hot pink.

I run to the bathroom pour out most of the batch and dump the remaining dye in my bowl and dissolve and try again. This time it covers as red. Whew!

After the first coat dries it still looks a little pink so I add another coat… and another … and another. After the 4th coat it looks like a good red to me. I go home that night still happy despite the dyeing taking more time than it would have to cover the liner in fabric.

And then a horrific thought occurs to me. What might happen if the newly died liner ever gets wet. Ruined Flamingos is my guess. Mind you it would have to get really really wet. But then again I do do outdoor art fairs. So ….

At any rate I plan to spray on a coat of fixative (yeah like that would help) before assembling.

I go in the next morning looking forward to putting the flamingos in the newly colored liner and “What the F…?”

No idea why it did this but over the next few days it had morphed into a myriad of colors. At one point it was completely that milky pink color but then it started reversing and getting dark areas again. After a brief moment or two of pondering the marketing strategy of calling it a mood liner (You know it changes color to suit your mood … or the humidity) or perhaps saying it was possessed by the spirit of flamingos long passed I opted to just cover it in fabric. (you know like I should have done from the beginning.)

I go to our locl hardware to get some spray glue and my option are unknown cheapy McCheapo Brand X glue or 3M which is my spray glue of choice. However they only have a huge can for like $20 so I opted fo Brand X and hope it holds.

Currently the liner now looks like this. I plan to make a new squidoo page on covering liners (most likely next winter when I have time) and so will go over the steps thoroughly though my photos leave something to be desired. I will of course cover the topic here as well.

Lesson Learned
So here’s the kicker. I will more than likely buy another liner (most likely raw – meaning not already covered in linen) and cover it. I will also more than likely buy some 3M glue while I’m at it. The idea of the dye bleeding when wet is freaking me out and I can’t believe it hadn’t even crossed my mind until AFTER I dyed the thing. So the moral of the story?

Do it right the first time.

Trying to be clever in the hopes of saving a bit of time has cost me a package of dye, a can of cheapy McCheapo spray glue and a perfectly good liner that I have now ruined and will need to replace and much, much more time as I have dye it four time and in the end will be covering 2 liners.

Ah well. Had it worked I would have been touting myself as a framing wizard of unparalleled brilliance. Sigh. Maybe next time

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I’m back from this weekend’s event. It was a good enough show. Not happy dance good, but worth the trip. What sold was small items. Tons of notecards and mini prints. I do 2 events in Iowa City each year and perhaps I’m tapping my market there, but it’s the first and last event for me each year and for some reason they are hard to give up.

The weather held despite some seriously scary warnings and ominous looking clouds and all in all it was a great first event of the summer.

You like me … you really like me!
Thanks to everyone who stopped and said they read this blog. Within the first couple of hours I had several people tell me they were readers and I was surprised since up until this weekend the most I’ve ever had tell me this at an event was 2 or 3. By the end of this weekend there were so many, that I was truly shocked, flattered, humbled and … well yes, still just a tiny bit freaked out by all the kind words.

I’d like to think this will make me a better (i.e. grownup) writer and that I will endeavor to create a more thoughtful and well written online journal about doing art and art fairs. But alas. I doubt it. I will continue to write about these things but I will also write about inane or completely trivial and useless stuffs for my personal amusement.

Seriously though, thank you. Most days I am tapping away at my keyboard thinking I am for the most part writing to the universe. So to have actual people come up and thank me for writing about what I do and saying it was useful and helpful, is unbelievably rewarding.

Hugs to all,

BTW I apologize if I was lacking in personality this weekend when we talked. I had a stomach bug and was nauseous and slightly dizzy right up until the last hour or so (I know right, just in time to quit working … coincidence?) I had a really hard time keeping both eyes looking in the same direction and wanted nothing so much as to pass out in front of an air conditioner with a tumbler of Diet Coke, some serious drugs to make the world stop tilting and perhaps a chocolate cake.

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The First One

Sp today we head out for the first event of the season. It is the Iowa Summer Arts Festival is in Iowa City, IA. This is our usual opening season art event and being so early the weather is quite quirky. We almost always get rained on but only once have been rained out.

The only other issue I have with this event is tonight they have an outdoor concert going on (art fair runs only Sat & Sun) which is wonderful for music to be setting up your tent. But has on more than one occasion meant that artists come to open in the morning and find someone has vomited or peed in their tent the night before. Now here’s something to note you won’t find in any art fair manual. Most major cities (and Iowa City is not a “major” city) have plenty of homeless looking for a quiet place to crash. The trick is to leave enough stuff to make it unwelcome for camping in but not enough stuff to be riffled through or stolen. Last year we had a vagrant ask if he could sleep in our tent.

Living in small town USA we don’t have homeless so it breaks my heart me to have someone thinking my EZ up canopy would be a refreshing break. Perhaps it’s because I grew up Sooo poor that I truly understand there is very little between someone with everything in life to someone who has nothing. Just a couple of unexpected happenstances can change everything.

Apparently I get a little melancholy at 6 in the morning. Best get to finishing off my packing and hit the road.

All right not sure
So see ya’ll on the flip side.

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Go and get it folks! It should be available at all the it’s usual haunts or of course you can view it online at their website applesnoats.com.

But if you’re like me and love the feel of an actual object in your hands while you read you can always subscribe.

Alas once again I won’t have an article in this issue. It seems I’m doomed to only get 3 articles a year. But as usual there’s lots of great horse information dealing with equine health, training and events located throughout the Midwest.

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