Archive for September, 2011

So this is one of my very earliest pieces that was made into prints. We have only carried it as a small 9×9 inch print with matting which made it a 12×12. I get asked many times each year via email and at shows if we carry it larger. I’ve always said no.

But the other night when I received yet another request for it bigger I took all my new found, new fangled printing knowledge and played with the very ancient file and tried it in a couple of new sizes. Turns out it looks great large scale so I am now offering in the bigger sizes as limited edition.

Cool Huh?

For more info on pricing and sizes please visit the Red Carnations page on the Wild Faces Gallery website or well … you know. .. just click here.

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I thought I'd better …

So I’ve been back from my last event for a few days and I thought I’d better post because when I go too long without doing so people start calling because they’re … I don’t know what … afraid they’ll find me passed out with half a dozen bottles of Diet Coke and twice as many ice cream (Ummmmm…. Wells BlueBunny Bunny Tracks) containers sprawled haphazzardly around me. Nope I’m good.

You know Bunny Tracks does sounds really good about now.

Anywho … The event went as well as could be expected though as always I wanted more. So I’ve been back just fillin’ up the ol’ noggin with me some color profiling book learnin’ during the day and then I usually come back in, in the evenings and do picture framing, inventory and prep work for the next event.

My gallery is in some serious need of a good and thorough cleaning but one of my rafters needs to be mended and hopefully that will happen soon. So thoroughly cleaning just to have the place gutted isn’t high on my to-do list.

Still …. the place is kinda an embarrassment at this point. I need to slap some sort of hazardous waste signage on the bathroom.

I promise not to blog about every gift I get but this really is just so apropo.
I got this from my dear friend Linda. It’s the cross of Saint Brigid which has been traditionally used to protect a dwelling from fire and evil. (so far sounds good to me.) According to Linda she is also the patron Saints of artistic and/or entrepreneurial women. I know right? How perfect.

So I’ll hang it with pride as soon as I can find a place that the Budda can’t knock it down from. I had it up next to the ceiling because … you know that seemed like a good place.

But no, next morning I found it on the floor with a couple of tiny cat toothy marks in it. So now that it has Budda’s seal of approval maybe he’ll just let it hang.

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So I was back around two hours from Riverssance on Monday and the gallery phone rings.

Caller: Hi this is Sue (name changed to protect the innocent) and I am from the Octagon Arts Center. Is this Mona?

Me: Yes.

Sue: We see that you did not apply for our art fair this year.

Me That is correct.

…………………..(very long silence)……………………………..

I’m not sure what she thought I might say to this but I had nothing more that I felt the need to share.

Sue: Um …. well we’ve had a cancellation and were wondering if perhaps you’d like to participate this year?

Me: Uh ……….. Where’s the booth located? (center of event)
Sunny side or shady side of street? (sunny)
Is there a game that day? (no) – this is a university town so a football game really does decrease the attendees substantially.
How many people do you have on your wait list? (none. the director said to call you to see if you’d want to do it.)
How long until I need to let you know? (uh … well … um.)
How much? Preapproved rate. (you know because I’ve been doing this event since caveman times)

I don’t think Sue was expecting quite the 3rd degree. While I was a little flattered that the director just pulled my name out of thin air there was a reason that I didn’t apply. The economy seems to hit the smaller shows the most. I mean I still have nightmares about the worst art fair ever. But as things stand now (feeling better after the past 3 events) I’m willing to take a gamble in the hopes of coming out ahead. And since it’s only one day and so far there is no threat of anything but sunny and 70 I going with the optimistic part of me.

So we leave for the Octagon Arts Center Festival today. If you’re in the area pop by and say Hiya!. I’m in booth 21 which is supposedly near the food and the music. Wish me luck … or better yet wealth.

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Phone It In Friday – In My Mind

So with my life in upheaval it’s easy for me to question my choices along pivotal points in my life. I think back to who I think I’d be by now and wonder if I was a different person perhaps I’d be more … well, just more. But you know, I really do like who I am. And I really do love my life and on those days when it seems like a real struggle to hold onto this life … I play this song.

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The Old And The New
So I’ve returned wet but triumphant from Riverssance. The event was pretty good especially considering it rained “all” day Sunday.

We knew it was going to rain Sunday while we were packing up Saturday night and so I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out whether to just do my overnight pack-up or pack-up for the entire event. The event staff said to take down all the art as no one knew what might be blowing in overnight. Also there was a rumor (artists are worse than coffee clutch old ladies when it comes to rumors abut weather … and yes I do jump around and spread the word to my friends when I hear the latest) that they’d call the show in the morning.

Sunday morning came dry (huh? Maybe that whole 80%-100% chance of rain was wrong) and we again spent much time debating whether to pack-up. The old me would have been all “I. Am. Outta here!” and down the road by the time the first sprinkle struck.

But the new me … you know the one who says things to herself like …. “The van needs new tires … and with winter around the corner I need corn for the corn burner at the gallery and propane at the farm … and then of course there’s income tax, and property tax and oh yeah sales tax.” Well, that me looked at the sky and thought” Hm… If if isn’t going to blow it may only rain for an hour or two and the day may not be a total loss.”

So okay … we stayed. We put up a second tent behind our booth for a rain shelter and took all the necessary precautions like not putting any original water susceptible artwork in the booth.

So just before the event opens I’m talking with Lori Biwer Stewart who’s just started her own blog and if you’re interested be sure to check it out. Because she’s totally awesome and her work … even more so.

telling me the latest weather rumor: I heard that the weather is splitting in two and going around us.

Me: Maybe all the artist praying for good weather actually worked.

Lori: Wait! … Is that a sprinkle?

Now it’s a good thing I wasn’t talking with Bob “Makes It Rain” Brehmer or I would have most assuredly blamed him for this. But this weekend all we exchanged was a cheery wave so he’s in the clear … this time.

It rained all day from a light drizzle to a mildly heavy downpour and repeated this cycle all day. There was a small break at about 3:30 and since the event ended at 4 we started packing up. While we were not the first to bring in their vehicle to pack. We were the first for out neck of the event.

But … sales were pretty good. It takes some serious stalwart artsy folks to actually pay (there was a gate fee) to walk around the art fair in a downpour. But apparently these people are serious. We still managed to get half what we did Saturday on Sunday. So it was all worth it. Even when the rains resumed before we were done packing up. Yeah … umm … still worth it.

Tents drying out in the gallery garage. Yet another reason I hate packing up wet.

NOTE: I want to clarify that the only reason beside finances that I stayed was because there was supposed to be no wind and no lightening. This event is held on a bluff overlooking a river and nothing says lightening rod more than a 10 x 10 metal tent with a pointy roof.

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Phone It In Friday – Healing Words

It was a day of healing words for me and I thought I would share because frankly we all are going through or have been through something major and traumatic from time to time and both of these small acts of kindness from two very dear friend came after my very bad day of Tuesday.

Turbulence is a life force.
It is opportunity.
Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.

About Turbulence

So I spent the morning and had lunch with a friend of mine who owns the Side Street Gallery in Okoboji. She was concerned for me as I told her what was happening in my life the day prior and had brought me this little note which was something she has carried with her for a long time and held special meaning. She thought she was ready to release it and that it would be something that was now meant for me.

She was right it was and it’s now attached to my mirror in the gallery so I can read it and take it in every single day.

On being a Beauty Queen or … you know like … whatever

This one comes from my dear friend Louise Gunderson and as she has a blog (check out mariongundersonart.com) herself it should have come as no surprise that I would want to blog about it.

Her private response to my Hell-a-va Thing post. (and yes I did ask if it was okay with her before publishing) This bit made me smile and delighted my soul with its whimsy.

For when there might be days that you feel like crap…..well, since you¹ve been working so hard (which you¹ve always been a hard worker, but right now your work is especially-times-infinity intense), that can lead to being so tired, which can lead to vulnerability of certain feelings/thoughts sifting in.

I bet right now you look like a beauty queen!!!!! Oh, so am I overdoing it there?!!!!! Ok, you look like a princess! (Or, if you don¹t want to look like a princess, then you look like a pretty mermaid with legs. Or, if you don¹t want to look like a pretty mermaid, then you look like a human flower.. Or, if you don¹t want to look like a human lower, then…..hmmmmm, a colorful butterfly? Oh, one that is human.

So if you’re feeling a little blue, take it in for yourself. Because I think just about everyone could use someone telling them this on a bad day. These were gifts from the heart and now … their yours

Leaving for Davenport Iowa for the Riverssance art event today. See you all on Tuesday.

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I have had many good days of late. Enough of them in fact that I am all “I am so handling this whole life turned upside thing like a pro.” You know being all adult like and avoiding the nasty side of me. Because as I’ve said before, my totem animal is a grizzly bear. So I’m all sunshine and rainbows until you poke me.

Okay back on topic… lots of good days have passed me by but … today is a bad day.

And as I stare at myself in the mirror with puffy eyes and saggy face from total lack of sleep Baggy and wrinkled clothes that yes indeed, I did wear yesterday but I have showered since then thank-you-very-much. And while I may not have brushed my hair yet, it’s up in a ponytail (which I am totally rockin’) so you don’t even notice… probably because you’re too busy wondering why I’m wearing the same clothes and have such squinty looking eyes.

As I look at myself I gotta wonder how well I am really holding up in it all. Now if I believe all my dear friends who have surrounded me and closed ranks with love and support I am totally awesome. In fact lately just about everyone tells me how good I look.

And so I gotta wonder “What’s up with that?” Here’s my thoughts.

1. They know what’s going on and thinking I’m going through my own personal hell right now, want to offer me comfort through compliments. Lord knows you don’t tell someone who’s going through a bad time that it is reflected all over their face.

2. Or perhaps they think that because of what I’m going through I really should look like hell. So in comparison, I look better than what they thought I would. Umm … I’m guilty of this one myself. I’ve had friends who are going through cancer treatments and invariably the first words out of my mouth are “You really look great.” Perhaps I need to rethink that.

3. The last alternative is that I have indeed lost 35 pounds in the past 2 years and so maybe just maybe it is meant sincerely and has nothing to do with my life gone to hell.

Ah hell I don’t know. But thank you.

To every single one of you who has told me I am looking good, healthy, skinny, happy or whatever. I don’t care if it was the truth or a lie. Either way it just means you care enough to try to lighten my load just a little.

Oh and by the way. Ya’ll are looking pretty damn good yourselves.

Here’s A Little Known Grizzly Bear Fact

Grizzly type people really love shiny baubley things. This was a gift from a local customer for no good reason other than she felt like it. (meaning she’s no idea what I’m dealing with at the moment) How utterly sweet and she made it just for me. Thanks Stella.

: sorry about the slightly fuzzy quality of the photo. It’s really hard to get a clear shot of your arm when it’s attached to your body.

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So Rockbrook turned out to be a pretty good. It had moments that were reminiscent of events from years back where I the epiphany of Oh that’s right … this is what art fairs are supposed to be like.”

You know like when people walk up with a handful of prints or point at the walls and say “I want that one … and that one …. and that one.”

Now much of the event was the usual selling of a card or small print here or there but occasionally there were those bright moments. My dear potter friend of course raked it in but it was a mixed event. Two of my dear friends who are in the same genre’ as myself one does African Wildlife and the other does watercolor birds both did horrible and don’t plan on returning. I am lucky and blessed that my event in the end was, if not the best one so far this year (I’ve yet to do the numbers) … is in the top 2. That being said this would have been a very mediocre event even just 3 years ago.

I took no photos because I just wasn’t motivated at all to do so. Feeling just a tad lackluster (and by that I mean dead on my feet) so didn’t pull the camera out and though would have had the opportunity to do the Henry Doorly Zoo, I passed.

So I’m home for the next 3 days and then off again to my last one for this month. I’m feeling pretty good today despite this work marathon I’m on. I’m guessing that has something to do with earning some money and the Diet Coke IV drip that I’m on.

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I'm Dog Paddling Like A Mad Woman

And no … I don’t mean that I’m spanking dogs
And just to be clear in case there are some PETA people going “What the? …. she’s spanking random dogs!?” By that I mean that I feel like I was thrown in the deep end of the pool and told to figure out how to swim. So I am dog paddling to keep my head above water. I am tired and have been working non-stop long days, thus my absence from the blog. But the good news is that so far I am still afloat. And following this metaphor to its contrived and exhaustive end I think eventually I shall indeed learn to swim in a relaxed manner. It’s just not going to be anytime soon.

Luckily for me, I am usually very good in a crisis.

Moving On
So today I leave for Omaha. This weekend’s scheduled event is Rockbrook Village Art Fair. This has always been a good event in the past so here’s hoping.

My Booth is #32C which is the art fair sweet spot of somewhere in the middle.

See ya’ll on the flip side.

Post Amended To Say:
Yeah okay … so as to the good in a crisis thing.

First I will probably sob inconsolably for awhile … followed by shaking my fists at the heavens and shouting “Whhhhyyyyy!” repeatedly.

But then … then, I am good in a crisis.

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Artsplash 2011

Well I am content with how Artsplash went this year … all things considering.

All things considering like a city impacted by flooding all year which only just receded a few days back, as well as the show being put in a totally new location on the other end of the city. It also rained for the first few hours on Saturday which meant the crowds dispersed and didn’t really pick up much steam again until after 3.

The buying of my products was limited to shrink wrapped prints and notecards. No major art or even framed prints sold. I didn’t take home an award this year (dang!) but I did get my picture on the front page of the Sunday Sioux City journal. (umm yeah … I totally didn’t have time to grab a copy and see it though. Was told about it by many of the patrons followed by “I should have clipped it out for you.”)

The new location was nice although inconvenient for set up and the tear down was a nightmare, though most artists were very considerate and patient. The spaces were tight and small (See Below Photo) and allowed no room in the back of the booth because of a 45% to 60% hill behind the tent where we parked the van. (See Above Photo: Taken part way up Mount Artsplash.I tried taking one from the top but the tree tops completely blocked the view. Yeah okay, it doesn’t look so bad but trust it was tall and steep. ) So after running up and down that hill 20-30 gazillion times a day I now have thighs-o-steel.

On the plus side of the new location was that the bandshell was free which was why they could pass on charging a gate fee, which was normally $5 a head. Also all the musical entertainment played for free which is kinda wonderful of them.

As always the staff and volunteers were awesome. There was a trolly filled with coffee, water, cookies, muffins, granola bars, fruit snacks and actual fruit rolling by every 20 minutes or so. They also provided a free lunch of sandwich and chips each day as well as a wonderful artist dinner on Saturday night with Tai food and Mexican from several featured restaurants of Sioux Cities finest. Artsplash is one of those events who really works hard to keep the artists happy unlike new weeks venue where a doughnut for breakfast is the most you can expect. Ah well … it’s all about the sales and usually Rockbrook earns me more money than Artsplash, so we’ll see.

I’ve been doing this event long enough now that everyone knows me by name and sight. Apparently i am one of only a handful that has been with them for over 10 years. Kinda a nice feeling to be welcomed by name when I pull in. Kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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