Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Show in the Books!!!

It's been an exhausting few weeks to get ready for the show, but I have to say it was well worth it! The biggest preparation by far was the "booth" and the framing of my art, but now that it's all done, it will be a little easier for the next show. Here are some of the things I've learned (and this is geared toward any artist getting ready to do their first event....

DO get a proper tent...I have the Easy up that I bought online and I've had great success with it in past glass shows and now my first painting show.

DO set up your display in your yard before attending the show....and take pictures to bring along to simplify and speed up the set up.

Do take pictures of your booth, you will need it to enter juried and stricter shows.

DO prepare all tags, pricing, inventory sheet with prices ahead of time, you will not have time that day to do it. I had several tags blow off, etc, and when someone wanted to buy an unmarked piece, it was nice to have a prepared list to refer's too hard to try to make it up on the fly and you don't seem credible to the buyer.

DO bring sunscreen and a huge cooler of bottled water to outdoor summer shows, not just for yourself, but for your patrons....whether it be a hot tired child, a pregnant mom to be, or an elderly person in a wheelchair, you will know it if you see it, if they need a bit of shade and water in your tent.

DO have several assistants to help you in setup if it's your first time. I arrived the earliest I was allowed in, had 3 helpers, and still barely made the deadline for set up!

DO have your vehicle packed and ready the night before....trying to do it the morning of does not work and you will be delayed.

For paintings or any hanging art, I created my own display with Screen by the roll that you can find at any major hardware store ( I bought the 4 foot length roll of pet safe screen, it's the strongest you can buy, it keeps out the sun, and allows air to flow thru your tent.....I used 5 foot pvc and connecters and stapled the top like a curtain rod....It worked wonderfully, contact me if you need further instruction.....It also was the most economical method I could find to display my art in a professional manner) Long Zip tyes are ESSENTIAL to this setup, and don't forget the scissors to cut it down.

DO Bring milk jugs filled with water and plenty of rope to weigh down your tent.....I usually zip tye 3 jugs together per corner and tie the whole deal to the top of the never know when the wind will pick up and throw everything across the show!

DO have a wide price range and size for your customers and prints or cards if possible. Many wanted to walk away with something, but didn't have the funds....almost all of what I sold was around the $65 price range....small scale art....and all the new owners walked away proud and happy to have an "original"

Find a place outside your tent to sit where you are readily accessible, but out of the customers way, they like to shop and comment in piece and will find you if they have a question.

DO tell them about the significance to you of a particular piece of art they are interested in.

Have lots of business card handy, and give them out like candy.

DO have a framed bio somewhere in your display, many many people read mine, and it opens a line of communication with potential buyers who are more likely to buy if they feel connected to you or the art.

DO make friends with the other artists....they are an excellent resource for their experience with shows and setups.....

DO keep your expectations real and do not be discouraged if you don't sell what you expect....there are lots of variables and you will learn as I am. I've learned that as much as people admire my larger paintings, they probably won't buy them (at least at this show) I sold 10 paintings today, and HOPED to sell only expectations were surpassed and I was pleased.

These are all the things I learned in ONE show.....I imagine I will learn much more in shows to come, feel free to contact me with any questions if you are nervous about your first show! Like all beginning artists I hope to someday not have to do these kinds of shows and have such demand for my art or be represented by galleries that I do not have to do this.....but the positive side of all this work is meeting your customers face to face, hearing so many compliments about your work, and getting out of your studio for the day and meeting other people just like you! Good Luck!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Triple Trouble-Work in Progress

I've been putting off this commission for some time now, because it's the biggest painting I've done to date....but I've given myself a deadline of Sunday the 31st, for my show, so here is where I stand today....lots of work yet, but I'm motivated now!

These fellas look like they've just been chastised for doing something very bad, all huddled together as if they won't get in trouble looking so cute. No doubt they were lounging on the picnic table, tearing up newly planted rose bushes, or have been found sleeping on the forbidden furniture. I wonder who the ringleader is.....


This weekend I will showing my paintings at Art on the Mall at the University of Toledo. It is my first juried show, and I'm a tad nervous since that is where I attended school for art, and the quality of the art there is very intimidating. I'm still working on my display, as you can see by the paintings strewn around the driveway, and awkwardly hanging work, but it's getting there! I had the tent from past fused glass shows, and the front wooden panels with pegboard, but needed an easy, inexpensive and lightweight soulution for hanging canvases and lighter paintings. I used heavy duty pet screen for screen doors, pvc pipe and a stapler. I set the whole thing up to make sure it works and it seems like it will be perfect.....I will use something more permanent if I choose to do this in the future, but the set up is so easy and lightweight....If you are in the area, the show is Sunday the 31st, and I will be at booth 19, near the food!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Youth and Experience

8x10 oil on canvas board

I've been wanting to paint this photo from John Webster's portfolio for some time now, but just didn't feel ready...I finally just threw caution to the wind and did it small scale to test out the composition and colors. I hope I did it justice. It's not a great photo, as I took it from my cell, but here it is! Now I would like to do a larger, permanent version of it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Upcoming show and finishing Irises

11x14 oil on stretched canvas $75
to purchase visit

For all my local followers, I will be at the Art on the Mall show at UT in Toledo on Sunday July 31st, booth 19, come out and say hi! Here is one of my latest paintings that is ALMOST finished for the show, just a bit more to de in the details.....Irises have always been on of my favorite subjects to paint, but I think I do them justice in watercolor, not oil!

"Legit" paintings and Dog days of summer

The heat is reaching 100 degrees here, I guess that's what they mean by dog days of summer (see photo)....I've been using the time I would normally paint outdoors to stay inside where it's cool and frame some of my paintings for an upcoming show. I recieved the ultimate compliment from my 13 year old daughter after she saw my paintings framed: "Mom, your paintings are legit!" I was also pleasantly surprised that the local Fox news is interested in doing a story about my daily paintings, stay tuned for details.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cherry Trio

5x7 oil on canvas board $50

To purchase click here:

I've been very neglectful in my posting this summer and I'm going to force myself to get back on track. I've been getting ready for an outdoor sho at the end of the month so I've been working on several larger paintings. Yesterday I decided I needed to step away from those and do a small one so I felt like I accomplished something.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

on the easel

I've been putzing around with this too long....I need to just finish it, any comments,critique or suggestions welcome!

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 new landscapes

Two new landscapes from the book I've been learning from "The Art of Oil Painting" by Walter Foster Publishing....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Studies

I have been trying to do more Plein air paintings, but it seemed as if everything was turning to mud, so I did some studies of individual landscape elements and it helps tremendously. (trees to come!) Rocks are a difficult subject, but these make it seem easy!

Feeling Tropical

11x14 oil on stretched canvas

I've been working on some studies from an oil painting book, this is one of them, I've tried to paint palms in the past and had a difficult time, but this book has a great step by step. (The Art of Oil Painting by Walter Foster Publishing) Next I'll be working on a scene I've been wanting to paint, but had too many Palm trees!

I painted most of this with a brush, and then palette knife for the palm tree....

If you are interested in purchasing any of my paintings, visit my Etsy Shop at

Finally Finished!

9x12 oil on masonite

I've been very neglectful in my blogging of late, busy with the fourth of July holiday, and catching up on household chores, but I have found time to paint here and there. I finished this scene from John Webster's Barbados photographs...John is a wonderful photographer who has purchased several of my paintings, and graciously allows me to paint his works.