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Back to Painting

I have taken a little time off from posting, and now my goal for 2023 is to post once a month at a minimum. January is a slow time for doing events and shows here in the Adirondacks, it’s winter and time to enjoy. I am working on building an inventory for the spring shows.

I have been working on some paintings of a more southern theme like pelicans, sea turtles and whales. I need to update my note card collection and these have been requested a few times.

I had a great season, and a shout out to the Workbench Collective in Plattsburgh NY. They sold several of my paintings, cards and lamps. I recommend a visit, it’s a very classy shop and represents a number of great artists.

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Christmas Break

Approaching the Christmas break I only have one more event to show my art. This one is at Livingoods restaurant on December 11th 10 – 3.

I have had a great year, sold a lot of paintings and had several record shows where paints have sold and caused a little panic painting to have enough for the next event.

I have painted several larger pieces that were not in the driftwood accented frames. I only have a few left and after the next show I will post them to my site.

I know pickings are slim here on my web site, it’s been hard to keep up posting them with the volume of paintings I am doing every week. I have often completed a piece during the week only to sell them at the next event that weekend.

My goal is to paint larger pieces over the winter and continue with more of my landscapes. I have the urge to try a few abstract pieces, it will be a stretch, but I think it will be fun, especially with no expectations of making sellable pieces.

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Note Cards Now Available

I have posted my note card sets into my gallery. I have 20 different sets available. each set is a collection of six different images, each one shown as a thumbnail on the label.

The note cards are $12 for a set of 6 cards. The note cards are prints of my work, the inside is blank so you can add your own comments, and they are printed on high quality note card stock,. The cards come with envelopes and are packaged in a plastic box that make them perfect for gifts.

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Summer Market Madness

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I have not been idle.

I have been very busy with attending markets as well as needing to replenish my paintings. I have painted and sold a large number of paintings. On average I sell 1 – 2 of my larger driftwood framed are sold every week, along with 15 – 18 of my smaller framed paintings. That means I have to paint at least 15 paintings every week.

I have found that loons, foxes, moose and blue herons are favorites wildlife subjects at the Lake Placid NY and Saranac Lake farmers markets. I have also started to paint locally inspired landscapes and they are very popular as well.

While attending the various markets I have made a number of good friends and professional connections, and as a result I have been directed to a number of new events to sell at.

I will be honest, a number of markets have not been great, cold and rain resulting e very few sales. I have also missed attending a number of events to attend to other issues. This has spurred me on to enjoy the ones I get to participate in.

After the mid week markets finish in mid September, I will try to update my web site and social media accounts.

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A New Season of Farmers Markets

This is the time of year that I look forward to, a chance to participate in weekly Farmers Markets. The season is short and I look forward to joining my friends and fellow artists and farmers. I am cutting back on the markets I will be attending, I will only be attending the Saranac Lake (Saturdays) and Lake Placid (Wednesdays) markets on a weekly basis. I don’t plan to participate in Willsboro or Elizabeth Town markets, although I will miss some of the people and may break down and attend one or two. I will be a “day of” decision so I wont be posting on my events calendar.

I am also going to participate in several Sunday events in Peru NY . I really look forward to these events because they are so well run, easy to set up, only once a month and close to home, its an easy day.

I am also going to 4 events at Gore Mountain ski area, three are new to me but the final one on Columbus day weekend is one I did last year with great success.

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Kicking Back Just to Create

The past 8 weeks I have taken the time to just stay in my studio and create new pieces. It has been a time of experimentation and play, not much of which will make it to market but it has been fun. Painting, sculptures and furniture were just a few areas of experimentation.

I purchased a new iPad after I broke my last one, and since it is much better I also purchased the app Procreate. I now use this iPad to do the photography for my web site. These are a few owls that I did with the new Procreate software. Not sure how I will incorporate digital art but it will become another tool and it was a great learning experience. Maybe I will dabble in NFT art. 😉

Some business did happen, I did one event at Livings Goods for a Valentines day market, and I have placed paintings and a couple of my lamps at a new retail shop, Artists Workbench in Plattsburgh. I have completed about 30 small paintings and once I have framed and photographed them I will post on the site.

I am playing with a new layout for the web site and it has been frustrating not getting the look I like but I don’t want to write a whole site from scratch. I’ll see how things go…

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Reflecting on 2021

I have had an interesting 2021. It was my first year seriously selling my art on a regular basis at farmers markets and the local Arts and Craft shows. Some events were greatly effected by Covid protocols and others were not. The indoor markets all required a face mask, not a surprise, but not as nice as all the outdoor events where it wasn’t required. Even though I focused on my selling my art I would have been a bit of a starving artist if I only did local events. I would need to expand my calendar of events to cover all expenses if I wasn’t successfully retired.

Sparkle Village Saranac Lake Dec 4th

This year was very successful in many ways. I got to show my works to a number of customers and had a number of buyers and even repeat buyers. I met a number of other vendors who have become friends and have found a network of knowledge about events, materials and contacts.

I have come a long way in my painting , a result of having to paint a dozen paintings in a week just to have material to sell at the next market. I was very pleased with the sales of my driftwood accented framed pieces, I had to make new ones every week throughout the selling season. Most popular was the blue herons and foxes. In many events this fall the smaller works have sold very well, many as gifts. The popular size has been my little 5″ x 1I look forward to the winter break, I have a deep need to spend time experimenting and playing. I have Sculpture designs I want to try as well as expanding my painting repertoire into more landscapes.0″ framed paintings. I have found them a ideal size for many people and able to fit into a wide variety of spaces.

The more events I did, I have noticed that my note cards have been a major part of my sales. I scan my originals and then modify them with an editing tool to make them into a PNG format with the background removed. I have developed a document format that allows me to place the images right where I want them. I have only started to take the cards seriously after I purchased my Epson ET-8550 in June. I can print on a heavy 110lb(300gsm) card stock and with the eco-tank printer I have only had to buy ink once after over 1500 cards. Packaging the cards in 6 packs with clear boxes has helped the sales greatly. I even did a couple of Christmas/winter themed card sets, that over the past month were a real hit. I have now started some paintings with a more spring theme that I will make into cards.

I look forward to the winter break, I have a deep need to spend time experimenting and playing. I have Sculpture designs I want to try as well as expanding my painting repertoire into more landscapes.

The moose at the top was wandering around just down the road at a local golf course. I love the Adirondacks.

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Thanksgiving 2021

This has been a very good year and thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for in both my personal and my art life. I have been blessed with new “Art” friends, I find that by attending several art events that I repeatedly run into other artists. Without exception, they are all willing to talk about their art and about the art business. I was told about many art events I didn’t know about and who to talk to and what’s good and bad about the various events. I also try to pass along my understandings and experience to other artists.

While I have decided not to take on any more commission pieces, I did get a request for a commission that I couldn’t turn down. A guy wanted a landscape painting to give to his new girlfriend for Christmas. He was so enthusiastic (in Love) and the subject was interesting so I decided to do it. I had the opportunity to play with the subject a little and I used Hot pressed paper to give me the opportunity to lift and layer paint. I am happy with the end result and made a custom driftwood frame to finish the piece.

I was at the Adirondack Coast Arts and Craft Fair and had a great time. Sales were very good and the crowds were pre-covid level. Yes we all had to wear masks, both vendors and patrons since it was indoors, but it was still a good event. I would be happy to do it again next year, and I know most of the others would as well. I had to create a setup that was 8×10 in size, so I added more of the closet shelves I use as vertical grids to hang paintings and they worked very well. I will use them for other indoor events in the future. I zip tied to the tables and threaded a rod to stabilize them.

As a result of the show I have had to scramble to paint more in order to have items for the 4 shows I have before Christmas. These are just a few of my new paintings.

I am doing a couple of new shows in December One is Sparkle Village in Saranac Lake. It’s an indoor 2 day event held on Friday night and Saturday. The other new event is going to be held on Sunday December 12th in the afternoon at a local restaurant called Living Goods, it is a limited event with only 8 vendors. I don’t expect much but it is one of those events to help another vendor and show organizer.

With the shows spreading out and a little more time to myself at home I have several new projects I am going to try.

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Gore Mountain Success

Gore Mountain Mastercraft Series on Columbus day weekend was a real success. My biggest 2 days of sales for the season, selling 6 of my driftwood frames pieces and over 30 of my smaller framed pieces, many of them ones that I just finished and never even got them posted to my web site. I also sold a large number of my notecards just to round out the excitement.

The crowds were not huge but they were consistent with someone in my booth most of the time. It was a really nice weekend and the fall colors were in full display, and that helped draw people in.

I am impressed with the results of the couple of days and many of the patrons were happy to be out and to have an event to go to. I think with the restrictions that many people are looking for an easy to attend event and to support local artists.

I received an email from a customer “Jan” who shared how she is displaying my note cards in a multi photo frame. This is not an uncommon occurrence and I have had many customers state that they are going to frame my cards, they don’t want to give them away.

I am busy building back my inventory of smaller paintings and my note card sets. I have even done a few “Scenery” type paintings, like ones that I used for my Christmas Cardinals card sets.

Loon Island 13×6
Maple Flame 5×9

Now that i am doing shows every other weekend my goal is to get back to the wed site and more consistent blog posts.

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End of 2021 Farmers Markets

This past weekend was the end of the farmers markets in the Adirondacks. It was a good season for me and a learning experience in so many ways. I still have several events before Christmas including one on Columbus day at Gore Mountain in the southern Adirondack park near Lake George. It is a two day event and is expected to be a well attended event. I expect good exposure and sales. I have printed a large number of my notecard sets cards, including new cards with winter scenes to compliment my snowmen cards. I have sold a number of the new winter card sets with the “Winter Cardinals” being the best. I will only have an event every couple of weeks and I have completed a number of new pieces that I will be adding to the web site in the next few weeks.

Printing my own note cards has been an experience. Just like painting, paper quality seams to make a big difference in the final result. I have found a source for 130lb paper for the cards, thicker than most store cards. I purchased a new printer at the start of the season that has a straight through paper feed to support the new paper. It is the Epson ET8550, and eco-tank printer that uses the bottled ink and I printed over 3000 pages before my first ink refill. I did discover that the settings on the PC can have a great effect on final quality.

I have found that positioning of my cards and my framed (7×10) small paintings greatly effects the sales. Many people are reluctant to walk into my booth preferring to stand on the outside. When i had one side of my booth open and the table with the cards placed on the side I had more people come up to the cards on the outside than from inside. I want to still have an inside the booth experience and hoping to come up with a compromise setup. I think an awning on the front of the booth may protect the art and create an entrance option to direct traffic.

I have documented every sale for the season and see that while I sell a large piece at almost every event, I will many more of my small pieces and cards. Also a trend is many customers purchasing by credit card, even for a $5 purchase. I was asked about taking Vendmo payments but had not been set up for that. I had my wireless Square reader crap out at one market, luckily I had a spare one that it pugs into the power port. It is not something i would want to be without. I also carry a battery charging pack just in case, and had to use it a couple of times.

I was thankful that my wife can sew, she made my table cloths and made sure everything looked good. I had a set of small round wood slabs that I cut a slot in to hold up individual cards to aid in the display. The first time I used them I had a lady ask to purchase one to show the card on her mantle for Christmas so I sold it for a$1. It was a small piece of round Hornbeam wood from my burn pile. The second time I used them another vendor saw them and purchased all that I had to use for her display of small stained glass Christmas ornaments. I now have to make more for the next time. I will offer them for sale as well now, I have lots of firewood.