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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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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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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.

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Farmers Market Season Ending

this past week I was at the final farmers markets for Lake Placid and Willsboro. It has been a great experience and have made a number of friends along the way from both fellow vendors and customers. It is a bit of a grind and I will re-evaluate the number of markets I do next year (some weeks I did 5 events). I may do more day vendor and less season long commitments, picking the best markets to make a solid commitment.

As the markets have been winding down over the past few weeks, attendance is dropping off as the summer people leave the Adirondacks. I have a three markets left on Saturdays in Saranac Lake NY until October 2nd, two on Fridays (19th and 24th) in Elizabeth Town NY and one Peru NY. Sunday the 19th . I will still participate in the monthly Strand markets held outdoors, October 30th, November 27th and December 18th.

I am looking forward to a two day market at Gore Mountain Ski area Octoberfest on October 9th and 10th. I have been told that it is a very good event by several vendors that will be attending as well. I had to do more to participate in this event due to it being held at a NYS Olympic Regional Development Area (ORDA) site, extra insurances etc. I wont have help since my wife is off to a quilting event that weekend. Only a 1.5 hour drive, so not a big deal going home at night.

I have been painting my butt off trying to keep up with the sales so that I have fresh paintings to display. I need to make a few more of my largest paintings having sold most over the past 6 weeks. I have also found that my smallest paintings of hummingbirds are very well liked and sell well. I end up doing a couple or three every week.

Now that the markets are slowing down my goal is to review my inventory and get everything listed here on my site. Looking to have it all updated by the end of October. I will be adding note card sets that are prints of my works and have been one of my best sellers all summer. I even did a few whimsical paintings of snowmen and winter scenes for the Christmas season.

I have enjoyed making the cards from prints of my work and it has been a great seller at the markets, covering the costs of the materials and the market attendance costs. Then my painting sales are profit on top of the cards sales. I am only charging $15 for the card sets, half of what it costs for cards in a drug store. They come in a boxed sets, and at the Art and Farmers markets I also sell them individually.

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Mothers Day Art Market

Yesterday was the Mothers Day Art Market at the Strand Center for the Arts. It was a very good market and almost felt like a pre-Covid event. There were 45 vendors with a wide variety of booths.

I had a very good market and sold several paintings, and a bunch of note cards. I really need to get the card sets on the site. After the last market I sold 2 commission pieces. I had many other inquiries again this market, mainly for pet portraits. As you see below I have been busy in the studio.

This is the new fishing series that I developed for this market. One is already sold.

I shot a sort video of my booth, see it here.

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Strand Spring Art Market

March 20 was the Spring Market at the Strand in Plattsburgh. I successful market for me with good sales and many new contacts. Interest in my paintings was very good but the majority of my sales was in the small paintings and cards.

It was a sunny day but didn’t warm up as much as expected due to a cold wind. It just reached 44F and with the wind it didn’t feel above freezing. When the wind died down the sun was glorious and a harbinger of warmer days ahead. I used the stand alone displays and didn’t use the canopy setup, I wanted the sun to shine on my art.

Looking forward to the next market in on May 9, warmer days ahead.

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Spring Market 2021 Event

Sunny Bunny

On March 20 I will be participating in the second Strand Center for the Arts – Art Market, it runs from 10am to 2pm. It looks like this market will have great weather, temps around 45f and sunny. I am worried that the grounds will be a little soft and muddy but that is all part of the season we are headed for.

I plan on using my new “sunshine” setup, where I don’t use my shelter canopy, instead I set up my monolith display racks so they are easy to walk around and I can display my paintings. Not being below freezing I can go back to use my zip ties to assemble the racks, last time it was so cold the zip ties would just break when they were flexed. I will have a second table this time and add my vertical displays.

Monolith Display Rack
Monolith Display Rack

My display racks are made from three pieces of 6′ wire closet shelving, zip-tied in a triangle. I place a board across the bottom wires and add a weight on the board to help balance the display. I put in the board and weight before I close the last side, it doesn’t work dropping in the weights after assembly, things break! I put zip-ties loosely on two sides bundling all three together to make them easier to load on the truck and assemble. I use recycled plastic jars with sand and stone for my ballast.

I pre-wire my paintings using paper clips to make hanging go much faster. a turn or two around the hanging point and then leaving a hook to go on the displays makes quick work of setup.

Rack Hanger
Rack Hanger

This will be an interesting show and I am going more prepared with more cards including a boxed set option (6 for $10). The plan is to show more of the bunny paintings on one of the displays to see how having a theme (Easter) rack works.

Sunny Bunny
Sunny Bunny

I haven’t been painting much over the last few weeks pushing to complete the master bathroom remodel. On the home stretch with the vanity going in soon then finish up with molding. All other parts are finished and I do like the heated tile floor…

I have several subjects pushing to get to paper and I can already see the results in my mind. I think an eagle in is my near future, I sat in the hot tub after a day tiling the bath and watched a bled eagle fly over then perch in a tree near by.

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Surprise Winter Event

Owl Driftwood

Late last week I got a surprise! The Strand Center for the Arts is going to hold a series of 9 outdoor markets for 2021.

Now this will be an experience, since it is an outdoor market and the temperature is supposed to be a high of 7f (-14c). I will have to dress warm and I plan to keep the setup as simple as possible. It will be a table with small sculptures and my cards and 2 of the wire walls to hang some of my Driftwood frame paintings. I will also have a center table with a bin of my smaller works. This will keep the setup and tear down simple and avoid manipulating the EZ-up in the cold.

Squirrel Peek
Squirrel Peek

I did finish off a couple of paintings and frames just for this event.

• February 13th 10am-2pm
• March 20th 10am-2pm
• May 8th 9am-2pm
• July 3rd 9am-2pm
• July 10th 9am-2pm
• September 11th 10am-2pm
• October 30th 10am-2pm
• November 27th 10am-2pm
• December 18th 10am-2pm
The Artisan Market will take place at the Strand Center for the Arts, 23 Brinkerhoff St, Plattsburgh. It will be on
the front lawn of the Art Center. All vendor spaces are 6 feet apart, adhering to Market Safety Guidelines.