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.
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.
This fall has been great. Great weather and a chance to see the wildlife around my home. A fox has been around and was trotting across the lawns while we were on a walk. We were surprised by an owl flying just over our heads and into the woods. At the marsh down the road I saw a raccoon in the long grass scampering away and the herons have been close to the parking area making the car a perfect blind.
All this nature has been an inspiration for many of my paintings.
First piece – I found a small pine knot hole in the bottom of my driftwood bin. When i picked it up i could see my palm highlighted thought the hole. A scrap of Arches watercolor board a couple of minutes painting 4 geese with my finest brush and the result is a odd little piece that brings a smile to my face.
The second piece came from an off-cut of watercolor board from one of my driftwood paintings. I picked it up and it looked just like mount Mansfield in the Green mountains of Vermont that I see every day across the lake. Once I saw it, I couldn’t let it go to waste so I painted it, grabbed a scrap of black walnut wood that I cut out for my rock crystal lamps, shaped and finished it to serve as a stand and now I have another odd piece in my stash.
This past weekend I finally had a chance to paint in the sun room. First time this year that the temperatures reached higher than 60 degrees. It was a pleasure to enjoy the bright light and do a few paintings of dogs.
I wanted to painting standing up rather than seated, so I had to modify my setup. I used tripod to mount a palette including holders for my brushes as well as my paints and water. I used a second tripod with a Grifity Nootle, a board and binder clips to hold my paper. Below is a few pics of my setup.
I started a few paintings and enjoyed a beautiful morning before heading out to do some yard work.
This week I have spent my time painting. I have completed several paintings and made another dozen frames for those paintings. I have been painting dogs and cats, I find that painting puppies is most enjoyable.
I am watching the events unfold around the corona virus and hope that the panic will subside soon. I’m not sure what effect it will have on the farmers markets and art fairs, but I intend to go if they are held. I will miss the sporting events most, I love to watch sport while working around the studio.
This is my sad hound dog face, I am missing hockey most of all. I wish I had good internet, I would like to watch Youtube events, like the curling events form Canada.
For the past week I have enjoyed the ability to spend almost all my time in the studio. Now that I am retired I look forward to every day. I have been delayed posting by internet problems. It goes up and down and is one of my biggest frustrations and concerns now that I work for myself.
I made 50 frames for my most recent paintings, and after mounting all the paintings I find I need a few more. Not all 50 paintings are from this week, I have only finished about a dozen since my last blog post. Most of the remaining paintings are from earlier this year. My header photo is from my shop showing some of the frames in process.
I work in watercolor but I like to spray them with a UV protection and finish with Kamar varnish so I don’t have to use glass. I like the matte finish of the final product. The frames are all made from cedar that I cut to size and that lets me set the subject in the best position. Making frames is enjoyable and I love the smell of cedar.
Finishing without glass makes the paintings of bunnies, puppies and birds appropriate for a child’s room. No broken glass if one gets bumped off the wall.
I Painted some puppies this week.
I’m going through the stack of finished paintings and photographing them, and once my internet situation improves, I will post to my gallery pages.
This whole weekend I have been buzzing around my studio jumping from one project to another. That’s when I’m not out blowing snow from the recent storm. I will admit that time on the tractor is a way to slow down and not feed the frenzied thinking. After doing 5 neighbors I ran out of warmth and snow.
All I can think of now that I am no longer tied to my job, is all possibilities to make art. When I go into the studio I find that I’m trying to do them all at the same time. I pick up one item and while holding it I will see something else that I also want to do.
Even when I settle on a project, I will find myself thinking about all the things I want to do to begin to build my art business. I’m sure that this state of frenetic activity will calm down as time passes.
I needed to end the day today with my paintbrush, just to help myself to slow down. I chose a calming subject, Sleepy Puppies. Of course I still couldn’t just do that, so I set up a way to shoot a time lapse video of the painting process as well. Ooh, Now I have to figure out how to post it, and feed Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.