Tag: Georgia art

Joining the Art and Craft Fair Circuit

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After a two years of collecting parts I finally have my outdoor booth set up ready to go. It’s officially June, and I have two outdoor fests under my belt with one more before the month closes out.

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Atlanta is not shy when it comes to hosting festivals, the latest addition is the Mac n’ Cheese fest, often with multiple festivals per weekend come spring and fall. This makes weekend planning difficult, but it allows me to have a variety of options when choosing which festivals to apply to and participate in.

Chastain Park Arts Festival was my introduction into the outdoor festival circuit. The weekend couldn’t have brought more perfect weather. It was low eighties, a light breeze, and a good continuous crowd. I was pleased with my profit earnings and the connections I made in the Atlanta art community.

Joining the festival circuit doesn’t just mean I have another venue to sell my art. It also means I get plugged into the art community. I have a much greater opportunity to meet likeminded and goal oriented people. I have the chance to build relationships, learn more about my craft, and be inspired by others. I love feeling like I am finally part of the community I have observed from the outside in for so many years.

Virginia Highlands Summerfest came next with an even better weekend, better foot traffic, much hotter days and a lesson in rain. I learned to place my oil paintings at the front of my booth, to save my encaustics from the direct sunlight (and potential melting) that inevitably pours in. I learned that if there is a chance of rain everything that sits on the ground should be placed on a raised surface. The later was a difficult lesson to learn when I opened my tent the next morning to deep puddles and a bag of ruined mats and prints.

Next up is Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival in just a week and a half. In between spending time with my family on Hilton Head Island, I am ordering new mats and prints, gluing paper to panels, and painting a new batch of fruit and veggies. I can’t wait to see what comes from this next festival and the break afterwards until my schedule fills up for the fall. Check out more about my new oil paintings below!

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When I first set up my booth to take pictures I realized my encaustics could melt if it was warm enough outside and they were in direct sunlight. I began to panic. After all I had just invested a lot of money for my set up. What would I do if I couldn’t display my product outside?

Version 2While teaching an idea hit me. My students had just started oil paint studies of food. I was itching to paint with oils on canvas again and started my own so I could work along with my kids. I loved getting back to the basics of just paint and I was pleased with the way my bell pepper and pomegranate turned out. I wanted to do more.

After thinking about it I decided these would be the perfect solution to my encaustic melting problem. If I moved around my artwork based on where the sun was hitting I could keep my encaustic out of the sun by displaying my oils in the sun.

Since my bell pepper and pomegranate studies I have completed blueberries, eggs, a cabbage, orange, cauliflower, garlic, mussel, oyster, and I am finishing up a kiwi, tomato, onion, and papaya. Each of these food studies are 6″x6.” I start with an underpainting, typically choosing the complementary color of the food I am painting for the background.

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After allowing the underpainting to dry I mark out the shape of the food and add some detail before applying my first layer of white to the background.

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I like to leave hints of the underpainting peeking through. Whether it’s along the edge of a bowl or in between eggs, I think it adds another interesting detail to the piece.

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I also pushed myself to loosen up my painting style by trying out palette knife painting. I started with portraits of my chickens Rachel, Thackary Binx, Sir Sylvia, and Linda. I loved the texture and the sense of movement the palette knife marks made.

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I decided to go even bigger than the 12×12 chicken portraits and I completed a 32″x32″ positive/negative space painting of the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans.

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I will post additional information about my upcoming festival, Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival, next week.

With sweet Cooper, my 13 new chicks, finishing up teaching for the year, and prepping for four festivals, I have had little time to update my blog. I hope to get back to posting weekly this summer. I look forward to keeping in touch. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]

 

Craft Fairs: Setting Up My Outdoor Booth

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After a year of collecting the necessary parts, I finally set up my outdoor booth.

On a very hot day in March, I spent a day in pursuit of a booth picture. My hubby and I spent the afternoon pulling out my tent, grid panels, “S” hooks, tables, decor, and of course, artwork. I loved watching all the pieces finally come together.

After three years of dabbling in indoor art shows I decided I wanted to expand to outdoor shows. They are more frequent and have a lot more foot traffic than the indoor exhibits. After finally deciding it was time to make the transition, I began looking for shows to apply for. Every single one required a picture of the booth set up in order to apply. This wasn’t something I was going to be able to submit, and see what happens. I was going to have to invest a lot of up front money in the hopes of being accepted to a show.

Over the next year I spent hours on Craigslist, garage sale and discount websites. Slowly, but surely, the components came together. The tent came first, I finally gave in and bought one new. A few months after the tent was purchased a coworker contacted me about selling his booth parts. He tried selling his artwork for a year before deciding it just wasn’t for him. I was able to get six grid panels and weights from him. I then pulled tables from my indoor set up, two of the three panels I use to display work at indoor shows, and hanging supplies.

After getting all the pieces it still took months for me to work up the motivation to set it up. For hours I was running in and out of my house hauling artwork. I quickly realized I would never be able to do this solo. The tent is too cumbersome and the panels are too heavy. My first lesson in outdoor festival participation is making sure Nick is always available for set up and break down.

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I decided I wanted my largest pieces along the back wall. They helped fill the space, and would hopefully catch the eye of passerbys. The trickiest part I have to figure out is where to set myself up. I enjoy having a table to hide behind. I am a passive seller. Perhaps I would earn more money if I pushed my products on people, but I want them to purchase one of my pieces because they feel connected to it. My tiny little table is my comfort zone. My safety net, preventing me from getting my hopes up as people come in and peruse my work.

DSC_3750 I decided to hang my letter pieces on the right side panel, and my 6″x6″ silhouette paintings on the left side panel. My hope is these pieces will be more approachable as people walk by. They may assume the large pieces are out of their price range, but with $35 and $25 price tags, these are easy to pick up and take home.

I also wanted to set up a table with my letter prints, at $10 each these are an even better impulse buy item. I decided these would be best set up next to my letter encaustics and extending slightly out of my booth to break up the space.

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One issue that always lurked in the back of my mind was how my encaustics would stand up to summer Georgia heat. I got a little taste of it during the practice set up, the pieces that were directly in the sun began to melt. It was worse case scenario. After all the time and work I put into my set up, I was now questioning whether or not I was even going to be able to do this at all.

As soon as I discovered the melting pieces, I snapped my pictures, and began disassembling. As I carefully took each piece down, I examined it for signs of tackiness and liquid wax. Luckily, only the pieces in direct sunlight showed signs of the wax turning to liquid. The pieces with the sun hitting the backside of them felt slightly tacky and the rest of the pieces were fine. Although I felt a little better, I was still concerned. These were only up for 30 minutes, an hour at the most, what would happen at an all day festival?

After cleaning up I began doing some research. There are brave artists out there who display their encaustic in the dead of summer at outdoor festivals. You do have to play a game of rearranging as the sun enters your tent, but it gave me hope. A lot of the sunlight was coming in through the sides of the tent, but at a festival, in theory, there will be tents on either side. I decided I just needed to give it a shot, and I applied for my first show. The Chastain Park Arts Festival, opening the first weekend of May.

6%22x6%22 Oil Painting Studies

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To ease my mind even more, I have begun mini oil paintings. These will hang in the sunlight when my encaustics have to be moved. I am ready to expand my art career, and this is the next logical step. I will not let a melting work of art get in my way.

Today I find out whether or not I have been accepted to the Chastain festival. Whether or not I make it, I have a long list of other festivals to apply to. Hopefully I will soon have an opportunity to take my booth set up out for the real deal. Stay tuned!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my artwork by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!
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Visual Journal Page 9: Yellow Ostrich

Visual Journal Page 9-Yellow Ostrich

There is a something special about band tees. When you find that one that has the perfect logo, perfect fit and you wear it until it has the perfect texture, almost see through from all the wear, you feel like you have found another part of you. Unlike normal t-shirts, band tees have personality. The logos are typical quirky, the font style interesting, and the band tee fabric is soft like nothing else. They also hold memories. They represent an event, a fun night, a song you’ve memorized the words to, music you have bounced along with.

I have had many band tees in and out of my life over the years. It’s always exciting discovering the next one, having a new shirt to break in. I love it when it hits the perfect point in its life where it fits you like a glove. I always hate the moment when I realize the fabric is growing thinner with every wash, knowing the end is around the corner. Many times I retire my most loved shirts before the holes get too big for it to be reasonable to still have in my closet.

At home and on weekends I live in my band tees. Nick knows my love of them, and it has practically become a tradition for Nick to surprise me with new shirts at concerts whether or not I was in attendance. He knows exactly what I like, and has a great eye for the best, quirkiest shirts. Often when he goes without me, he will arrive home after I’m asleep, and I wake up the next morning to find my shirt draped over the chair in the kitchen or sitting on the couch, waiting for me to put it on.

This visual journal page is about my all time favorite band tee surprise. It was a typical Nick concert night, he went with a few friends, and came back after my bedtime. When I walked downstairs in the morning I could barely contain my excitement. There, on the sofa, was a soft gray shirt with the image of a flying elephant, adorned with a crown. Perhaps the best part was the juxtaposition of the band name with the logo, “Yellow Ostrich’ with absolutely no reference to the color yellow or an ostrich on the shirt.

I have yet to find a shirt that tops my love for the Yellow Ostrich t-shirt. In the last few months, I have had to set it aside, it is beginning to wear thin. I still periodically put it on, but have become careful to not wear it out too much. I want it to last forever. I know Nick will one day top this shirt with another find in the future, but until then, I can reminisce on the moment I found this one, I love his surprises.

Although they have since broken up, you can still check out Yellow Ostrich here and their Facebook page here.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie

HOW TO

While this visual journal page required few materials, it did require a lot of time and patience to fill in the pages with black sharpie. When I started laying out the page I immediately knew I wanted to recreate the shirt on the page, to memorialize it just in case the day comes when I have to retire the shirt forever. I decided to do a high contrast image, using the color of the background as the white space and black sharpie to create the contrasting dark color. Since I decided to use sharpie early on, I was able to prevent the sharpie from bleeding through the page by ripping out two pages from my book, and gluing them back in when I finished.

I used pencil to sketch out the image and write out the bubble letters. I used a regular size sharpie to fill in the space around the image. To maintain an even look, I colored the background in using a circular motion. By keeping the line quality and size consistent, I was able to make the sharpie look more even and blended. For the smaller details I went in with a fine sharpie, but kept my lines loose to match the line quality of the background.

Once the image was complete I used rubber cement to glue the pages on top of pages still attached to my book.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal about your all time favorite shirt or t-shirt.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and check out my blog! I hope you found some inspiration to get you started on your own visual journal. Help me spread the word about arts, craft, and journaling by sharing my blog with others. Interested in teaching visual journals to your students? Check out my visual journal lesson plan here and bundle pack here. Thanks for stopping by!