Friday, June 1, 2012

A Two-Barn Day

A Two-Barn Day

Plein Air Painting, 12x36

Yesterday was my first real day of freedom since leaving Patch - and I went out and painted and did not take a computer with me, for the first time in 18 months. I felt a little naked - and wondered, for a while, what was going on in the world. But I only wondered for a while.

Today, I had the chance to speak with Connie Mettler, who runs Art Fair Insiders, which offers artists information and feedback on shows around the country, and also hosts discussion groups, blogs, and all sorts of interactive art stuff. It's a fabulous site for anyone interested in doing shows.

Connie also does work consulting for artists, and as a bonus for donating to Art Fair Insiders, I won an hour of her consulting time.

It was a fascinating and instructive hour, though it was not without its scary moments. Connie said that when she looked at the photo of my booth from Northampton (see below), she thought my work looked pretty terrible, and that I might be out of my mind to be doing what I am doing.

My heart sank when I heard these words. I know, of course, it is one person's opinion, but still, ouch. She followed this quickly by telling me that then she looked at my work on the blog and saw that it had merit - but that my booth looked pretty crappy. That was not her word; I am extrapolating.

From there, I got lots of good ideas about ways to improve not only my booth, but also my chances of getting into shows. Drop the dog paintings from the application process (not from the booth, but from the jury process) - and - interestingly - do not go after the smaller sales, but continue to be bold and make big, bright paintings.

So. Two Barns indeed. There's enough for a whole farm here.

p.s., "Two-Barn Day" is a really good painting. If you're in Annapolis June 9 and 10, you can see it in person, at the Annapolis Arts and Crafts Festival!


carrie jacobson said...

Hey, Shea, thanks for this and your previous notes, too!

I think Connie does have good insight, and that I can - and should - definitely work on the booth, and change the paintings I use for jurying. It is at least worth a try - She's been doing this since 1978, and I'm starting on my third year.

And the dog paintings - she wasn't saying don't have them in the booth - I do sell them, and steadily, and thank heavens! - but not to send them in to be juried. I always did because I thought the jury should know that they're a substantial part of my booth and business - and also I love them - but she said just don't. So you know what? I will give it a try!

JudyMackeyart said...

Two Barns is a great painting. Did you have good sales at your "crappy" tent? It will be interesting to see if when you incorporate her suggestions and critiques, it will raise your sales and/or acceptance to art festivals. Lately it seems a lot of artists are bringing big and expensive artwork to the fairs - do these really do well? Keep us posted on how it goes.

SLR said...

That must have been rather painful to hear but since your goal is to not simply show your work, but showcase it, her suggestions could prove very helpful. And what better time than now-an entirely new space/home, an entirely new display. I, for one, can't wait to see the changes and the results. If the changes bring more shows, more interest, more sales, more inspiration the pain would be worth it. No pain, no gain...right? SLR

carrie jacobson said...

Hey, Judy, I will indeed keep you posted! And if her ideas get me into more and better shows, then bless her.

"Two Barns" really is a good painting, isn't it? I love it!

I sold three paintings at the most recent show - two for $100 each and one for $1,500, my most expensive, and one of my biggest. Other painters with pieces that size (30x40, I think, or 36x40) were selling them for $3,500 - or not selling them for $3,500. I had low end, high end, and not much in between. But again, my high end is $1,500 - $1,700.

So we'll see! I am determined to let people know all the ups and all the downs of this journey of mine...