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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Good Show, Bad Show

This weekend I participated in a great little show.  It was the Schomberg Village Street Gallery.  I've done it before in past years and always had a great time.  This time of year, the weather for shows is usually a little cool but sunny, making it a pleasant outing for everyone.

Well this past weekend was a different story.  It was warm.  That's great.  But it had rained the night before.  It had stopped so one could hope it didn't go any further than that.  I wasn't so lucky.  From the time everything was loaded in the truck it was raining again.  And not just a nice light rain either.  By the time I got to the show with my husband playing the roadie, it was coming down.  It was the kind of rain that soaked you through in five minutes no matter how many layers you had on.

So we set up the tent complete with side panels, zip-tied the grids, hung the artwork and set out the prints and cards.  And it rained.  Harder.  The tent leaked and we tried to keep everything dry.  It was ten o'clock and the show was underway.  With five other artists who were set up in in the same area, we waited for people to come by.  To our surprise they did.  Not too many, but more than a few art lovers braved the pouring rain to come see all of us.  It was appreciated.

The next day of the show was the complete opposite.  It was cold.  Mostly cloudy, then partly sunny by the afternoon so it helped warm us all up.  One would think that because it wasn't raining more people would come out.  There were a few more now braving the cold, not nearly as many as an artist doing an two day show would hope for, but it was a much better turnout than the day before.

So, after the doing the show, I wondered if it had been worth it.  After all, it was the only show that I had done this year.  The answer was yes.  I didn't make a lot of money.  Let's face it, the crowds just weren't out because of the weather both days.  I met new artists.  Learned about them and their skills.  Best of all, I was able to introduce my work to many people that had never seen it before.  That is the importance of doing shows.  It's getting yourself in front of the public eye.  And who knows, a lot of times someone comes back long after they have seen an artist's work to enquire about a piece.

Sure, I would have loved to sell thousands of dollars worth of my paintings, what artist wouldn't, but I encourage myself to always look at the positive side of a show.  At what I've learned from it that I can use to make my next show even better.  This time around, I learned that when they say a tent canopy is water resistant, it doesn't mean that it doesn't leak.  I'm going out to get a huge plastic tarp before my shows next year and I'm going to keep in in the truck just in case the weatherman calls for rain.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Local Colour Aurora Show

The week after a show is just about as busy as the week before.  There is so much to clean up and put away to get everything back to how it was.  But I can't complain.  It was a great show.  Rain came down in a steady stream for most of the day.  You'd think it would have been a problem, but it worked to the show's advantage.  So many outdoor events this time of year and ours being an indoor event really drew the crowds.

Check out our group and the some pictures of the show.

We'll have an official website launch in early 2014.

That's all for this week!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Local Colour

A few months ago an artist friend of mine and I were trying to come up with a name for a new group that we wanted to form.  There had been many shows over the years at my friend's studio, and most of them were winners.  One show in particular comes to mind when we had over 100 pieces of original art available for sale as well as cards and prints.  Every artist ended up selling something.  It was a great learning experience.

Our idea now was to form a dedicated group of artists.  We looked for local artists who all wanted to bring their work to the community.  It may be silly to have tried to find a name for the group before it existed, but the right name is really important.  As my friend and I sat at my kitchen table, we searched all kinds of names, many that we liked had already been taken.  We looked through art magazines for inspiration, then eventually through art books, finally coming to a chapter in another artist's book about local colour.  It was perfect.  It explained who are group would be in so many ways.  The participants were all local to Aurora.  Colour is so important to an artist.  Many of the artists we had in mind to be in the group are very colourful people.  It just fit and luckily the artist who are now part of the group agreed.  Our website will be up and running soon, but for now we can be found on Facebook under Local Colour Aurora.

So, we will be doing our first show this coming weekend, September 7th.  We have done our best to get the word out to everyone in and around our community and we are estimating a huge turnout.  I'll have more about the show next week, and pics too, so tune in then.


Monday, 26 August 2013

New Frontiers

So the summer has just about come and gone .  When was my last post?  Hmm.  Guess I'm not doing that well with this.  I'm going to do better from here on in.

For the past few months, my painting has been on hold.  No, nothing to worry about.  All is well.  I decided to try my hand at writing some kids' stories last year.  I've always had lots of ideas, mostly from my paintings, and it was time to put them down on paper.

The few pages that I jotted my ideas down on turned into notebooks full of writing.  Those filled, I moved over to my dad's old laptop  (no music, no wi-fi, no nothing) to start getting the ideas in some order.  I worked on and off for the better part of a year on two different stories.

I finished one, then the other.  Wow!  They read pretty well.  Without delay, I sent them off for some of my friends and family to read.  And some kids too, after all, they are the target audience.  The reviews were in.  The kids liked them, some of the adults did too.  That wasn't the reaction I was going for.  Liked them.  I wanted them all to LOVE them!  They needed to be great.

I did some editing.  During the process, it was suggested to me that maybe joining a critique group would be a good idea.  I mulled it over.  I could try it and if I didn't like it I could always opt out.  I'd read a lot of books on the subject of writing but theory was theory.  I needed opinions, criticism, and the hard truth about my writing to verify that I was on the right track with it.  So I plunged in and earlier this year I joined an online critique group.  It turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my writing. 

I've learned that settings need details and characters need lots of emotions.  Adverbs are nice but they shouldn't be used at all if possible.  And I also learned that there is a word that can be used in this way or that so many times that it becomes unbearable to read that word in that story so many times.  Know what that word is?  That's right!  I had no idea I was using that word as much as I was until it was pointed out to me.  I also had no idea that I was so good at hedging, which is actually bad.  Who knew? 

Since March, I have spend endless hours editing and submitting chapters one by one of the first story to the group for critique.  From the end of May to last night at 9:34 pm, I spent day after day analyzing all the feedback I received from the group.  I've cut, re-written, added, revised and create new characters to make the story better, clearer, more concise and I have wiped out any inconsistencies and loose ends I found.  I've managed to make a 40K story into an 80K story!  I'm not sure at this point if it's a good thing or not, but I guess I'll find out soon.  The group has my story now and will be doing their beta read over the next few weeks.  I on the other hand, will be painting during that time and sitting on pins and needles waiting for their critiques to roll in.

Then on to the query letter and the summary!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping a fellow artist and good friend of mine Judy Sherman set up her booth at the 2013 Artist Project in Toronto.  I'm happy to say that I made the top of the waiting list this year, but sorry to say that there were no cancellations, not yet anyway.  As the hours pass my hopes for being a part of the show this year dwindle.  Opening night is today.  Oh well, that it the world of art shows.  There is always next year though, but from here it is a very long way away.

As for the 2013 Artist Project, it is a must see show.  I had a quick look around at the work of some of the artists that were setting up.  The range of artwork will surprise you.  Some will appeal to you greatly while I'm sure some of it will not.  Other things such as the installations will stretch your mind.  Get out there and support the artists.  You never know, you may just go home with the find of a lifetime!