"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Friday, August 12, 2011

Petulance vs. Pleasantries

The Originals Only show kind of did me in last weekend and it has been a very busy week since so haven't posted in a while. I spent so much time getting ready for the exhibit that I neglected some things around here that I have had to catch up on now. Got a pretty good sunburn the first day of the exhibit - forgot about SUN (haven't seen it in so long) and covering up and using sunscreen. Fortunately my friend Lesley, whose place I stayed at saturday night, gave me some no. 45 sunscreen to use on sunday and kept me from becoming totally fried. I did have a hat to wear but it allowed sun to hit my chin...spent part of this week exfoliating rather obviously. 

The pastel here is, by consensus of all who saw it, finished. I had planned to do more (exactly what I'm not sure) but I'll take the wisdom of the masses to heart and call it done. I think it might have sold if it had been matted and framed...it received a lot of attention, as did my two paintings of Samanda, especially the one with the parrot. That even was published in the newspaper in full colour, which I didn't know until several booth visitors exclaimed "Oh, that's the one in the paper!" Lesley had a copy to give me which is nice for my "file of fame." 

Here I am in the booth trying to look artsy. It gets harder as you get older but the interest in the work was gratifying. Sold one of my large life drawings, which was matted and framed and almost all of my art cards, did three 20 minute on-site portraits and might have a couple of painting commissions coming my way. It wasn't as good a result as I had hoped for but certainly not a washout. Still, I am asking myself if the amount of work and nervous-wreckness is worth doing outdoor shows any more. I came home utterly exhausted sunday night. I think this may be a young person's game.

Bob and Tyler were extremely helpful in the setup and later the taking down of the tent and hinged doors (very heavy and awkward). I took them to dinner sunday evening with some of my earnings:-) I admit to being a tad cranky saturday morning as we got there a bit late and I still wasn't quite set up once ten o'clock rolled around. I had wanted to leave really early (it is an hour and 45 min. drive to the site) but that didn't happen. All the way there I was reminding myself to be calm, to be accepting, and to realize that it is NOTHING...not the end of the world if I am not quite set up on the dot of 10 AM. That effort only sort of worked as I set about organizing, hanging, and setting up while muttering to myself about punctuality. I wish I could extricate these mincing, minor, annoying, stupid tendencies in my character to get all petulant and testy over things that do not matter in the big scheme of things. 

It all turned very pleasant once people began to appear, which was even before I was ready. Happy faces and general cheerful and expansive moods helped mine immensely. While talking with some show goers I didn't notice an elderly man stroll in to look at my work until after the others left. From the back he looked very much like my father (deceased now for some four years) and it grabbed my heart...I thought for an instant that it was he. He turned around and of course it was not but I was so happy to see this man that I took his hand and told him my first reaction to seeing him. He smiled sweetly and was so nice. We talked at length about the work and he was very appreciative. He left and then about 20 minutes later returned to look some more. He saw my sign stating "Have Your Portrait Drawn - $20 for 20 Minutes". He smiled at me and said, "Why not?" and sat for his portrait. We chatted and I realized he was a bit lonely and was really enjoying this interaction. He was very pleased with his drawing and I saw him showing it to other people later on. It made me wish I lived closer so that I could become better acquainted with him and it made the entire weekend worth more than I can express.

At one point three little girls, about seven or eight years old, came by and were very carefully looking at all my work for quite some time, chatting quietly amongst themselves. As they went to leave one of the little girls stopped, came back to where I stood, and said with immense seriousness and intensity of feeling, "You are a REALLY good painter!" There is no price that can be put on moments like that:-)

I actually ran out of business cards - never had that happen before. If even just one nice commission or painting sale can come from all those who took a card I will be extremely pleased and grateful.


  1. congratulations karen!! how wonderful and so deserved. this painting is breathtaking, i can't stop looking at it! it's easy to see why your work got the attention it deserved. bravo!!

  2. Hi, Karen,

    Your pastel is AMAZING... your work really awes me. In my later years when working isn't an issue I hope to go back to my fine art and draw and paint again.

    You are truly the ARTIST. I'm glad you had a wonderful experience despite the few minor set backs.

    Be careful in the sun.... It will be around for a bit longer.

    If you have a chance I have some cool pics of Chicago. I also have a new excerpt from my present novel. I had remembered how much you liked my writing. It is a bit disturbing though. It's a HATE scene I used for a blogfest.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Suzanne and Michael, thank you very much! I need to get back to seeing what everyone else is doing - haven't read any blogs in over a week, just so busy. I promise, Michael, to take some time to read the new excerpt and am looking forward to it! Suzanne I am going to check out what you're doing in the next day or so and spend some quality time with you and other blogging friends. Thanks again.

  4. Lovely photo of you at the show. Your work looks stunning, so I'm not at all surprised at the reactions.. its nice to hear, nonetheless.
    It is hard to put yourself out there, almost as if you as a person are going to get judged. But its art - and art is subjective - what one likes another will not. A good Gallic shrug will help - and the lovely people you had visit. xx

  5. Thank you, Pat. Yes, it is hard to get out there in front of everyone and be one's own salesperson. The art does sell it self to some extent but it is important to out there with it - people do like to hear the story behind how a piece came to be; gets them more involved.

  6. Your exhibit looks marvelous, Karen. Sounds like you had a very productive day. I just finished my very 1st show today and sales were fair. Mostly family, friends and neighbors. I'm still chasing that sale to a total stranger. Lots of lookers and nice comments about my work but that's all. And, I agree it's exhausting. I think I will need a few days to recover. :)

  7. Karen, your post truly touched me and I love your self honesty. I'm much that same way (both the honesty and the wishing I wouldn't let things that aren't important in the big sheme get to me as they do). Love the finished art piece, truly splendiferous! Your observations of the older gentleman and the little girls touched my heart.

  8. Karen it sounds like it was a great success! I wish I had been there to have my portrait drawn in 20 minutes!! I would have totally took you up on that. :)

    The still life looks beautiful too, you are doing amazing work Karen. I would have loved to have been there to see your work in person too, that would have been wonderful. Good luck with the hopeful commissions.

  9. Sounds like a great do Karen and congrats! Really like the pastel, it shines, you capture the light so well