Friday, February 27, 2009

More New Collages

Here are a couple of new collages that I made last week. I love the old illustrations from the 50's. Check out her tiny waist! Ha.

Here's to hoping that your home fire is burning or that you are at least staying warm!


Warning, I'm going to brag: Right now I am enjoying a couple of days in Florida which is a welcome relief from the frigid winter we've had in Michigan. I'm here because my son was one of about 80 boys from across the country invited to attend the national Olympic Development Training soccer camp in Tampa. I dropped him off on Wednesday and pick him up on Sunday. He will be completely on his own with boys/coaches he has never met before. The level of soccer should be amazingly high. This will stretch him in more ways than one. Meanwhile, I'm not running, kicking, heading, trapping or scoring. I'm doing nothing, which in my mind, was equally well earned!



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Women's Expo report

I had guessed that the Women's Expo would either be a boom or bust situation for me. I was right and it wasn't on the "boom" end of things. After Friday night, when it became readily apparent that most of the ladies attending were not really buying things but were looking for giveaways from vendors and a fun night out, I changed my tack.

On Saturday I started pitching my classes. I teach locally but what seemed to push people's buttons was the idea that if someone acted as a hostess and got together a group of ladies on their own I would gladly come to their house to teach a class (for a fee, of course). The lady in the booth next to me does home jewelry parties and was selling/booking a boatload. I hope that this comes to something. And if you are a new reader that stopped by my booth; talked with me; picked up a business card and are now following up on my blog: Welcome and I thank you! A party at your house is great fun for everyone. Please scroll through to look at some of my work.

Here is a picture of my booth:

I always try to jam as much as possible into the booth and, in looking at this picture now, I think it shows. I might be better off just showcasing some work rather that trying to show it all. Advice from anyone in this department?

Nonetheless, I met some great ladies and had numerous people make very nice comments about my work. I always appreciate that! In the end though, this show was so much work and had so little immediate and obvious payoff. The key, I think, will be in any follow up efforts I make.

Enough whining. More new collages in the next post. And, I'm off to Florida and warm weather tomorrow. What's to complain about?


Friday, February 20, 2009

New Collages

Tonight and tomorrow I am participating in the Kalamazoo Women's Expo at our local convention center. I've been reading up about different ways to market art and think it makes good sense to do more than just the art/gift shows. Typically, women are my buyers so a Women's Expo seems like a reasonable alternative. I hope this strategy works! I'm told that there will be about 60 exhibitors. I think it will be salons, decorators, massage therapists, etc. I am the only artist.

In addition to my usual stuff like handmade paper fish and mirrors, mosaics and cards, I purchased new business cards, made some new signs, made a bunch of 5 x 7 digital prints that look really nice matted in 8 x 10 mats, and made some new collages. Here are two of them...

Both of these collages are 6 x 6 and mounted on a frame. I priced them at $28. Ah, pricing... always a difficult thing.

Our weather forecast for tomorrow stinks so I hope I do well tonight. I'll let you know.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The last couple of posts about my large handmade paper houses are a good lead into how to exhibit your work. I'm certainly not an expert in this department but I have exhibited locally in group shows as well as in individual shows. I was the Exhibition Coordinator for the Handmade Paper Guild of Southwest Michigan for several years and that helped tremendously in my knowledge of pulling together a good show.

Keep in the mind the exhibits I've done are the kind where the artist(s) does a good share of the work. I have yet to get my work into a big time gallery (know of any?!?) where they do your marketing and hang the show for you. There are certainly pluses to that situation, such as less effort on the part of the artist to get the show marketed and pulled together. But, you also might loose some control over how your work is presented.

Here are a few things that I've learned over the years about exhibiting:

Have good signage both inside and outside the venue. This is important for several reasons: It helps visitors find you. It helps people remember you. And, it looks professional.

Showcase your important work (the reason most people come to the show) but have a variety of other price points and sizes of work for people to look at and choose from.

In the case of this show, we had quite a bit of space to present work that related to the show but was smaller and less expensive. This show was at a small gallery and sales were really important to her so this approach worked. At other exhibits you might not have the opportunity to show smaller/less expensive pieces. And sometimes you may want to have the focus solely on the big stuff. Each exhibit will be different.

The gallery owner suggested that we have cards made of the focal pieces. That way, if someone wanted to remember the art but couldn't fork out for a big piece they at least had a memory of it on paper. This turned out to be a good idea. Our names are on the backs of the cards so we can be contacted, if desired, and we've continued to sell these cards in a pack of six long after the show came down.

This little blurb about exhibiting is just the tip of the iceberg. And, hanging a show could be an article in itself! Yikes! Anyway, I've written an article on the subject of exhibiting that I'd be glad to share. In return I would ask that you become a subscriber to my blog or add my link to your own website/blog. Also, if you have any tips for me, I'd love to learn more too.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

As I've mentioned before, I belong to a group called the Altered Sisters. We meet monthly and share what we've been working on and also share our work with one another. We started as a book altering group but moved on from there. At our February 2nd meeting we each brought two Valentine postcards and then swapped amongst ourselves. I did some "found poetry" cards and invite you to take a look...

Here's hoping that you are with the ones you love today and always.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway Announcement

Today is an exciting day in cyberspace. Throughout blogland there will be over 900 winners announced as a result of the One World One Heart giveaway event.

Here's a recap: On January 19 Lisa Swifka at started the 2009 One World One Heart event. In it's third year, this event is designed to bring bloggers of the world together. This year over 900 bloggers were involved. Personally, I gave up trying to get to all the blogs on the list after visiting about 300. There were just too many on the list to even attempt to visit unless I spent just about every waking hour on the computer!

If you look at the event solely by the numbers you'll find that there were 85 participants in 2007, 426 participants in 2008 and 911 participants in 2009! People from 28 countries participated. Maybe the leaders of the world should just blog and giveaway stuff so that the world becomes a peaceful place! Ah, so simple.

Here's what I learned from all of this:

* I was overly obsessive about trying to visit all the sites right then, right away, right now at the expense of other things I should have been doing. Reminder to self: If I do this again, pace myself!
* In general, I don't care for music on a blog. It is always a surprise as it often blares out and I found I didn't like much of what I heard which made me leave some sites quickly. I'm not a music hater or snob, I just don't like it in this setting. Gentle reminder to other bloggers: go easy on the music.
* There are so many generous people out there. I made a valiant attempt to get to many blogs but I know I missed a bunch too. Reminder to everyone that participated: Wow! What good people you are and I thank you!

I had 223 people post a comment requesting that they win my giveaway. Amazing!

And the winner is Beth at She is a quilter with beautiful things on her blog. I have contacted her this morning and will get the artwork shipped off.

Many thanks to all of you that visited me during this event. And special thanks to those that came, spent some time with me and made a connection. I look forward to fostering those new friendships.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Domesticity Series - Half-wit and Hopeful House

Here are two more from the Domesticity series...

Half-wit House
25” x 46”
Handmade paper, mixed media, $300

In Half-Wit House you see a once organized life swirling away at an awkward angle. Thoughts were still strong but focus was lacking. Many ideas, and some responsibilities, went into a black hole not to be seen again.

Hopeful House

22’ x 46”
Handmade paper, mixed media, $300

Eventually, more good days than bad became the norm. Dare I hope for wellness? Hopeful House shows arrows pointing the way with a bright yellow-orange sun actually shining again.

Hopeful House has become my favorite and it hangs in my home in a hallway that I pass by numerous times a day. It is a constant reminder that hope and gratitude are a state of mind. Despite the daily news in the world, no one can take away your hope unless you let them. This might make you think that I'm a natural optimist. Actually, it is quite the opposite, so I need that daily reminder!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Domesticity Series - Healthy and Heavy House

Several posts ago I showed a couple of my large (about 24" x 48") handmade paper houses. These were originally done for a two-person show called Domesticity. I made the houses and my papermaking friend, Vicki Berglund, did large (about 48" x 48") beds. We took this show to three different venues and had great fun in the process. By completing this series, we each grew as artists and became better friends. We complemented each other nicely. When I needed a push, she pushed. When she needed a push, I pushed. This two-person show was a great solution for us as we shared the considerabe load of putting on an exhibition. If you are thinking of showing your work, a one-man show can be overwelming, but a two-person show is manageable. Just be sure you pick the right person to exhibit with or you might find yourself worse off!

The houses were created to show my frame of mind during a one-year period in which I was not well. There are seven houses in the series: Happy House, Hell House, Heavy House, Healthy House, Half-wit House, Harmony House and Hopeful House.

Healthy House
20” x 46”
Handmade paper, mixed media, $300

Healthy House feels good, looks good, and seems to smile — just as a woman should.

Heavy House

22” x 46”
Handmade paper, mixed media, $300

This piece, titled Heavy House, visually gets right to the point. The house is huge but the roof is small—my body was getting bigger but my brainpower seemed to be diminishing.

Here's hoping that your "house" is in order and you're feeling good!


Related Posts with Thumbnails