Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Put Artwalk on your to-do list!

Today I hung at Cathedral Square Gallery, downtown Mobile. How cool....for me, anyway. My first Artwalk is next Friday. Come out and visit and I'll pour you a glass of wine! There are a lot of great pieces hanging at the gallery. You'll love it!
Yeah, Mikey! You're still here!!! ;-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

What a soggy mess! First day at the Festival of Flowers was wet, wet, wet. Thank goodness for the volunteers. They spread mulch all day in and in front of the tents. People were skipping my tent after they looked in and saw the three inches of water...."I'm not goin in there" is what I heard all morning! After arriving this morning and discovering an entire box of prints had filled with water, I just really needed to hear a lot of complaining! I even found myself actually apologizing for the water while I was removing tablecloths and easels and elevating everything. I had to bring all my original watercolors back home to dry out from the humidity. It all worked out for good though. We were all in the same boat. I met a lot of great people and received a lot of good feedback on my work. Had a few sales. Sketched a couple of pieces of nearby tents and flowers. Tomorrow I'm gonna have some help part of the day....not that it's gonna be busy cause of the torrential rains expected again. But if I get a break....maybe I can wander around and see what else is there. And I've just gotta try at least one of the gazillion flavors of TCBY in the booth behind me! And, I've gotta get to the Ace Hardware tent! They always have fabulous plants! Miracle of the feet stayed dry! Don't ask how....I dunno! Tired puppy! Goin to bed! Hope you all get a chance to come out to the festival between showers and visit! I'm sure Sunday we'll get slammed! Later!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why do you buy art?

af-ford-a-ble; uh-faur-duh-buhl; believed to be within one's financial means; reasonably priced.

Reflecting back, the first rules I made for myself was to learn as much as I could about, not only the art circuit but the craft itself. There's a lot of competition out there people. I'm still a long way from being "great" and I know it. Also, I want to keep my work affordable. Know that affordable doesn't mean cheap. I am a realist. I already give to charities and silent auctions and fundraisers. Besides, I've got overhead and that I have a business. The American dream...right?!

I've been told already that my originals are priced to low and that people see art as an investment and if it's perceived as cheap they won't buy it. In the first place I don't purchase art as an investment to include in a portfolio. I purchase art because I love it and know there is a place for it in my home, because it makes me smile or because it reminds me of something or someone. I personally think most people do the same .... if they can afford it.

I don't want to price my collectors out of opportunity to own an original piece of art. I read in an older journal that I didn't want to "ego price" my art. I've often gone to galleries or art festivals and seen pieces I'd love to own but couldn't touch them because of the prices. I'm just a common person who loves to collect other people's art. I decided to offer quality art at an affordable amount. I suppose that is my way of giving back. Sure I'll have to make price adjustments now and then because of cost of supplies and other expenses, but I will do my best to keep my original work affordable. I must be doing something right cause my originals are selling at a steady pace and I'm still paying the bills!!

This Life I've chosen ... Part I

For years I've attended outdoor art shows and admired artists of all genres. Considering how easy their lives seemed...charmed. Fantasizing about painting all day or sitting at the wheel making pottery or working whatever the craft may be. Trying to imagine the leisure. The creative ideas that give way to a flourishing existence of balance and serenity and a profitable art business ...... what a bunch of baloney ... as I've realized!

Well, let me clarify first that when it was a hobby, I painted between laundry, gardening, errands, cooking, vacuuming, and the 1002 other things we do to keep a home running. I felt balanced then. Really! I did. And maybe a little serene at times. I even had time to read. I didn't have an outlet at that time for my work though and it began piling up against the wall. I was encouraged by family, friends and even strangers to step out. So I gave the art show idea a try.

I was mentored in the beginning by another artist who advised me about packaging and applying to shows and artist's statements and dozens of other details. I prepared. My husband gave me a tent for Christmas! The decision was made right then! I had prints made and my girls helped me package them. I bought mesh walls for the tent and print bins and tables and made a sign that read "Terri Keller, Artist" with a crab on of my crabs. We arrived on site before daylight to set up. By the way, I think my husband could now put a tent up blindfolded! Until the show started, we twiddled our thumbs and I nervously rearranged things over and over. My oldest daughter worked that show with me. What a salesperson! I didn't touch money all day!

It was a lot of tired backs, aching feet and sunburned skin, but I had a blast! People liked my work. They even bought it! I was overwhelmed at that first show. By the end of the day I was in tears. Not because I was exhausted...though I was. People were giving me their money because they liked my paintings. Who knew?!! Two weeks later I did another show! I was hooked. And now approaching a year since that first show, I have a full spring schedule and I'm beginning to develop a presence in the area. Sometimes I feel like a micro-celebrity in my circle of friends, although knowing I have oodles of learning and growing to do keeps me humble. I'm not ego pricing .... yet!!!

More to come ... How not to give it away. How I maneuvered the judgment of others. Endless to-do lists.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pricing my Painting

Do I charge for how long it really took long it should have taken me...or how long I think someone else will think it should have taken me???

Do I charge for the five hours I sat there staring at the canvas in an unproductive stupor...or charge for the hour it took to actually get most of it on there?

Do I charge for the three versions I wiped off or the one that actually remains?

Do I count the tweaking time?

The staring at it wondering what needs tweaking time?

Do I add in the thinking about it when I should have been sleeping time?

What about the two hours I spent admiring the finished product during which time I made six crucial changes that took one second each to implement?

Do I charge just for the cost of the canvas and paint... or the time it took to comparison shop, order, uncrate, stack, organize, and prime it?

Oh, let's don't forget about the time it took to obtain the photo that I painted it from as I stood on the street corner waiting for the lighting to be right and then when it finally was glowing in the late afternoon sun four cars parked in front of it.

You know...There's a reason artists are starving.

Note: Credit for the above goes to Lorrie Drennan, artist. I saw it on her blog and really felt the message. I believe she credited the comic strip Cathy. Check out Lorrie's blog. Beautiful art work!