slightly wonky

October 18, 2011, 9:47 am
Filed under: Drawing, painting, printmaking

Arlington Open Studios was this weekend.  WHEW!  I am TIRED!  It was a great experience, albeit exhausting.  I really enjoyed talking to the people who stopped by to see my work.  It felt good when someone wanted to look through every print that I had.  It felt even better when someone wanted to buy a print!  I mostly sold greeting cards that were hand printed.  This makes perfect sense, as they are much more affordable than an actual print.  I did sell a few prints…but mostly to my friends.  🙂  (thank you!)  Thanks also to all of you who stopped by to say “hi”!  I really appreciated it!  This was the first time that I have had a good chunk of my work all together.  Granted, this was only my printmaking work.  I wonder how it would have gone if I had incorporated my drawings? Hmm…

So, I have a relief print of the local theater in Arlington.  You can see it on the table in the picture below.  It was a very popular print for people to stop and look at, as it’s a local icon.  No one purchased it, though, as it is hand printed and an edition of only 3. Thus, the price for each is over $100.  I’m thinking that perhaps I should make computer prints of this image, as I’m sure that a more inexpensive option would have sold.  Maybe even T-shirts and mugs?  Hmmm.  I was trying to keep this fairly “art” focused, not “commodity” focused.  I mean that I was selling originals, not reproductions.  Any comments out there on this idea????  I noticed that an artist who has watercolors was selling reproductions of his originals.  They were still over $100 each, so I wonder how well they sold.    Hmmm…thoughts?

Here are some images of my set-up:


last one:

I’m pretty happy about the set-up.  I was trying to be really frugal, and not spend more than I needed to.  Most of the cost was spent on packaging the prints.  Unlike paintings, you can’t just hang bare prints up.  They are too delicate and likely to get creased or marked.  So, that was an expense packaging them.   Other than that…the baskets I already owned…the table was borrowed…the boards in the back were rotting in our garage, and I “repurposed” them as part of my display, etc.  Not bad, right?  Next time, I’m going to make my display taller.  When we had a meeting before the open studios, the artists behind me were concerned that my display would block people’s views to them past me.  WELL…look at the enormous set up behind me!  Next year, I know not to worry about that kind of thing, as no one else seemed to let that hinder them.

Beyond the open studios, my classes have been going well.  I really enjoyed my portrait class last week, as we were working in a “subtractive” way of drawing.  This means that the paper was made darker by a coating of powdered graphite.  Then, in order to get highlights…I erased the graphite and exposed the white paper.  Here is the drawing:

I was happy with this.  A close up:

It’s a nice way of working, as the midtones are already there for you.  I might have to pick up some of that powdered graphite.

My painting classes are a bit of a mixed bag.  In one of the classes, we had a model to paint from.  This is what I did:

Please excuse her face.  I need to rework that IMMEDIATELY.  Anyway, my teacher liked this, but I wasn’t so sure.  I liked the charcoal drawings that were in the background.  I painted over them and incorporated them into the painting.  I’d like to be a bit more abstract with what I do.  It’s hard for me not to try to draw the model, as I did in the portraits above.

My other painting class was fun and messy:

That was really fun to make.  Not so rigid, right?

My prints from my printmaking class were not stellar:

The color palette was not good.  Any time that I see yellow and red together, I can only think of McDonalds.  Grrr.  I have a new block, which is the fine, squiggly lines.  I’m not sure if I’m crazy about it.  I need to play with it a bit more to see.  It might be too “even” for my taste.

So, has anyone out there participated in an open studio?  How did it go for you, and what did you learn from it?  I learned that having lots of lower priced items will help sales.  I also learned that some people are receptive when you say “hello!”, and others want to be left alone to look.  It’s a challenge trying to gauge which approach to use with a person.  My favorite was when someone grabbed some candy as they walked by my table and were looking at the display across from me.  Seriously!  I think that if you are going to help yourself to the candy that someone is offering, you at least owe the person a smile and some eye contact.  Right?  A FASCINATING weekend of studying human nature…Thanks to everyone who stopped by and did chat with me!


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