Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Monday, February 1, 2010

Looking For Just The Right Venue

Fine Art Shows are how I sell my artwork.  It sounds glamorous to those who go to Fine Art Shows to wander around, looking at all the pretty things that people make and display for sale.  Ohio has many weekend shows to choose from throughout the summer.  I cannot not say doing Art Show is a glamorous job.  You could ask any of my dear and wonderful friends who have helped me over the years, IT IS NOT GLAMOROUS! 

Art shows are nightmares to get your van close to your booth space for loading and unloading.  I have often had to carry my booth, the shelves, tables, chairs and all of my gourds for some distance, just to get set up in time for a show.  It doesn't matter how early you arrive, there is always obstacles.  Taking another person is so important, often you sit in you van waiting for the vehicles in front of you to finish unloading before you can park.  If I were by myself, the booth would still be waiting to be set up.  This way I can be working in the booth and not have to park the van.  It is the same at the end of the show, my friend goes for the van while I'm packing up.  Sometimes I'm waiting for the van to arrive, because things are so close and congested.  I always like show where there is plenty of room for us to get in and out.  I consider this an important point for looking at shows.  I might note here, I am very grateful to the friends who have helped me through the years, even if they don't answer the phone now when I'm calling them.  I will also say that my wonderful husband and daughter will always help me in a pinch.  I am so thankful to them too.

There are festivals in every town in Ohio it seems.  Each has their own draw and cause.  Each think that having artists there will pack in the people.  I pick and choose my art shows with much deliberation.  I will no longer go to festivals that advertise any of these things:  4th of July, kids rides, car show, music festival, food festival or church bazaar.  Now I'm not saying these aren't wonderful events, I'm just saying the people that come to these things are not interested in Fine Art.  If they are there with the family, it is a family outing. Most people are not stopping with kids in hand to purchase art to carry around.  If the event is mostly about food, you are just a distraction for sticky fingers.  Any show listed as an Arts and Crafts show, the people are not coming for Art pieces, they are looking for the latest "ornament on a stick" that they can put in their yard for the next seasonal look.  

Fine Art Show is exactly that, they are all about the Art.  People come because they want to see and hopefully purchase something unique, made by the person sitting in the booth.  The visitors at my booth want to engage in some conversation about Gourd Art and  FYI, the most ask question is, "Do you grow your own Gourds?"  I have friends that booth beside me at several shows during the summer and they know the answer to that question they have heard it so many times!  At Fine Art Shows you are going to see the most inventive and amazing things, all made by people right here in the USA!

All of that is the glamorous part of being an artist.  You never see what is behind the scenes, hours of work in the garages, extra bedrooms or right on the dining room table.  Most artists live their life thinking about their art.  It is so much a part of them that they even dream about it.  It is often the only place they find peace and total joy, when they are creating something from their own hands.  Most artists work hours and hours on their pieces.  If they were to charge by the hour for one of their masterpieces...... no one could afford it. 

For me, my Gourd Art is a passion.  I love everything about the gourds, I love watching gourd vines grow, the blooms are beautiful at night.  The flowers count on night insects to pollinate them.  The most fun I ever had was assisting this process.  My friend and our daughters tip toed through the gourd vines on a moonlit night like fairies, with paint brushes in hand, visiting one bloom after another.  The results for those efforts are seen in just a few days, when a little gourd starts to take shape where a bloom once was.   How do you charge a finished product when consider the effort made a year before a gourd is decorated?  How do you charge for gathering the gourds from the garden after frost and placing them upon drying racks for months in your barn?  No one knows how hard it is to clean a moldy gourd after it's dry, unless you've actually done it.  Yes, there is also cleaning the inside of that gourd, time and determination are required here.  The fun part is decorating the gourd, this is the artistic part and it seems to go the fastest.  Each gourd has it's own special design.  Created by me with a hand drawing on the gourd, if  something about that drawing doesn't work, I will erase and try again.  It's all about balance, color, and design.  I never studied this process, it mostly is trial and error, do you charge for that too?   Most of my work is carved, stained or painted.  I love weaving on the gourd, it often takes hours to finish one with weaving.  I love adding special beads and other gathered materials to give each gourd it's own unique look.   How do you charge for the time you spend thinking about colors, finding just the right beads or learning a new technique?

Maybe now you have some understanding about why something may be priced the way it is priced at your local Fine Art Show.  And maybe you understand my desire to find just the right venue for my Gourd Art.
For those of you who own my pieces of art, THANK YOU!  You have something in your possession that took much thought and consideration.  You have something that has a piece of my heart and my passion.  Isn't that why we buy art, to have a connection to that spirit the artist shared in their work?  That is why I purchase art from other artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment