Starting somewhere.

Mixed media painting

#1266, City Dawn. Mixed media on panel, 12×12″. Lives with Melissa in Palo Alto.

One of my sales at Palo Alto last weekend was to a young lady wanting to start an art collection, though not having much of a place of her own to put it.  I’m going to share an article in the Atlanta Magazine a few months back, that encourages the beginning collector and takes some of the fear out of it.

One thing they mentioned was “Gallerists are people too.” Talking to gallerists – and artists at art fairs and receptions – is not scary!  There aren’t really any stupid questions, though there are some with obvious answers, but it’s ok – we’ve heard them before and we’re happy to answer the anyway as a way to start talking to you about things you’d like to understand about the work in question.  After all, you wouldn’t buy a car or house without asking a lot of questions.  And the art might stay longer in your life than either of those.

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Tales from the field #1.

I’ve been thinking for some time that I’ll add a ‘Tales from the Field’ thread to my blog because funny stuff does happen out there.  But this weekend just gone I had quite an experience with my airbnb location, which is something I can’t contain!  One of those things that you’ll laugh at later…..or in some cases, at the time….

So having taken an inadvisable “short”cut in the high desert, I ended up arriving at the Bay Area airbnb in the dark, which made arriving particularly difficult because I couldn’t see the map sufficiently in the dark and was on the wrong street at one point, thinking that the house didn’t exist.

When I did find it, it was one of those airbnb-only houses, a monster tract home with five bedrooms, all rented out, and an unused space which would normally be the dining room part of the kitchen, with a sofabed and a couple (flimsy) room dividers. I’ve done the “corner-cupboard” kind of set-up before and the price is right.  Before I continue, I have to point out that all the others in the place (I figure there were up to 9) were nice respectful people who didn’t make a lot of noise, play loud music etc. and it was all quite clean.

However the communal area – a large living room that was set up as a work area, the dining and kitchen areas, were all laminate floors and my sofa was the only soft furnishing.  It was an echo chamber.  And open plan, so if the light was on anywhere, it lit the whole place.

So I settled in to sleep.  Or try to.  Then realizing no one was downstairs I got up and turned off the light.  The fridge was unreasonably noisy and never seemed to cycle off.

Oh and the house is right on a flight path to an airport.

Later, the nice couple in the downstairs bedroom had their friends over.  They left the light on in the communal area and I got up and turned it off.  They chatted in the downstairs bedroom.  Not loudly, just normally, and the other good part was they weren’t speaking English, so it was a little easier to try to ignore, but even with their door shut, it’s still an echo chamber.  People crept in quietly and left the light on and twice more I got up to turn it out.  At 12:30am someone got up from the chatty group and chopped fruit in the kitchen for a snack.  They finally went to bed about 2am and realizing I finally had silence, I relaxed enough to sleep.

I had to get up at 3:30am to go to the show. 🙂 What’s the emoticon for zombie, again?

Saturday night I walked out to go to a nearby restaurant, which was fine, and with 1 hours sleep in the last 40 and two glasses of wine, I slept.  The fact that the house was silent that night I guess helped.  A few people came in late, crept in, turned off the light.  Yaay, I slept like the body laid out in the corner of the morgue.

Sunday night was also pretty quiet, and the guy who was working late at the downstairs work area was kind enough to turn off the light when he went to bed shortly after I did – about 10pm.

Around midnight, a couple guys came in the kitchen to cook.  Again, they weren’t noisy, and they weren’t speaking English – an Indian language by the sound of it.  They had no idea I was there.  During the proceedings, one of them needed to cuss.  I don’t know if it was about the conversation or the cooking, but this was in English.  However beautiful other languages are, I figure you just can’t beat that good old Anglo Saxon F-bomb to put an exclamation point in the conversation.

The incongruity of the casual ‘Oh ****’ in the middle of the conversation was a surprise that changed my whole attitude to the event – I don’t know how I managed to suppress audible laughter, but a pillow was involved.

They took their delicious smelling food upstairs to eat, and now I know how the dog feels when you cook and don’t give him any.

Children and art

Sometimes it is difficult to take kids to art fairs as they always want to touch.  I’m always happy to point out to parents that my work is pretty kid proof and if they poke at it, I won’t have to cut their hands off 🙂 which usually is a relief as it’s often too late at that point.

I follow the Red Dot blog of Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He covers a lot of interesting topics (though sadly he doesn’t transmit on WordPress).  I was really interested in his blog of August 9th about kids looking at art in museums and galleries.

From what he says about children appreciating museum/gallery art, it seems like art fairs are a little more interesting for little ones – for a start there’s frequently something hung at their eye level in a booth, some of it (like the one below) would be ideal for a child’s room, and there aren’t quite such strict rules about running between displays.  Occasionally I will get a youngster who comes back to subsequent shows with enthusiasm – and I know that I can’t be the only artist who enjoys this phenomenon, so here and there, future collectors are being created.

1271nightwatch_inplace_w

#1271 Night Watch.  Mixed media on panel (refractured watercolor, poetry, acrylic). 14×24″.

Solo Show for August

JeniBateVanguardAug2017-1_wOne of the things that didn’t get on camera when I was taking photos of my Paint-the-night class was that earlier in the afternoon Rick (Rick Archer, President of Moreno Valley Cultural Arts Foundation and Vanguard Gallery) and I had hung up a 14-painting solo show on the left wall.

JeniBateVanguardAug2017-2_w<Sigh> this is by far the first time that I have put up a solo show and promptly forgotten to take any photos of it.   Senior moment!

 

JeniBateVanguardAug2017-3_wBlissfully I was passing not far from the gallery on Monday morning and (seeing as I’m on the advisory committee and one of the tutors and I have a key to the gallery) stopped in to rectify this.  The show will be up through August and there will be a reception on August 19th, 7-8pm.  Rick should have the labels up by then!  Actually many of these are available through my Etsy store at the moment (though it might take a little longer than promised to ship….).

Another sonnet.

Sometimes it gets quiet at art fairs.  There is often a bit of a lull around lunch time.  If I’m sitting at the back of the booth at the desk, I’ll often use the time to work on my bucket list item of more Shakesperean sonnets than Shakespeare.  Flagstaff was productive and I was able to write a sonnet each of the three days.  I sometimes have to search around for inspiration, Saturday’s inspiration was the nest of sparrows within tweeting distance.

Sparrows

The sparrow has more color than you’d think

(but painters know burnt umber, wine, ecru)

and though they seem to flit off in a wink

the observer sees the little things they do.

Sometimes they’ll dust in patches of soft sand

and often in a puddle from the rain

with wriggling bodies, wings aflutter, and

the knowledge that they’ll soon feel fresh again.

The well-trained ear can spot each different call –

the black-throat’s glockenspiel and house’s cheep

the white-crowned sparrow’s sweet melodious trill

and common to them all, the young chick’s tweet.

So if you ever thought sparrows were plain

Take another look and listen, think again!

Artwork at High Desert Medical Center

Refractured watercolor painting

#583 Sea Crest Dawn #33. Refractured watercolor on panel, 24×18″. $540.

On Friday I attended the reception for the group show at the High Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, California.  There are four other artists in the show, Charlie Schwartz, Sharon Matheson, Nichole Vikdal and Darlene H. Morris.  One of the interesting tidbits about this show is that they have an online store for this art, and you can click to purchase!  The downside is you cannot take the art away until the show is over at the end of July.  Oh well, anticipation can be a good thing!

We had a few snacks served and then Darlene gave the group the guided tour and we each gave a little talk about our work being shown, though Charlie wasn’t present.  Then we had an extra little celebration because Darlene is handing over the reins (no pun intended) to Raini who will be curating the shows for the foreseeable future.  This involved a cake, which had one of her paintings printed on the frosting!  Is there no limit to where you can put artwork?

If you’re in the area between now and the end of July, take a few minutes to walk through and see the work – there are brochures available throughout with information about it.

Co-la-la-lage evening

mixed media painting

“Soft Light” at the top of the stairs at ‘The Loft At Liz’s’

 

 

Last Saturday I sped from the art fair in Sierra Madre over to the Co-La-La-Lage reception – a juried show of the Collage Artists of America at The Loft At Liz’s in West LA.  (Well, it started with driving at the speed limit but of course it was stop and slow through downtown and we slowed to a crawl on the I10 – there was a wreck just before my exit.  Ah, yes, I love LA.)  The upstairs gallery was crowded.  I think most of the 30 artists in the show attended the reception and brought others too.  There was an awards ceremony (no, I didn’t win anything), but having two of three paintings accepted into the show was an honor.

 

mixed media painting

Gentle Storm at ‘The Loft at Liz’s’

 

 

One of the disappointments of the show is that the paintings did not have labels on the wall next to them.  I would liked to have added the cards that have the poems that each painting has alongside the card, but it just wasn’t an option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

mixed media painting

 

I was interested in some of the mixed media pieces as I have a collector/friend who is looking for a mixed media piece for a certain place in his home, so I took a few shots of these when I got a chance and the crowd cleared.

mixed media wall sculpture

mixed media sculpture

mixed media sculpture

“Potus’ Bedroom”

 

 

This one was one of the prize winners.  The artist said that it contained everything that was apparently important to him.   Sadly the way that CAA sends emails I can’t open the content of all of them, so I’m not able to tell you the names of any of the other pieces shown (other than mine), or the artists’ names.  Ah, technology.