Yesterday I went to pick up my paintings from the Imperial County Fair. I often enter about 10 paintings but this year only had four that fit the categories well (you can only enter two in each category). I was pleasantly surprised to find that ‘Arrows‘ had won 3rd place in “Non-objective or abstract paintings, any media”, and “Hope Rising” had taken 1st place in the same category.
Following the county fair, one of our local museums, Pioneer’s Museum, hosts the first and second place winners in each category, so I had to run off to drop Hope Rising at its next venue. My good friend Ginger Ryerson who curates the art wall there and the art shows was there for the intake. Hope Rising is a heavier piece so I helped her hang it.
I’ll take any kind of water – rain, hail, flood, fog, sleet, snow – (I’ve only so far done shows with the first 4) – and even earthquakes (yes, been there done that) over wind any day. Wind is the true 4-letter word. Nevertheless, it’s not easy to set up in the rain.
The ground was sodden when I got there, hence tarps under everything. The 4th wall is doubling as a second ground tarp inside the booth.
Soaked items include: sneakers, socks, jeans, inside of truck tailgate (it has rug), some corners of the cardboard boxes, eventually the outside of the partial walls you see set up, hoodie, mat bin, cooler, ground tarp. The weather forecast for Litchfield Park, AZ, though is better for the actual show days.
I get inspiration when at art fairs from my neighbors. At the SouthWest Festival last weekend the booth across from me was selling metal cacti and palm trees. It inspired me to write a sonnet about the real thing.
Cacti protect themselves with spiky skin
from critters that would like to eat their flesh,
but on account of that protective mesh
of thorns, cannot get to the juice within.
Cacti may bloom when given sufficient rain.
The pincushion creates a sudden flower,
bright in the sun, until another shower,
with nectar got bees spreading pollen down the chain
of life. Some cacti hide their spikes inside –
the poison pencil’s not the one to chew.
Others make buds that drop and roll and root anew
and spread their kind through desert far and wide.
So if your home’s where little water went
it’s probably best to be a succulent.
Last Wednesday when we were setting up for the South West Art Festival in Indio, my booth neighbor from Utah, had stacked his boxes on the grass in the space between our booths. This fair is at the Polo Grounds and we have lush grass there. I’d not met Peter before but that’s no excuse to not be a good neighbor.
I suggested that he put tarps under his boxes, pointing out that the polo field was very well irrigated, plus we had had several days of great rain recently and might get dew. Yes, I know, dew in the desert seems like an oxymoron but it does happen! Peter decided to take my advice and while I was unloading and parking the truck piled his boxes into my space and tarped under his boxing area.
How wet can it possibly get in the desert???
Turned out to be a good call. On the Thursday morning when we were completing set-up, my boots were quite sodden walking around on the grass. If he had not tarped under them, those boxes would’ve been history.
We are having a cold winter, that’s for sure. At least, that’s how it feels. A couple weeks ago at the Art on Main in La Quinta, there’s was no getting warm at all. There is a coffee shop in the center of Old Town which is very good, but the line is always long there. I didn’t want to leave my booth for such a length of time. That’s when you need someone who is a real fan of your work and understands the problems of a freezing artist.
A fan will tell you they love your work. A REAL fan will go stand in line for 15 minutes to fetch you a hot cocoa!