Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

I haven't done much painting lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy with my art.  I have spent some time lately focusing on studying color.  I will write a post about what I am learning soon.

I have also been busy spending time with grandkids.  Any time I have the opportunity to spend time with one or more of them, I drop everything and do it.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with my only granddaughter Amelia.  Since I was committed to a local art show - that it is not that easy to get in to, I took her with me.  '

One of the things Amelia wanted to do with me was to paint, so I set her up in her own little corner of the booth and she had a blast painting water color paintings.  I asked her if she wanted to sell them and she said "yes".  So we made a little sign and she sold 5 paintings for $1.00 each.  For a five year old that was a lot of money!   She was thrilled.  I had to laugh (at myself) while I watched her sales tactics.  "Do you want to buy one of my paintings?"  So simple and direct.  Of course being cute as a button helped a lot.  Who could say no?

So I wrote about my last show disaster experience with the storms and my broken tent. ( I later deleted that post because I try to keep this blog about positive things.)  This past weekends show could have not been any more of a different experience.

The show was the Sugar Creek Art Festival in Normal, Illinois.  This town is basically my backyard.  I do most of my shopping there - and it felt like home.  I re-connected with people I had not seen in a decade and everyone ( well almost everyone) was so nice and supportive.   I got some great tips from other artists about gallery opportunities in the community including a new co-op that is just in the planning stages.  Perfect!  Just what I was looking for!

 I had to set up and tear down this time all by myself as hubby was out of state.   I was very proud of myself because I did it!  Hubby was super to fix not two places that were broken on my tent by the storm, but five!  He did a great job.  The tent held up perfectly.

Although hot and very muggy, there was a great turn-out for the show.  Lots of encouragement and although no sales that weekend I was very close to selling several pieces.  I took several small unframed pieces to this show and they were a hit.  So if your show allows this, I recommend offering them. 

It is always great to get encouragement from people who know and love art.  Although my hubby is supportive, he is not an art buff.  I guess it is like me being supportive of his hunting passion but not really getting it myself.  Anyway, one particular older gentleman and a lifetime artist gave me the sweetest compliments including telling me my painting "The Flower Girls" was exquisite.  Wow!  What an honor!  And so encouraging!

I handed out lots and lots of business cards and postcards.  And the day after the show I got this e-mail:

"Hello Karla,  I was one of the people (many people I am sure) who very much admired your paintings at the Sugar Creek Arts Festival. 
I retired not long ago, & am very interested in trying some painting in oils or acrylics.  Of all the styles of painting I've seen, yours draws & energizes me the most!
So, I wonder how you feel about teaching adults?............."

So I don't know where that will go yet, but it is encouraging to think about the possibilities.  My son teaches piano lessons to senior citizens with a technique that has them playing with two hands within just a couple of lessons.  My thought is that with my teaching I can teach people to paint a good painting with just a few lessons.  They will not understand everything that most artists spend a lifetime learning, but will enable them to produce great paintings to enjoy using my style of painting.

final thoughts......

I read a blog post somewhere recently that talked about trying to understand why people judge their
success or failure by how much money they make or how high up the promotion ladder they get.  Instead the author suggested to focus on enjoying every moment in life and not be constantly focused on something around the next bend.  The author also suggested instead of focusing on money to instead focus on improving and getting better at what you do.  I thought this was wise council.  I am going to try to embrace that.



  1. That is wise council. thank you for sharing that.
    I heard there were big crowds there. I'm glad you had such a good experience at that show. My daughter was there checking it out. She would have stopped to say hi, but your booth was full and you were busy with others.
    I'm sure your grand daughter won't forget that experience ever! A budding artist! love that!

  2. I'm so glad you had a great experience at this show! Not only that but hopefully many future customers and teaching...wow!
    Your granddaughter is so cute!!
    I also agree that focusing on improving and enjoying the experience is very important, something I lose sight of sometimes. : )

  3. Hi there! I'm Cathy's daughter. I saw you at Sugar Creek and would have introduced myself but you had a full booth both times I passed by.
    Wow. That was my first time at Sugar Creek and I was surprised by the size of it. And the diversity of artists was impressive. Would you do the show again next year? I'm thinking I might try and get in next year. They had some different things there so they might take beaded flowers. =)
    You're paintings are great. Even better in person. It is so hard to capture the feeling of art through a photograph. It was fun to see yours in person.

  4. I exhibited at Sugar Creek Arts Festival. I wish I knew you were there we could have met. This was my first time there and the volunteers and other artists were great. I intend to come back next year.


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