Thursday, June 16, 2011

thinking inside the box

I love my cats, Cosmo and Althea. They are very sweet and, of course, very curious. I have had cats before, but Cosmo and Althea are the only cats I've had who like to hang out with me while I'm painting. They see me going upstairs and they get excited, running in front of me and into the studio. I get a kick out of this and the company is nice...until they start screwing around with my stuff: knocking over brushes and water cups, using collage supplies as toys, getting underfoot when I'm stepping back to look at a painting's progress. These are all minor annoyances that aren't worth getting worked up over. A big problem, however, is when they jump into boxes containing blank canvas and/or finished paintings. They love boxes, like most cats, and they love the protection and privacy they get from the extra height of the canvases. Unfortunately, they have sharp claws, and they have damaged canvas in the past (thankfully, no finished paintings have been harmed). They especially like to hide in these tall boxes when we have company...and this weekend, Terry's brother Jerry and his daughters, Sylvia and Tiffany, will be visiting from out of state. I'm quite sure a lot of hiding will be taking place during that time period, and this prompted me to start thinking about better storage options.

I told Terry about my concerns, so we went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of wood. Neither of us could be described as particularly handy, so we asked for advice and the very patient clerk told us what to do and how to do it. I am happy to say that this past weekend, Terry built me a giant box with a lid so I can store my paintings without fear of Cosmo and Althea getting inside! I am very relieved. My paintings will be protected, there's a lot of room inside, and even though the box is huge, it makes my studio look neater and more orderly...which is always something I can use. The solid lid of the box will provide a tall perch for the cats, and they will still have plenty of hiding places to choose from (including some now-empty cardboard boxes I am hanging onto for transportation purposes), so everyone wins. Bring on the company!

Friday, June 3, 2011

just keep walking

What a great turnout it was for the art walk tonight! So far, this was the best one yet. I lost count of how many people stopped in to look around and check things out, which is a great sign. A lot of those who came in commented on how busy Congress Street was: there were artists, musicians, dancers, and art-lovers out in full force, enjoying the beautiful Portland night. I met a bunch of interesting people of all ages and I got a lot of compliments (on both my artwork AND my Fluevogs!), which always feels good. I also got to spend some time with friends and family (thank you Rebecca, Jen C., Sarah, Rachael, and Xander...and thanks for the beautiful lilacs, too), and I even sold a piece to boot! It's nice to know that my work is speaking to people and they are connecting with it. I stayed well past 8 o'clock since people were still roaming around; in fact, I think it was nearly 9 pm when I finally locked up. Things stared out a bit slow (and I brought a book along just in case), but it picked up as the evening went on, and time ended up flying by. I was stunned when I looked at my phone and saw that it was past 8:30. I'm hoping for a repeat performance in July!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

three to get ready

I am happy to report that I hung my show at Scarlet Begonias today and it went up without a hitch! They don't want to make any more holes in their walls, so I had to use the hooks that were already in place. Thankfully, this wasn't a problem at all. Everything went up smoothly and quickly and things look good. I got positive feedback again from Doug and Colleen (the owners), as well as their very friendly, upbeat hostess (whose name is escaping me right now, I'm sorry to say). The skies were threatening rain, but I got there in plenty of time to avoid any kind of nastiness, and I was able to park right out front so the crazy wind that was blowing didn't have much chance to give me any issues. Also, I brought in a price list as requested (they prefer the look of a list to individual tags) and Doug was able to correctly match all the paintings to their titles, so I feel fairly confident that there won't be any confusion for potential buyers.

Tomorrow I will be hanging my next show at the Closet Factory office for Portland's First Friday Art Walk, and my show at Biddeford Savings Bank in Scarborough runs until June 24th, so that means I'll have my artwork on display in three different places this month! It feels good to say that, and I'm happy to have enough pieces to be able to make that happen. I wanted to make sure I had a decent amount of new stuff for First Friday, so between yesterday and today, I cranked out four new oil pastels, which I haven't done in a long time. I also managed to get two new collages done within the last few days, and I finally finished a painting that I had been working on for a couple of months. Whew!