Tuesday, July 30, 2013

yet another recap

A lot has been going on...it's time for a recap!

The Five Rivers Arts Alliance group show I'm in at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick is up and running. The show went up on Wednesday, June 24th, and the opening reception was Thursday, June 25th. I have six paintings in the show, and it's kind of a mini-retrospective for me. I have work from '06, '07, '09, '10, '11, and '13 on display, and I think it's interesting to see the way my work has been evolving and changing over the years. The painting from this year, "Old Fat Boy Sign", is about as new as it gets: I signed it on Wednesday morning and hung it on Wednesday afternoon! Thornton Oaks always puts on a nice show, and this was no exception. The weather was beautiful, and Marlise (Thornton Oaks' Director of Marketing) decided to have the opening reception out on the patio. The turnout was wonderful, and the residents of Thornton Oaks were a great audience. At one point during the reception, Marlise introduced all of the artists and asked us to say a few words. None of us realized this would be happening, but I think we all did just fine. I was happy to have my friend Donna along with me for the opening reception, and I think she enjoyed being there. Donna's brother's wedding was on Saturday, July 27th, so she was up from New York from the week: it was a happy coincidence that she was able to spend the day with me and attend the opening as well. This show runs through the end of August, and it looks like I will need to get some magnets made up of "Old Fat Boy Sign" before it's over: I had at least two requests for them during the reception! If you're curious about the show, here is the Thornton Oaks website: www.ThorntonOaks.com.

My show at Cafe Creme in Bath came down on Sunday. It never ceases to amaze me how much faster it is to take down a show than it is to hang a show! I was finished in 30 minutes, and Terry wasn't even with me. I did get a little bit of help from a friendly stranger as well as from Arlie, but it was pretty much a solo effort. Arlie thanked me for having my work on display, and she told me that it got a lot of positive feedback from customers; another staff member told me she had given out a few of my business cards, so I left some extras behind. Cafe Creme is a really prominent and popular location in Bath, and I am happy to have had my work on display there. It will be interesting to see if anyone contacts me in the future as a result of this show...I guess time will tell! Now I need to get ready for my solo show at She Doesn't Like Guthrie's in Lewiston, which goes up on Saturday morning.

I am also happy to report that my work has been accepted into "tiny, take two" at Spindleworks! I dropped off two little paintings yesterday and I am excited to be a part of this show. I won't be able to make it to the opening reception because it falls on August 9th, which is Second Friday Art Walk, but that's okay...Spindleworks keeps regular hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 - 4:30), and I know I'll be able to stop by at some point and see it without having to deal with a crowd. Here is the Spindleworks website, in case you'd like to check it out: www.spindleworks.org.

Monday, July 22, 2013

norwegian wood (or wouldn't)

We've all heard stories about email scams targeting random people with the promise of a sudden windfall of cash as a result of winning a contest or helping someone in need. Well, I guess they're going after artists who are looking to sell their work as well. Within a week, I got two different emails from two different "shop owners" in Norway (the country, not the town in Maine), stating that they wanted to buy artwork from me and have it shipped through a shipping agent. I completely ignored the first email, but when I got the second one, I started poking around online for more information. It seems like this is a widespread problem and artists everywhere are being targeted. I found an interesting site that deals with exactly this type of thing (http://stopartscams.blogspot.com/2010/08/scam-email-alice-drew.html), and I also posted about it on Facebook; within a few minutes after my original post was made, an artist friend stated that she had just gotten an email from a shop owner in Norway as well. I figured it might be a good idea to post the emails I received here just in case anyone else gets one and thinks it could be legitimate...we artists need to look out for each other! Here's the first one:

Good Day,

     My name is Amanda Gray, from Norway, Am interested in commissioning some of your unique work you have in stock right now and i will like to know if you ship to Norway. Cause my shipping agent will be coming to pickup the items Directly from you, I already have some large merchandise with Them in Which Together they'll be shipping to me here in Norway. Let me know if it possible to order them?


Amanda Unique Art Store.
Address: 709 Vikjavegen, Eimstad,
Phone: +47 5551 2350
Email: amandawholesalestore@gmail.com

...and here's the second one:

Good Day,

       Your items is most creative & desirable, so much talent! I am interested in purchasing some of your unique arts/ items to my shop in Norway,but before i do i want to inform if i can make the payment with my credit card because presently my best form of payment is via credit card,that is where i put all my money for any international transaction.So kindly reconfirm your website/contact details and get back to me with it so as to know if I'm right with the site.
 Concerning the shipment,my shipping company will be coming to pickup the items because i already have some merchandise with them in which they will be shipping together to me here in Norway.So you don't need to be worried about the shipment nor handling fee.

Markveien 30,
Oslo, 0554
Phone: + 47 22 00 16 30
Fax:   + 47 23 29 45 01
Enail: melanie.brownshop@gmail.com

Best Regard,
Melanie Brown.

I have to give them credit for choosing to use Norway as their country of origin (seems original to me), and for using the words "unique", "creative", and "desirable" to describe my work and therefore make the email seem more personal and less like a form letter. Too bad they're full of sh*t.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

hot and sticky

Here we go again...I haven't been blogging as much as I ought to be, and for that, I am sorry. It seems like every few weeks I begin a post this same way! At least I know better than to say "I'll never do it again," right? Let's get right to it, shall we?

Yes, this seems to be the Summer of Magnets: hot and sticky all around. I am so, so, so thrilled to report that people are really responding to my magnets. Friends, family, and complete strangers are buying them left and right; they're being given as gifts or kept in a place where they will be seen every day. My magnets are being carried in many wonderful local shops as well, and the list keeps growing: Estilo, Jai Yoga, and The Mix in Brunswick, Maine; Cafe Creme in Bath, Maine; and The Elf Shelf gift basket business in Claremont, New Hampshire! It's exciting and fun and I couldn't be happier about it. I'm up to 11 different types of magnets, and I've had more than a few reorders at this point.

July's Second Friday Art Walk was absolutely fantastic. The turnout was fabulous, the weather was beautiful, the live music was great, and lots of friendly faces made their way into my room at 98 Maine Street. The magnet sales were brisk, and I got a ton of positive feedback. In fact, I had a lot of really interesting interactions with art walkers. One was a young boy who had visited my room during last year's art walk. Back then, he had asked me if I had work on display at Spindleworks. I had been in the "tiny" show there last year, and it blew me away that someone so young recognized my style. Well, this time, he asked me if I'd be having work on display at Spindleworks again anytime soon! I smiled and told him that I had applied for consideration in the "tiny, take 2" juried show and that I hadn't heard back yet, but that I hoped they liked me enough last time to include me again! Another interesting visitor was a woman who asked me if I had a show earlier this year at Curtis Memorial Library. She told me that she must have caught it towards the show's end, because when she went back to the library to see it again, the next show was up. Even though she missed it, I thought it was very nice to hear that she had made a second trip. Plus, the man who bought the painting I donated to the Family Arts Festival last year walked into my room! That was pretty cool. He had been looking around (the room was full of people at this point), and on his way out, he casually said, "Yeah, I love your work...I bought that gelato spoon peace sign painting," and I said, "What? I've always wondered who bought that painting!" I shook his hand and thanked him for satisfying my curiosity. I hope next month's art walk brings more of the same!