Oh...I love a Parade!

Parades...oh what fun we have. It has become quite a family event over the past couple of years since Billy has taken office. One of our favorite little towns to parade around is Senoia. Today is their annual Memorial Day parade. The route is about 1/2 mile, tops. But the streets are lined with people waving and hollering and hoping for a shot at a piece of candy or two. Billy is big on having a ton of candy for these events. Today we are borrowing my best buddy Valerie's little beemer convertible. I'll add some pics of our days event later...but for now here are some past events. This is Mailey a year ago. I'd bought this adorable crown for her to wear.
Just found this one in the archives of my computer. This was our first campaign parade truck. This was before Valerie and I had the Flea. The children on the left are her two, Brice and Olivia, then baby Mailey, and another little girl. (I have no idea who she is! 4 years can change a child's looks so very much!) William drew this sweet American flag in the grass that we printed onto tees for everyone. The back said vote for Billy except on Mailey and William's where it said "Vote for my Daddy". What you don't see is the trailer we pulled that had a pile of people. It was I think the best parade for us thus far!
This was last year's 4th of July Parade. We've grown up a little...used a tractor this year in true Newnan form!
This was the Moreland kiddo parade. We have no idea who Mailey hoped a ride with, but she was determined to ride in this over the top silverado power wheel! Man has her little face changed!


I was cleaning out my photo files when I came across these images of the May Day event out at Serenbe. I'd forgotten to share about the day! This event was a ton of fun. It came on the heels of the Wesleyan show, but was a completely different experience. We were so fortunate that the day was perfect weather wise. Sunny, a gentle breeze, good food, good drink and good people. I sold 2 paintings a bunch of little items. It was great exposure and a nice way to familiarize myself with outdoor shows. I'll admit the inside show has its advantages, but I truly love being outside, so this was a really great first time outdoor market experience. I'm doing a huge outdoor, bring my own tent event the first weekend in October, so this was great practice. I learned immediately that I need to re-work my smaller items so you can see them better, and buy them quicker. Also, I will never do a show again without credit card capabilities. I can't tell you how many people had no cash and no checks. This is a day of plastic and as artists we need to be able to accommodate our buyers with this service. The tent was set up as one long venue with each artist having a 10' x 10' area. Valerie and I were next to each other which was fun to be by a friend. There were about 3000 visitors to the event. Like I said, great exposure!

Mailey and I got to ride in a hot air balloon as well that day. It looks a lot higher than it actually was, but it was a ton of fun nonetheless. And being with Mailey made it more special! This event I will definitely do again and recommend it to other artists and visitors as well!


An Afternoon at Serenbe

A few weeks ago out at Serenbe I noticed this fabulous field of daisy's. Being one of my favorite flowers, I just had to bring the kiddos back from some photos! I bought a new camera with my etsy money and here are the results. I haven't touched these in photoshop...pretty nice. I had the camera set on the action man so I could just shoot away! So my son William wanted to grow his hair and we let him, obviously. I kind of liked it....until now. I can't see his beautiful blue eyes in any of the pictures I took! Maybe a trim is in order, just maybe. It's funny to watch him play baseball. He almost needs a bobby pin!
Mailey is normally the camera diva. Today however, she wanted nothing to do with it. So here's a sneak shot I got before she turned her head.

After a cupcake "as big as my hand" as William said, and a yummy BLT, we headed for the horse stables. Mailey is going to start riding this summer so we wanted to go love on our new friends a little. I hope you all had as wonderful and playful an afternoon as we did!


Making Way for A New Studio

I live in a cottage. A cute cottage non-the-less, that I've worked for 12 years now making into a comfortable home for my family. But there is not much room for an art studio in my little cottage. I had one of the bedrooms as my nook until William came along, moved myself to the sun room, then Mailey came along....which meant toys....toys....and more toys. So, I lost my area for a couple of years. Then I decided to carve a nook in the garage. It is great to be out there. I painted, put up a divider, carpeted, installed shelving and loved the wonderful art desk for about 1 1/2 years now. The biggest drawback to a garage studio however is the weather. In the winter I bundle up, in the summer, well just imagine what I have to do. I do live in Southern Georgia. Home land to mosquitoes, humidity and long summer days. So, I've made an executive family decision to bring my little nook into the sun room. A room only the cats sunbath in and I drink my coffee. It's attached to the kitchen. Makes sense that I'd make it my little creative zone. I can look out the window at the garden I've nurtured, enjoy heating and air, and still keep the garage area set-up for when I expand beyond my sun room borders (which as artists we know we expand beyond our little desks often). So I'll share pictures soon of the studio as it looks now in the garage, a junk pile really, the pretty sun room that no one uses but the cats and of course the transformation. I love a re-do. Really.


New Quote

I just found the perfect quote for those too wary to try something new....."What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" It's by van Gogh, the ultimate art risk taker for his time. Sometimes it feels I try too many things, too much of the time. It's that curiosity thing, and the endless search for something that is mine, new, and original. There's not much out there these days that hasn't been tried, drawn or painted. However, by using my own inspiration, and my own little twist, it does become something fresh and new.

During these years of trying to be a successful artist, I have come to more of an understanding of who I am as an artist and how all the little steps have gotten me to where I am now. I kind of like this place I'm in now....art wise. My birds, my wheaty landscapes, the joint compound....it feels natural and is something I want to do everyday. I found another quote that said something like "your real passion should feel like breathing; it's that natural". Art for me is a natural thing, and art becoming more a part of my daily routine is refreshing. It has been since I can remember...from music as a child to now my teaching and painting. It's not something I feel pressured to do, but rather want to do, am lead to do. It's a happy thing!

With that being said, I am off to the garage to work on a new composition. One with more poppies. I kind of like those little girls too. I'll share soon!

New Horizons

I have found over the years that sometimes using unexpected materials brings about a whole new painting experience. I blogged earlier about using joint compound to bring new texture to my otherwise flat acrylic surfaces. I am teaching an adult painting class every Tuesday at the store where they all wanted to try out this new technique as well. They've inspired me so much with their skills and talents combining the paint and joint compound! Everyone's finished pieces are absolutely amazing! I am tickled to have been able to share this new journey with them. I guess it's the teacher in me, but I love sharing ideas, new techniques and even compositions with my students. It's very rewarding to hear they've actually hung their completed painting up or given it away! Here are two of my newest landscapes. I was inspired by an artist at Wesleyan for the above painting, and below is one of my favorite wheaty landscapes. They are both nestled in salvage wood frames.
This painting is entitled Ocala Wheat at Night and will be hanging at Espresso Lane coffee shop until July.


Weslyan Market- A Little More

I realized after I posted my last blog that most of those pictures were taken on Saturday. So here are some earlier pictures. A little nest holds my Mattie Cards. What I failed to mention in the last post was that many artists painted in their space the entire weekend. I did not bring supplies for that, but did bring a new sketchbook and started a first in what I hope to be many Mattie adventures, a children's book series. I've got my ideas, sketches and some text for "A Bird Named Mattie", which tells of her birth and her family. And the second "Mattie Goes to School", where she of course finds that her favorite subject is art.
Here is actually a picture right after I finished setting up, before the opening reception Thursday night.
This is the side of my booth where I had all my little items. Turns out I was the only artist with items quite like this. I found that people really where here to buy art and that my pendants, which sell nicely on etsy and my store, didn't sell well at all! Live and learn! I think having a variety of prices on my paintings and with my smaller items is what kept me busy all weekend.

Inside Verses Outside- The Show Debate

Over the past two weeks I have embarked on a new journey with my art. That of a roadie. And man has it been a roller coaster of a two weeks. Actually its been more like 4 total getting ready. I know because that's how many weeks it has been since I truly cleaned my house! Getting ready for these two events was fun and exciting though, and truly worth all the hours of work! So here's how it all went.....

First up was the Annual Wesleyan Artist Market. It was a three day event in Norcross. I want you to picture me in the truck, loaded to the max with stuff not only in the truck bed, but the truck's cab. I looked like I'd just come from a major run at Lakewood! I pull up to this amazing school about 12 noon, right at set up time. Walking onto the campus I am amazed at the beauty of the buildings first, and the landscaping, and the children in little uniforms, and oh my I was not in Newnan anymore! I notice first off that everyone is just carrying in their nice paintings wrapped in blankets, or in portfolios, no big trucks loaded quite like mine. Hmmmm.... I wander into the gym and quickly have to take a deep breath in and remember to stay calm, very calm. You see, I had visualized, practiced and test run my 10' x10' booth for weeks. Upon arrival, it is no longer shaped like a 10' x 10' square and there are pre-set dark wood panels already in place for each artist. I find my location among the sea of walls, speak to someone in charge, ask polite questions, then call Valerie on the verge of tears. She basically tells me to put my big girl panties on and make it work! Good advice, and that was just what I did. Everyone one at the school was super helpful and using a handy cart and a parent volunteer, I got everything in two loads and started to work the magic. In fact while unloaded my items, a parent wandering around the gym spotted a painting she just had to have and I sold one before we even started our night. Yipee I say! And that was just the beginning. I luckily had a side wall I could use to put my cool yellow cart full of pick up items, one of my five panels, and more.
Here I am in the center of the booth. You see, I used my white panels after all. And boy am I glad I did. I was a breath of fresh air from the dark panels of everyone else. I had so many people wander around the corner, or up the aisle and say "Wow, your art makes me so happy." or "It looks like the beach." And so many more kind comments.

I stopped on the way in for fresh flowers. Another breath of freshness to my little space.
Here is an overall view so you can see how we were set up. There were about 60 artists. Most were full-time artists in galleries and everything! I was amongst giants I told my peeps back home. Really. I sold like crazy, which made me so very happy. (10 paintings! and tons of little stuff)
It was a great first show. I can't say enough about how kind everyone was. So helpful and visible, and just Wow, is all I can say. No words to describe it truly, but I really feel blessed for a first timer. Oh, and I really can't not mention my new art friends Jaqueline and Phyliss. They were super kind to me throughout the three days. I also have to thank my Mom for coming and staying the night and helping me Friday, she was such a proud Mommy! Also thanks to all my buddies from Newnan that came, and my Dad, Barbara and Chan for coming all the way from Harpersville! It was so encouraging to have all of your support! THANKS!
So, will I go again, heck yeah! I also got "scouted" by some people from other private school art markets. I look forward to hearing from them soon!


Hey Ya'll!

Yes, we really do say that in the south. I don't have quite as fun of a southern drawl as my daughter, but I say say it with as much enthusiasm as she! S0 "hey ya'll!", from wherever you are in the world.

Why the formality you ask? You see, I have this really cool thing I found on Michele Maule's site called a Stat Counter. It allows me to see how many hits I am getting on my blog, and where they are from. Now, let me first say I have visitors everyday, but by no means what some of my other favorite blogs have, like Creative Thursday. She probably gets 1000 hits or more a day. I get more like 10. But, that means someone is out there reading my thoughts, and watching my art evolve through the little snip its I share. To the point, I just checked to see where my hits were coming from and of course most are from the good old USA. BUT, I found that someone in Singapore, India, Ecuador and Australia have found me too! Man, that is really cool, and weird at the same time. So, if you are reading this from another country, and you don't read English, does the blogger translate into your language for you? Hmmmm...Interesting thought. Anyways, thanks for reading over and under there!
Still getting ready for tomorrow's event out at Serenbe. I came off such a high from Wesleyan that I've not given this as much thought as I should. It did completely storm on my way home, soaking all my props and backdrops. Perhaps I should check everything...but it's raining here. Maybe a nap first.....
By the way those chicks with me are Julie on the left and Valerie on the right. Valerie and I own the shop together. Check us out at www.thevintage-flea.com!
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