After visiting the National Museum of Wildlife Art, we went back to Jackson Hole. I'd had a pretty good look around a few days earlier but wanted to jog my memory as to exactly which galleries were which, and I had missed one or two of them. Plus there were some things I wanted B to see.
Pretty much the first thing we did was go to Dan Shelley. We'd both been on this website months ago when B sent me the elk teeth he found, and I visited the gallery that Sunday and admired all the jewelry. As luck would have it, Dan himself was there, and what a nice guy. He really spend quite a bit of time talking to me about elk teeth and ivory and gave me some great pointers on how to polish the teeth. He also referred me to another store in town that might have some teeth for sale. So off we went.
Turned out the guy who was in charge of selling the teeth wasn't there but I got his contact info. Later, after much thought, I decided to hold off on purchasing any more. I'll get back to that later. But the really interesting thing was that there was a LOT of scrimshaw work for sale in that store. They said they had work from three different scrimshanders. A few of the pieces were nice but over-all I wasn't all that impressed, and it was interesting to note that it was all "functional items" like napkin rings and letter openers and whatnot). I gave some serious thought to meeting with the owner, but decided it wasn't the place for me. More on that later..
So we toodled around and saw more galleries though by then many were closed. That was okay, I really just need to peek in the windows and remind myself which ones were where (oh, JJ, I went in the one were CP shows her work but couldn't find any of her stuff, I wasn't all that impressed by that gallery anyway though, it seemed rather disorganized and half the stuff wasn't even labeled).
Oh I'd better throw in some pics and then I'll ramble on some more about art.
Being a tourist, it seemed a requirement that I have this photo taken:
A few pics from the town square. That gallery there is in my opinion THE gallery in town. They really had an emphasis on large oil paintings and bronze (don't they all, it's tough being a "drawer" and not a "painter"). But there were some drawings there too, granted by hugely famous people...
Okay, so thoughts about art. I forgot to mention that on Sunday on my first visit there I'd gotten into a long conversation with a really super nice lady at a jewelry art gallery and I showed her all my scrim that I'd brought and she was so impressed. She suggested one particular gallery in town for submitting art (she said a lot of artists "get their start" at that one) and as far as the scrim goes she suggested the National Museum of Wildlife Art gift store. So I got to chatting with the tour guide at the NMWA (yes, I can work the social skills and turn on the charm when I have to), and she introduced me to the (manager? proprietor?) at the gift shop and I got her card.
As I thought more about it that day and following days, I decided that what I really want to do is submit scrimshaw ART, not jewelry (and mostly the samples I had with me were jewelry, and none of the art was display-ready anyway). I want to get away from the jewelry a bit though. I mean it's fun, I enjoy it, but the wear and tear issue really concerns me. I recently had to re-ink a pendant that had been worn daily for six months, and most of the ink was gone. That's no fault of anyone's, but the super-fine technique I use just can't handle that sort of wear and tear. So I'd like to be making things that are going to be displayed, not worn or touched all the time. And that would be art. Granted, small art. ;-) Oh, yeah, so that's why I decided not to try submitting stuff to the store that had a bunch of scrim already, I just would rather see my scrim work in a different context.
Now as far as big art goes, I'd like to try some wildlife in my funky painting style. And I have several ideas in mind right now for (big?) drawings, like a scene from the trail ride (ears!) and what we saw at Old Faithful (you'll see!) and maybe something we saw in Yellowstone (omg!). I also have in mind to "redo" as drawings some of the humorous sculptures I did in college (the bear and bison, if you've been here and seen those two) I do know that galleries like to see consistency, and in that world it's sort of frowned upon to have a wide array of work. Well, personally I think versatility is an asset, I couldn't stand to do all the same thing all the time, and people always compliment me on that at art shows, but I realize I'll need to keep my techniques separate as far as gallery submissions go. How to handle that, I don't know. Submit everything everywhere, but separately? (drawing, painting, scrim?) Pick and choose? This is where I need help from people who know the ins and outs of how this stuff works.
There's a lot to think about, I'm still in brain-overload. I was talking to RS this morning when we were out with the horses and he says I need to check out Santa Fe before I put my eggs in one basket. Anyone want to tell me anything about Santa Fe, art-wise? He also pointed out that to sell really high end scrim jewelry, it would need to have really high end settings, gold and platinum and whatnot, and I don't have the ability or the means to do that, so again, I'd like to actually back off the jewelry (other than commissioned stuff).
"What a neat town" says the journal.
Next stop, some wildlife and scenery on the way back to Idaho (I told you this would take ages to blog about!). Of course B already spilled all the beans in his blog but you know me, I drag it out as long as I can. ;-)