Wednesday, September 28, 2011

what I worked on during the show

Silly me, I had the notion that I might actually near completion on a scrimshaw piece during the show. Ha! Nope! I'm glad I brought the microscope and worked on stuff there though, I think it was totally worth it to educate the masses as much as I could. I started with a blank 30x40mm (I know you think that's small, but I think that's big!) piece of ivory, after 4 days of steady interruptions (that's a good thing at an art show! getting any work done was a bonus!) this is how far along it was:

So, this'll get put away for a while. The Greatest Generation project is the big priority right now. Oh, it's a tiger, by the way. On a pendant. In black and white.

Monday, September 26, 2011

the Art at the Classic show

So, as I said in a previous post, I was up in Grass Valley over the weekend at the Draft Horse Classic, showing my art in the "Art at the Classic" show. I don't remember when I first started going there as a visitor, I'm thinking probably when I was in junior high school. I started showing my art there in 1998, and first had a booth in 2002. It's my favorite show, I just love it! After missing the previous two years, I was soooo happy to be back.

I had one piece in the competition, a little scrim called "Waiting for the Boss." It got second place, woo hoo!

The booth turned out pretty nice, though it turned out a little more crowded than I had anticipated when I planned it out on paper. Oh well, it still worked. I don't have quite enough stuff to justify getting a 10x20 booth, but it's a little too much for a 10x10. If I could get a 10x15, that would probably be perfect, but that's not an option! Guess I'll have to have a sale and get rid of some things so I can spread it all out a little more next time! ;-)

Here's the booth:

I spent a fair amount of time sitting at the microscope working on scrimshaw, which is hard in that situation, and of course I didn't get all that much done because I spent a lot of time talking to people, explaining scrim, and selling things! I'm glad I brought that stuff though, people were really fascinated with the scrimshaw, and every person who I manage to educate even a little bit, well... it all helps.

To my extreme delight, this was actually the best show I've ever had. Yay! Maybe there's hope for the economy after all? And again, the chicken art is what brings the people in! Gotta update my website soon and put "sold" on a few originals!

Lots of people came to visit me at the show. Thank you to all of you, you know who you are, you're very special to me. :-) And one of the highlights for me was seeing some faces I hadn't seen for a LONG time. I had been thinking about how much I missed some of the artists who used to show there when I started out in 2002, back when I was a "newbie". Well several of those artists happened to visit the show this year, and it was sooo good to see them!

Here's me and Sheri Greves Neilson, who I hadn't seen for a zillion years. She first gave me the nickname "The Chicken Lady" at Draft Horse Classic way back when. That used to be the name of this blog too...

Here's me and Ruth Deoudes. She was my first booth-neighbor back in 2002 and we instantly struck up a friendship. She still shows there, and even though we only see each other once a year we're great friends!

So yeah, it was a great show, a great weekend. I had a good feeling about things... I was right. ;-)

setting up a booth

Sometimes people are very surprised by the amount of work that goes into setting up a booth at an art show.... all the pre-show prep and packing (not to mention storing all this stuff!), setup, working the booth during the show, tear-down, unpacking... Some people think that an artist can just show up and hang things on the wall. Ha ha, noooo. The booth is not provided. Nor are the lights or the furniture or anything. You get an empty part of the floor, electricity, and some shows will provide a table and chairs if you need them. Here's how it goes:

This is what you see when you arrive:

How did all that crap fit in the minivan anyway?

Setting up the panels:

Setting up the shelves:

And the lights:

I think better when I'm barefoot I guess. ;-)

Hanging the art:

Jan went with me to supervise:

Sometimes things don't work the way they're supposed to:

I can get a little stressed... ;-)

But in the end, even with having to make some changes, it all turns out just fine!

It took a whopping five hours to set up this time, I'm not sure why it was sooo long, maybe because things didn't fit quite as I had anticipated and I had to change some things.

Then I sit in the booth for a few days, and when the show is over I have to take it all down again and load it up. It took two hours to take the whole thing down last night. Needless to say, I slept in today!

the horses of Draft Horse Classic

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! In case you missed all the shameless self-promotion beforehand, I was gone at an art show Thursday through Sunday. It was Draft Horse Classic time! I loooooove this show. I missed the last two years, but my gosh it was so good to be back. I really don't ever want to miss it again. The people, the horses, the setting, I just love it.

I'll talk about the art show in a later post, this one is all about the horses! I actually get a little more chance to see the horses now than I did a few years ago because the art show hours have changed a bit. It's hard (okay, impossible) to get away from the booth during the show itself. But they do give us artists tickets to the Thursday evening show, and since the art show opens at noon on Fridays you can usually find all the artists gathered at the fence watching the halter classes on Friday morning.

If you've never stood next to a draft horse and marveled at their size, you are missing out on an experience. These animals are incredible!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17 work in progress

Next up, shading! I'll shade the figures, shade the maps, and then do the lettering.

I feel like I know so pathetically little about WWII. I learned about it in high school, I come from a family of WWII buffs, my grandpa on my dad's side is a veteran, and yet there are so many things I'm just now learning as I work on this project. At my client's recommendation, I watched the move "Patton" recently, and I know this sounds corny but somehow I feel ever so much more acquainted with that side of the gun now. My favorite part I think was when someone commented on his "pearl-handled pistols" and he said "They're ivory. Only a pimp from a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would carry a pearl-handled pistol."

I am immortalizing these men on an ivory-handled pistol, paying tribute to them with this project. That's very humbling.

I wish there was a movie about General MacArthur too, I'd like to see a portrayal of his personality as well.

I've got a three-way split with my time right now: working on the grips, working on the sketches for the knife (I'll talk about that when I get approval to start the scrim itself), and art show prep... because I only have THREE DAYS LEFT!!! :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

shameless self-promotion! (Draft Horse Classic!)

I really can't remember if I've posted all this info already or not, so just to be on the safe side, I'll indulge in some shameless self-promotion.

I'm in an art show!

It's an awesome show!

You should come visit me! You'll get to see my art in person! And buy things that aren't offered on the website! And visit me!

Am I sounding shameless enough yet? ;-)

Okay, in all seriousness, I am exhibiting in the "Art at the Classic" show at the Draft Horse Classic next Thursday through Sunday. That's September 22nd through the 25th. It's at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. This will be my eighth (non-consecutive, I missed the last two shows because I was out of state) year with a booth, and it's a great group of people with some mighty fine art!

Show hours are as follows:
Thursday Sept 22: noon - 5:30pm
Friday Sept 23: noon - 7pm
Saturday Sept 24: 9am - 7pm
Sunday Sept 25: 9am - 5pm

Admission to the fairgrounds and art show is free. Parking is $5. If you want to see the horse shows themselves you do have to buy tickets for those. You can find out a whole lot more info on their website!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

number sixteen

Just for the record...

I've now been driving for 16 years.

I got my 16th flat tire a few days ago. That's 14 on my old Taurus, 1 on Mom's minivan, now 1 on the Avalon. Quite the talent I have, eh? I'm pretty sure it's a curse.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 12 work in progress

Yeah I know, today's the 13th, but this is from yesterday... Doesn't look like much yet but it is! The lines you see, it's actually all dots...

So this is half of the Greatest Generation Project. I've only talked about that a little bit but it's a Colt 1911 and a Bowie knife. These, in case you don't know, are the grips for the 1911.

Lots of people ask me how these projects work, like does a client tell me exactly what to do? It varies, but generally clients come to me with a fairly general idea, and that's the ideal situation for me. I want to know what subject someone wants, but I don't want someone telling me HOW to create that subject. First and foremost I'm still an artist, so I take some serious pride in designing an appealing image.

In this case, I was asked to put General Patton on one side, and General MacArthur on the other. HOW to do that was entirely up to me (with constant feedback and eventual approval, of course, obviously the client is involved in the process). But I design the image. 1911 grips are tricky, being a parallelogram shape and not a rectangle. I had a few ideas that didn't work out before I finally thought of one that did. I'm not going to show you the approved sketches, I'm just going to let these images build up until you can see what I'm doing.

I'll talk more about the second part of the project later, the Bowie knife. I'm still revising sketches for that, it's a tremendous amount of work doing all the foundation work!

Monday, September 12, 2011

the grand baking finale

I'm done baking like a crazy person!

Okay, well probably not, obviously I'll keep baking because I'm sort of obsessed now, but I'm done with my official wedding-baking duties, and everything turned out great! The wedding was gorgeous. I've known the family since the mid/late 80s, so since the bride was just a little kid! It "takes a village" to pull off a wedding! It's really something to see this group of friends who have known each other for such a long time all come together to clean up and set up and cook and make everything so nice.

I spent the day in the "cold room" frosting cupcakes and arranging dessert platters, which I'd have to say was the cushy job compared to all the people who were outside setting up tables or in the super-hot kitchen making dinner!

Here's the dessert tables... wish it had been brighter so people really could have seen how pretty everything was! I made probably about a third of the items on the table. I have no idea how many different people were baking, there was all kinds of stuff to be cut and arranged that day!

I was asked a few times if I bake professionally. Hee hee, no, I'm just a perfectionist artist who wants food to be pretty! And now I have a bunch of great new recipes, I learned some new baking tips, got some new gadgets, and had a great time making things for other people. My mom says that runs in the family, "we feed people." Indeed!

And now, I'm dangerously far behind on scrimshaw, and I set up for an art show in a week and a half, so excuse me while I pull some very late nights in the near future!

Oh yeah and I got to wear flowers and feathers in my hair, which was awesome, haven't done that since I stopped bellydancing! But everyone was supposed to wear a hair thingy or a hat, so I was all over it. ;-)

Friday, September 09, 2011

11 sticks of butter

That's how much butter I used today, 11 sticks!!! I baked for ten hours today making desserts for a wedding (tomorrow.)

This is what 10 hours of baking does to the kitchen countertop, eeeeeek!!

This is also what 10 hours of baking does. That's two pans of chocolate mint squares, 80ish lemon cream shortbread tarts, and 4 different kinds of frosting (for the 400 cupcakes I made and froze last weekend):

Here's the 400 cupcakes I made last weekend:

I also made 100 macaroon cookies last weekend too but forgot to photograph them.

And here's how the kitchen counter looks after I clean up all the mess I made! Aaaahhh. All done! :-)

Now, cross your fingers that I catch the bouquet tomorrow! ;-) It's about time, seriously...