Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of the Season...

End of the Season #1
5" x 5" original watercolor

End of the Season #2
6"x 4" original watercolor

I painted two pumpkins over the Thanksgiving
holiday but am only now finding a free moment
to get them on my blog. I now need to switch
gears and think Holiday ~ winter/snow ...

Open House is over! Despite the economy
and bad weather we did very well. We were
busy all weekend.
I still have some original paintings available,
click Featured Original Watercolors
to view them and call or email any questions.
Remember to click over the paintings to
enlarge them.

As the grand finale of Behind the Scenes...
Everything now has to be taken apart and the
house and studio put back together! Undo everything
we spent days doing. Panels down, furniture hauled back,
the studio framing supplies brought up from the basement
while keeping the studio some what tidy for visiting
clients looking for holiday gifts. We try very hard to be
available all of December for clients wishing to visit the studio.
Next for Linda is to catch up on the business end,
add the sales and clients to the database, get a deposit
together and balance everything, pay all the bills that
were net 30 days! Then she starts filling
orders for prints: cut mats, frame, box and ship.
Meanwhile my goal is to get back to my "Painting
a Day" and start (finish) three commissions.

We started our Thanksgiving holiday with my Mom
falling again. I am so worried she is going to hurt herself
and yet there is nothing more we can do. Abbey and
Ben came home, they spent the first few days with
Ben's family and then were here Saturday. It is always
great to see them. Linda and the kids played some card
games, I totally enjoy hearing them laugh. My
brother and family came to visit on Saturday night and it
was nice to catch up with them. Once again the house is quiet...

Now it is back to work!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Open House is tomorrow!

A painting to
entise you
to visit my
25th Annual
Open House
held this
at my studio.

The past two days have been spent cleaning,
shopping and cooking! We are ready.
Even Linda said we are ready but she manages
to find one more thing to do!

Our doors open tomorrow
Friday from 2PM to 10PM
then again on...
Saturday from 10AM to 10PM
Sunday from noon to 6PM
For a more detailed invitation visit:

Linda added some more paintings to the website
under "featured original watercolors" and mini
paintings under "small originals" If you see one you
like call the studio to see if it is available. Hopefully
I am selling like mad! I hope to see you over the
weekend and bring a friend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

6 Days till Open House!

Hard to believe that next week at this time we
will have our first day of Open House in.
Meanwhile, the work continues...
Linda has a hors d'oeuvres menu to put together.
There are cookbooks all over the kitchen. We picked
up the wine today. I just love the labels on the bottles.
Invitations from clients who moved and did not send
a notice are coming back. We are at 129 returns.
X .42 each... Not a lot of cash but there is no extra
to waste. Linda has to look them all up on her
data base and decide who gets deleted or updated.
Then decide who we spend a second .42 on. Just another
job I am glad is not mine! I paint, and am still painting.

A reminder that the two paintings from the new prints
are on eBay and come to an end on Sunday. Do not wait!!

Here is a little sample of an original
that will
be on

Hope you

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

8 Days till Open House!

Behind the scenes of Open House...

Yes... I am still painting and yes there is still
lots of work to do!
All day Monday and into the evening Linda and
I framed my originals. I love to see them all framed
and looking their best. It is a good sense of
accomplishment. Tuesday, Linda did an inventory and
had a bit more framing she wanted to do. I spent the
morning at the eye doctor, just a check up and then into
downtown Lancaster to get a haircut. Then it was back
to painting for me. Today was the start of set up.
We keep all the prints in the studio and set up all the
Originals in our house, which is connected.
It starts to feel real now. We start with the house...
We move furniture and clear out a few rooms.
Then we set up my show panels. After 20 years of
having my open house in the house we live in we pretty
much have a plan, although Linda changes it around
a little. It is a whole days work and requires patience,
team work and a little muscle.

setting up
the show

I am
the cords
for the
lights, and
a prayer
for a

good show while down on my knees!!

are up

Linda, not
to happy
having a
photo taken!


well not
Linda will
the paintings
times until
something tells her it is perfect! She has some method
of grouping and themes... I do not interfere with this
process. This is just one part of the panels.
There are two more areas of Originals to be set up
and hung. And since everything is moved, Linda
feels the need to clean... like we have time for that!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

11 Days till Open House!

After diligently painting all week I decided to
take a bike ride this afternoon. After about
11 miles my derailer over-shifted and my chain
went into my wheel. Relax, I was not hurt but
my bike needed a ride back home. I took this as
a sign to get back to my painting!! Linda is taking
a rest day and is reading. She put in 4 very long
days/nights and has almost all the framing of the
prints finished. Orders for the new prints are starting
to flow in. You can order them from my website...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

15 Days till Open House!

I took 6000 mailers to the post office this
morning so watch your mail! Any feed back
is appreciated. The rest of my day was spent

Behind the scenes of Open House...
Here is Linda and her helper Stacy framing.

They framed from 8AM to 8PM with a short
lunch break and a 1 hour break to rest.
The mats were cut last week and Linda already
had the prints taped into the mat, a barrier sheet
is taped to the back of the print and then a backing
sheet is added to protect the print. All this was
done last week and piled high waiting for the frames
to come.

So today was the start of framing. Stacy has
helped Linda for 14 years and cuts excellent
mats with no cross-cuts in the corners. Stacy
starts by cleaning the glass in the frame. Then
the print is set in. We use a "framers point gun"
which you can see in the photo above setting on
the frame. This shoots points to hold the print
into the frame. Then it is Linda's turn, she runs
double stick tape, using a (blue) tape gun which
you can see setting on the table, all along the back
of the frame and places brown paper, called a dust
cover. This gets trimmed with a little red gadget.
Next comes screws and hangers and then they
both wire. Each frame is handled the same way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

16 Days till Open House!

First thing this morning, at 8am it was my great
pleasure to take my Mom to vote. She was pretty
pleased to have her photo taken.

Andy and
Mom Smith.

Mom is 86
years old.

Right after we all voted I drove to NJ to pick
up my frames. It was a 6 hour round trip.

Here I am
unloading the

this is
stack #1
There is
another pile
behind me!

Frames are every where!
There are 500 of them.

Stack #2
Taller than
I am...

Glad it is
not my job
to assemble

Behind the scenes of Open House...
Linda tells me we are On Schedule.
The invitations were labeled and stamped
over the weekend and are hitting the post office
tomorrow, so be on the look out for yours!
If you do not get one and want one, send an email
request. Linda has everything ready to start
framing tomorrow. Me...I am painting!

Monday, November 3, 2008

17 Days till Open House!

Behind the scenes of Open House...

I get glass by the case and it needs to be
cut to fit my frames. I had 22 cases to cut
So here is a photo of the artist risking life and
limb cutting glass! The scraps filled 2 boxes...

No hi-tec machines
for us!!

Supply Orders...
Next on the schedule is ordering supplies. We need
an educated guess on the number of prints we will sell.
The idea is not to run out during the Open House.
All of my prints are available during Open House.
I offer 5-10 of each, framed in a variety of mat choices.
Plus 50 each of the new prints. This requires a very
large order of supplies. Tomorrow I am driving to
NJ to pick up 500 frames. I save a large shipping
fee plus time by going for them. Don't even think about
this bill...

To frame one print takes 2 pieces of mattboard ~ a
cream or white top and a colored inside, a piece of
barrier paper, and backing board. Linda needs to
calculate how much of everything we need because there
is not enough time to reorder. This large order came
last Thursday and Linda has been cutting pieces for days.
Keep in mind, 500 of everything. It is done with a ruler
and an exacto knife and a heating pad for her shoulders
and some motrin for her hands. Once the pieces are cut
there needs to be the hole cut in the mat for the print.
We have help with the hole part. When ordering you
cannot forget the double stick tape, hangers, screws and
wire. This is another large bill you do not want to think
about! We also offer unframed prints. These need
what is called foam board as a back which needs to be cut
to fit the size print and then we "shrink wrap"them.
Here is Linda shrinking 25 each of the new prints and
several each of my older prints. Once they are sealed in
plastic she uses
a heat gun to
tighten them.
This job takes
I get my moneys
worth out of
this employee!!