Tuesday, August 31, 2021

2021 Sunflower #1

SOLD!      $145. (unframed) 6x4” mini original watercolor

Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 9/2 the price goes to $250

Sunflowers... I was told it is time to paint a few.  These are from the garden at the B&B we stayed in, more about that later.

Back to my vacation:  The girls could not find an available place to stay for the whole week so we moved around a bit.  Which was actually nice because we had three different experiences.  It is time to pack up and leave the lake house.
Wednesday was HOT so we decided to make it our Corning day.  We headed to the Corning Museum of Glass for the day. Then to Penn Yan, NY where we had a 2nd floor loft style suite right on Main Street.  It was beautiful.  We had dinner at Union Block which was excellent.  

Monday, August 30, 2021

2021 Finger Lakes NY #1

mini original watercolor    $250

This farm scene is from Potter, NY near Canandaigua.  We were headed to a Maple Farm but I will explain that later.

To catch up, last weekend at the Mount Gretna Art Show I was awarded one of ten Judges Choice Awards.  I have been attending this show since 1981 and have only won one other time.  This is a super quality show so this is an honor.  The award was overall work.

It is hard to see my ribbon...

Sunday was a rainy day at the show so pack up was unpleasant.  Everything was wet.  We got home and had to unpack.  We were leaving at 9am Monday morning for a little vacation with our friends the Woodruffs to the Finger Lakes. So there was a lot to do when we got home.  Note to self... do not schedule things back to back, I need a day to regroup from a show! 

But off we go...Vacation: Our first stop was to be the Grand Canyon of PA however when we got there the only road in to L
eonard Harrison State Park was washed out during the week of rain.  So we continued to our first Air B&B.  We stayed in a little house on Lamoka Lake with perfect lake views.  

Tuesday we were out early headed to Watkins Glen.  We started with breakfast at Tobey's Donut Shop, yes we had donuts which were very good,  but also an egg sandwich!  Then on to the gorge.  WOW...  with all the rain the falls were overflowing.  The roar of the falls was so loud.  There was eye candy with every step.

And when I say step... I mean 832 steps. But it was well worth it.

This is a place I would return.  We then headed to the next town to see Chequaga Falls which were in some ones backyard!  Get ready to see some water fall paintings!   We are always on a quest to find Tiffany Glass Windows and we had a list, the Montour Falls Library has a beautiful set and the librarian was more than happy to tell us all about them.

Linda always needs some variety and she found a cheese farm, Shtayburne Farm Creamery.  The young owner stopped working to give us a little tour/lecture on cheese making.  Pretty fascinating and we bought some cheese!  This was a pretty full day so we did take out and enjoyed our lake view.  I have a lake view painting in mind!  I am pretty excited to paint some fresh work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Annual Open House decision...

We have been agonizing about Open House plans, trying to watch what Covid is doing.  Do we want lots of people in our house, do we ask for masks, do we serve wine and food.  What if we spend all the money to host and we shut down at the last moment, how long can we wait to decide...  SO we made a decision.  The easiest is to have a 2nd year in our Backyard.   More manageable if Covid gets worse.  We can decide at the last moment about refreshments.  So save these dates!  Bring your friends...

Annual Open House...in our Backyard!
Wednesday, Oct. 7th through Saturday, Oct. 16

Daily from 10am to 4pm
Closed if raining!
This gives you 10 days to pick from. 

I am working now on new original paintings and there will be a wonderful new selection in various sizes and prices. I will have a new mini Holiday print!  And a big selection of prints as usual.  Invites are at the printer now but you can get this on your calendar!

psst... if you are thinking about an original painting the best selection is the first few days!

The new originals will be posted on my website on October 1st however NO sales will be made until October 7th at 10am but you can get your wish list ready!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

2021 Landscape #27 - Pine Creek

 mini original watercolor   $225

Our Pennsylvania mountains are beautiful anytime of the year.  This is a view while riding the Pine Creek Trail.

Question of the Day:  How do you decide on the size for a painting?  When I paint for the Painting A Day the size is predetermined.  Image 4x6 and 5x5.  Sometimes I use this size as a study for a larger painting.  This size allows me to paint a broad variety of subjects without investing days in a larger painting.  It allows for practice of a subject and allows me to play a bit more.  For the larger paintings I look at the subject and after 40 years I just know how it will look larger.  Some paintings feel majestic and call for as large as I can paint.  A full sheet of watercolor is 22x30.  With a mat, frame and glass that gets big to carry around and to paint that size with detail and time ends up a bit pricey. 
Like this one... "Autumn Invitation  framed 25x29  $6000.

Some I look at and know they should be long and thin...  for a panoramic feel
Like this one... "Bucolic"  22x11"  $1200.

When you pick a subject I think you need to study it for a bit.  Think about how the image naturally looks best.  I also have about 9 sizes I routinely use, that makes picking a size a little easier.  I did just add square formats for fun!
Like this one... "Cool Front"  19x19  $1500.

I think every artist loves to paint large!  I like the challenge of scaling up or down.  And the real challenge is to paint small and still get all the detail.

Monday, August 16, 2021

2021 Window #6

SOLD!   $145. (unframed) 4x6” mini original watercolor

Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 8/18
 the price goes to $225

I am always saying you can find subject matter anywhere.  This little tea cup with a plant and a neighboring view was from our lunch in Clay, PA at Stone House Cafe A fantastic old stone building with deep sills. We were surprised how good the food was, plan to go again.

And our fall rat race has begun. Unpacking from the Lititz Rotary Craft Show which showed no signs of a pandemic and was well attended.  Maybe not the 40thousand people from past years but very full.  We are repacking for Mount Gretna.  Meanwhile I am starting to paint for my annual Fall Open House.

This weekend is the Mount Gretna Art Show.
August 21-22  heat, rain or shine!
GPS use 101 Chautauqua Drive, Mount Gretna, PA

Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-5
My booth is #206
You can order tickets on line at $10. 
or pay at the gate $12!  (use the link above)

Thursday, August 12, 2021

2021 Landscape #26 - Pine Creek

 mini original watercolor $250

This is one of the views while riding the Pine Creek Trail between 
Waterville north to Slate Run, PA.   The trail was shaded and following the river.

Packing the van for Saturday!

This Saturday is the BIG Rotary Craft Show in Lititz
8 to 4    ~  FREE
My space is on the square, in front of the entrance to the Sutter's Courtyard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

2021 Landscape #25

mini original watercolor $225.

This is from a bike ride in Lancaster County.  
Study that sky, my sky is improving!!

This Saturday is the BIG Rotary Craft Show in Lititz
8 to 4    ~  FREE
My space is on the square, in front of the entrance to the Sutter's Courtyard.

Question of the Day:  How did you develop a customer base?
From the very first show Linda kept a tablet out for people to give their name and address then typed into a data base.  She had a computer even back then.  It was a big thing.  I remember she had things stored on these 6" floppy disks!  Wow, we are talking 42 years ago.  Anyway, all sales were recorded.   She can tell you what you bought in 1985, if it was an original, size and price or a print and the print number,  the show you bought it at, and any purchase since then.  At the end of every show she spends a day  or two at her desk typing.  
She sends postcards whenever we do a show close to the client.  I have over 6000 names and most have purchased something.  Since then we include emails but Linda still likes snail mail.  This is one of the areas that I think an artist doing this alone would find it hard to keep up.  Luckily I had Linda to handle it for me.

Monday, August 9, 2021

2021 Flower #1

mini original watercolor    $225.

The morning glories are out in all their glory.  They come in so many colors and shades of color and the flower only lasts a day.  This one is from this morning when I took a stroll around the garden.  It was wrapped around wire that Linda has up.  Notice the detail on the wire fencing!  But that purple...
I guess its soon time for my annual sunflower paintings.

I have not answered a Question of the Day in a while...
Do you seek out opportunities?
I have to say no.  In my early days I searched for exhibits and places to hang my work, tried some Galleries.  Looked into grants and teaching seminars.  As my client base grew and I did more outdoor shows I was blessed with enough sales to keep me busy.  I do not look for opportunities but if one comes my way I consider it.  Covid has changed my "normal" so normally I will hang a show in a retirement home, bank or business if asked, limiting it to 2 a year.  I still go into schools (again, not right now)  to talk for career day, again only 1 a year.  If my schedule allows I will talk to organizations/clubs about being an artist.  I teach at my studio.  I promote my own website, blog, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  I send regular cards and Constant Contacts to clients.  OK, Linda does a lot of this, I mostly paint!    I really do not need more to do!  I think you do more when you are first starting out to help promote your name.

If you have a question you can send an email and I will add it to my list.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

2021 Still Life #16

mini original watercolor   $225.

I started this drawing last week but got too busy to paint it.  A simple pear with a knife setting on my ledge.  The pear long gone!  But, I needed to finish the painting.

Smith house update:   We decided to take a last minute camping trip.  Last Wednesday we took off for Happy Acres Resort in Waterville, PA.   The word Resort was a misnomer, maybe in its hay day.  It served our needs which were clean and quiet.  And QUIET it was, NO cable so I could not watch the Olympics, NO internet so I could not stream music, and NO cell phone service  so I could not check my messages.  We were out there, in the mountains.  I learned a lesson, always pack a book!  We set up and  had fantastic brisket at Mountain Top Provisions (17333 Coudersport Pike, Lock Haven, PA )  they do not have a website but trust me it was the best brisket I have ever had.  It was cool enough at night to open the windows and listen to the crickets!   Thursday we hit the Pine Creek Trail with the tandem.  We rode from Waterville north to Slate Run.  15 miles, lunch at Hotel Manor which was disappointing although the root beer was good.  Then 15 miles back.  A total of 30 miles.    A nice gravel trail in the valley which mainly follows the river and the mountains loom above.  The trail had too many yellow gates to navigate around!  Linda was back there taking photos... her legs better be peddling!

We had the trail mostly to ourselves which surprised me.  Personally I think the best part of this trail is farther north through the PA Grand Canyon. The whole trail must be spectacular in fall with the turning leaves.  Friday I painted and Linda read.  We never left our little RV.   I finished my small commission AND finished this fantastic piece.  The plan was to hold it for my fall Open House.  However I posted it on Instagram and it SOLD as soon as we got home.

"Neglected Beauty"  framed 18x24   $3000.

I think it is one of my best works.  It was a nightmare to draw because of all the angles and perspective.   The colors are so muted and yet there was so many under washes.  I want to thank  Carol for sharing her photo with me.  We share the same "eye" and she has been feeding me wonderful photos to use for reference. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Checking in...

Lititz Art Show went very well, the weather was perfect.  Pack up took what felt like forever, we got home at 7:30pm and I was only a few blocks away!  I am getting back in the swing of showing after a year off.   I am working on a large painting that I will share soon and also a small commission that will be a gift.  Today I unpacked the van,  cut a case of glass and cleaned the air conditioner filters. and suddenly it is dinner time and I was to be grilling.  Next, I want to tune up the tandem in hopes of a bit of riding this week.  

Again, I must say how blessed I am.  Saturday the Harts brought muffins out to the show.  They gave me energy at pack up! There were 4 and now there is one... Delish.  Today Keylor's dropped off a wonderful drink when picking up a painting.  I am SPOILED!  But a good spoiled!  And I am grateful!