Reflections on an Art Fair Summer

When the festival season is over for me (in 2 weeks) I will have 9 festivals under my belt.  By far the most I have ever done in one summer.  There has been a huge learning curve and I have tweaked my display at almost every show.  I have also kept notes on which festivals I will do again next year and which ones I won’t.  I had good festivals and bad festivals, but there is more to it than sales.  There were festivals this year I did not sell a thing at- but I am still considering returning to these festivals next year because it was good exposure, an art educated crowd, or just plain fun.  Next summer will likely be more concise in terms of my festival schedule.  I may also branch out a little further into Illinois or Minnesota.  Fellow artists have proven to be a priceless resource in providing pointers and recommending other shows.  Even when I was not selling I was learning, making connections, and gaining exposure.  This weekend is Mount Mary Starving Artist Festival (which will be a very different kind of show for me).  Following that is Hidden River the 14th-16th.  I will stay cautiously optimistic about these coming weeks!

Art on the Walk

Ahh.. I had forgotten how fun art festivals could be.  I woke up this past Saturday morning around 6:00am and groaned when I heard the thunder.  Oh how I contemplated not getting up!  Who is going to show up to an art festival in a thunderstorm anyway?  But, like they say in Wisconsin, if you don’t like the weather- wait twenty minutes.  In this case it was three hours….

I drove to Menomonee Fals for Art on the Walk.  I set up my tent and display in a thunderstorm.  My expectations and spirits were low for the day.  By 11:00am however, the sun was out an so were the crowds!  While I didn’t see the sales I had hoped for this day, I had a great time talking with people.  It was a fun and easy festival so the lack of sales was something I could live with.  I will probably do it again next year!

Adventures at the Domes Art Festival

I spent this last weekend at the Mitchell Park Domes painting for the plein air competition held in conjunction with an art festival.  I hammered out 2 paintings, one of which was sold at their auction.  Friday was interesting.  I set  up near the lagoon- a little ways behind the festival grounds.  The sky was clear and the reflections of the water were intriguing.  There was a group of guys on the other side of the lagoon that were drinking, partying, and hitting golf balls.  A little obnoxious but I guess they had a right to be there.  They came over to retrieve some golf balls that had landed rather close to me.  The asked why they weren’t in the painting.

Saturday I stayed a little closer to the festival and found a quiet location among the trees.  The lagoon was in the far background, but I focused on a tree that was particularly interesting because of how the light was hitting it.  This painting went much quicker then the one the day before.  I got out there just after a line of thunderstorms has passed.  The sky cleared as I was painting.


Image: This is “Lagoon” done on the first day (Friday).  14″ x 11″