Winter Paintings

The Sledding Hill

So, I’m back after a short break from painting.  I needed to focus on making sure my house wasn’t completely neglected!  During the last week I also attended another art / craft fair and was thoroughly inspired!  I must be part of that one next year.  It was so big, and full of fun, unique vendors.  I think I’d fit right in 🙂

Now that my small projects are finished for the time being, it is time to start focussing on some larger canvases again.  I am going to revisit my Wobble Poppins painting and I’ll post an updated version shortly.  I also have big ideas for a Wobble zoo on a big 30″ by 30″ canvas.  I think this will be a lot of fun, almost too exciting to wait for the Wobble Poppins!  I just may work on two at once.  But, in the meantime, I will post a winter themed picture since it snowed this week in Kamloops.  I love the snow and have had lots of fun making snowmen and eating snow with my little ones.  From my Bunny’s perspective (my eldest if you haven’t read my early posts about my kids) this Winter will be new since she recently was given her first pair of skis. If you have snow at your house I hope you are having fun.  Look forward to my Wobble Poppins picture soon to be posted!

Things I’ve Learned: Preparing for an Art Show / Craft Fair

At my table

I had so much fun at the craft fair today.  It was a success from all angles.  Having done a few art shows and craft fairs now, I can say I know at least a few tricks of the trade.  My husband Andres and I learned on our own what works for us and what doesn’t.  I’m sure there is still a lot I could glean as I do more and more, but in the meantime I thought I’d share what has made art shows smoother for us.

1.  Have support

Spouse, partner, friend, family.  Have someone to bounce creative process ideas around.  I’ve been stuck many times about colour choices and composition and it’s wonderful to have someone to talk it out with.

2.  Value your work but don’t be greedy

Don’t sell yourself short – how long does it take to make your pieces?  Are you pricing accordingly?  Be proud of what you are selling.

3.  Scissors, tape and string

You never know when you’ll need them!

4.  Have snacks along

In the excitement it is easy to forget to eat.  Have things to munch on so when you do feel hungry you can have something immediately.

5.  Bag it

Have a way to take your pieces home safely.  A gallery curator told me that wrapping paintings in saran wrap saves the corners.  Affordable and effective!

6.  Dress appropriately

You don’t know if your venue will be cold or hot, so my suggestion is to dress in layers so you can feel comfortable.

7.  Have an appropriate float ready

8.  Be friendly and respectful of other vendors

This might seem like common sense, but I often see people being rude or careless.  Create a warm atmosphere and take care to befriend other people.  They will be much more apt to help you if you help them. (A good example is if you need a coffee break or bathroom break and you are the only one manning your table … having someone watch your things while you are away is important!)

9.  Have fun

Regardless of how much you sell or don’t sell, enjoy the connections you are making with other artists.  This can come in handy at times you don’t expect.  Also, remember that you are getting exposure which is valuable marketing.

Pirates

Pirates

The same good friend who inspired my knight and dragon wobbles also sent me an idea for pirates.  Pirate wobbles I thought might work really well because Pirates can take bright colour.  So, I started on the beach and almost changed my idea.  I liked the sky / sea combination so much that I just about turned it into a sunset walk with two wobbles.  Luckily for this painting, I asked my father-in-law as well as my husband and the romantic beach walk was vetoed twice!  I really wanted to have a little treasure chest in there as well, as it was a good and easy way to incorporate the necessary yellow into the painting.  (This by the way is usually done with the sun, but the stormy sky didn’t allow for this add-in.)

This painting has a wobble exception; one of the characters has an accessory on the face.  (Obviously a must for pirates though!)  I default with no accessories because it is much easier to add yourself into the painting’s narrative if you feel that you fit there.  If I were to add glasses to a wobble and you didn’t wear glasses, that makes it more difficult to feel connected to the story that the painting is trying to tell.  I think in this case it works regardless 🙂  While painting some of my magnets, I almost added some mouths because the wobbles are caroling.  In that case, it just didn’t look right, so I took them out and added music notes instead.  Most of the time, there are other ways to add details without facial additions.

I’m coming down to the end of my timeline.  The craft fair is on Saturday, so two more days to go.  I have high expectations for these next couple days.  I’ll keep posting pictures as I finish.

Fairytale paintings

Fairytale Set

I love painting princess themed pictures.  They are easy from a number of perspectives.  First of all, as a child I loved princesses.  Second, I have two daughters who like princesses.  However, not everyone likes this theme.  I was trying to think outside the box a bit but was having trouble.  A good friend of mine suggested knights and dragons!  What a great idea!  What a perfect third painting to make a set.  The idea was there, but I have never drawn much less painted a dragon, so this concept took a couple days to materialize.  I wanted the dragon to fit the Wobble theme, so no facial expressions, and it had to be simple.  Also, just a personal preference here, but I didn’t want it to look scary; Wobbles are cheerful, whimsical characters; frightening is not an adjective I would want to have associated with them.  I think it turned out quite well!

To date, I have 13 smaller paintings finished and 8 magnets.  By this coming Friday, I hope to have a total of 15 smaller paintings and a minimum of 20 magnets done for the craft fair (this Saturday).  That makes for a busy week, but based on my output the past week and a bit, I think it can be done!  Stay tuned for more pictures.

Painted Canvas Magnets

“Winter Theme”

I painted quite a few of these mini canvas magnets for my day at Art in the Park a few years ago and they were very popular.  I suppose it’s nice to purchase something handmade that is unique and still affordable.  These small canvases are two inches by two inches.  If I’m on the ball I can do four in an hour, so they are affordable for me to make as well.  I have made different sets before (see here and here if you’re curious!) but not a winter set.  I thought since the craft fair I’m participating in is a Winter craft fair, these might do well.  I still want to paint one more to make them a set of three, and I’m thinking that some Wobbles on a chair lift might be cute.  Other ideas I’m debating are sledding, or skating.

Painting in an assembly line is certainly efficient!  I like that I can continue to paint while the other paint is drying.  On a bigger canvas, that isn’t an issue since the size is big enough to work on something else and not be in the way of the wet paint.  I find using the assembly line to also be efficient in terms of not wasting paint.  I try and paint all one colour at the same time, and then I move onto another colour.  And, if I need to do a second coat of a certain colour, since I am finished all four within an hour, the paint on my palette will not have dried yet.  Wasting paint when painting a larger canvas often gets the better of me.  I try and paint from the background towards the foreground so detail goes on top of detail, not the other way around (I’ve tried that and gotten extremely frustrated!)  In this manner, if for example the sky is blue, and there are some small details in the foreground of the painting that I want to use the same blue for, I will usually not paint them until the entire background and middleground is all done.    This will almost always be at a different time, so new paint has to be used / mixed.

Anyways, I like the way these two turned out, and if I was to pick the one I like better I’d say the snowman, but only because I love the little extra that the snowflakes give it.  I’m still painting at least one piece a day, so my collection for the show is growing fast.  (Where I’m finding the time to do this is unbeknownst to me!)  Have a wonderful Friday!

Craft Fair Art

"Joy"
“Joy”

It’s funny how sometimes you go looking for goals and then they find you instead.  Last Tuesday I was asked by a friend if I might want to consider being part of a craft fair, and a large one at that.  I jumped at the chance.  An opportunity for others to see my art?  Yes!  The possibility of selling perhaps one or more?  Yes!  Then, after I came out of the clouds, I remembered … oh yeah, what does my inventory look like?  (well, lets say I have about 10 paintings total in my basement ready to go)  So, I have been painting every spare moment I have and my housework has suffered.  But only for about ten more days. Hopefully by then I’ll have some things to decorate my table.  I have been doing a lot of smaller pieces since they would be more affordable to buy.  Which brings me to my question for you … what comes to your mind when you think of craft fairs, and what sort of audience am I looking at?  I think of card and soap tables.  Do you think of nice things to buy, or inexpensive ornaments?  Also, do you think of Christmas items, or all year round items?  I can’t stop thinking of the ornaments …

So, back to the inventory problem; my mind started drumming up ideas and hasn’t stopped since.  I have been painting one to two canvases a day in hopes that I’ll have about fifteen to twenty smaller pieces set up, alongside a few bigger ones that I have done already.  In order to best use my canvas supply I painted over three more images 🙂  I think the new images are better and hopefully they will be better received.  I’ll leave you with the following image – that first night when my brain couldn’t stop thinking about what to paint, I drew up this idea, and I really like the result.  I’ve never used words in Wobble paintings before, so this is another first.  I tried to give the night time sky some texture and the snowflakes really help.  The snow has a bit of blue in it to give the impression of some shadows.  Even though the Wobbles are the only other colour, I think they stand out since they are the colour boost.  I made two others, one with the word HOPE,  and another with LOVE.  Any ideas for more short words that might fit well for a craft fair?