The Art Fair

2018 starts my third full year of art fairs. Toward the end of the previous year the art fair applications start opening up. My first I applied for was on September 29th. Going back through my pictures, I think about how I have evolved and how I keep learning with each and every show I do. This picture is from my first show in Roanoke Indiana in October of 2015. I had an inexpensive tent with a blue top, no weights, because I had no idea that I would need then. Thank goodness it was a beautiful day with no wind. We had purchased peg board and hinges to put together something to hang work on. It was so heavy! I brought along a table and had folding chairs and little lights and a rug. We had a pick up truck that I put all of this in and had my art covered in towels. See the pink price tags….I thought they would be easy to see. Amazingly I did make some sales and it was fun and something that I decided to do, but the one thing I decided was I was too old to be climbing in and out of the back of a pick up, something would have to change. This picture is good to remind me at how far I have come and also it makes me laugh at the timing of getting the butt shot of my neighbor.

The second attemp at an art show in Elkart, March 2016. I researched tents and decided on the Flourish Trimline with mesh walls. I made that cute banner, which I have hanging at my dining room window. The paintings are hung up very hodge podgy, they need to be in a gallery style. Very neat and very even. I painted my table in chalk paint and it turned out cute but it was a pain to move all the time. I also invested in directors chairs because they are so much more comfortable to have for very long days. They save your knees from getting up and down.

Here I am with my sister. We were so happy to have the tent up. When I got it, I read the directions and my husband and I put it up in the garage. We labeled the poles and I thought I was good to go. Got there the day before to set up and my brain could not remember how to set this tent up. We had to be out of the venue by 7:00 and it was not close. I slept horribly and then looked at youtube videos on how to set it up again. My sister said that she woke up to me staring at her saying ok….this is what we have to do. We got there, worked through it and put the last painting on the wall 15 minutes before the door opened. Advice…..set your tent up at least three times before you use it for a real show. It will save you sleep!

This is my art van that I ordered. It is a Ford Transit Connect. I love it and it is just the right size. I didn’t want anything larger, it has just two seats and the rest is cargo. It is low, so I don’t have to climb up and down.

After that show, we had a decent weather day in April so I practiced putting up the tent again. It helped, but it would just take practice and each show would get better.

My next show in May of 2016, Wyoming Ohio. Beautiful little town outside of Cincinnati. My helper bee is Margaret who lives just 15 minutes away. This was the first time that I used the full tent, sides, roof, back door so of course, it went better but was not smooth. If you notice my orange ratchets to attach the 40 pound weights on each corner. I was going for inexpensive and did not even think about the color. I used those for two years but this Christmas I received really nice black ones. Just learning where to position the weights, I put them inside now because it is easier for me to zip the tent up. Remembering to lift the tent before the bottom staybars get attached. Notice that the paintings are much more even and neat. I was learning! Just by going and looking at what others do is a great education.

Needing more hints and tips I found this book and it is great. Ideas that I used are putting together a tool box with rope, tools and first aid kit, zip ties, working with customers and her first shows, I could go on but it was a wealth of information. I highly recommend it. She published this in Feb. of 2007 and there is new technology etc. but as she points out this is just a guide, hands on is the best training.

Here we are at March of 2017, the same show that I had problems putting up the tent the first time. I probably have 10 or more shows under my belt by this time. I no longer use the rug and have added lights and a new table that is easier to transport because it folds. I keep trying different ways to display price tags and am currently using small strong magnets. My booth has improved greatly.

The last show of the 2017 season, St. James art fair in Louisville. It’s a three day event. Huge amount of people. Went down on thursday and and stayed over sunday night because I don’t want to take the chance of being to tired while driving. It is a large event for the area. Every artist has a different experience at each show. It depends on what their genre is, if they have been doing it awhile, what kind of following they have. This show is put on to benefit the neighborhood. I had been put on the waitlist and was called off of it to my delight. I really wanted to try this show and see what it was all about. Load in was not bad even though they were narrow streets. Were able to park near my spot and it was marked adequately. We had two hours to set up before we had to move the vehicle, which was enough time. What I did not like was that there was no room between the booths, we were right on top of each other. I feel that they just want to get as many artists in to collect the booth fees. All in all there were 750 artists and at times the lines going by your tent were so thick that customers had a hard time looking and stopping and jumping into your booth.

On Sunday the nonstop hurricane rain came through. This was my first experience for this kind of weather since doing fairs. I had downpours but not an all day rain. It was miserable, but we got through it and needless to say my day was a loss. It was raining so hard that the drains were backing up because some hadn’t moved their equipment. The rain of course, was no ones fault. I feel that there were too many artists, and it was not beneficial for us. I did get contacted recently that my street score (whoever did that) was high enough that I could get in without being juried. I don’t know if they don’t feel that they have had enough artists apply or what this is about. I decided to go in a different direction and find a smaller show during that time. But there were many firsts and I was glad to have the opportunity to experience it.

Three shows that I have applied to, for 2018 have juried and they have contacted the artists. In 2017 I was put on the waitlist for Broad Ripple in Indianapolis and then a short period later I was contacted that there was a spot. I really enjoyed doing this show. I felt that the customers were very much art enthusiasts, even when there was a thunderstorm customers were out there. Unfortunately I did not get in, not even the waitlist this year to my chagrin. Every year is different with a different jury. I will try again next year.

At a past show this summer I had a customer as if I had ever tried the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago. I had said that going to Chicago makes me nervous. He said that people are serious about their art in that area and it is a good show. I researched it and applied, I found many good reviews. I did not get selected for it. They give the scores of the three judges and it is a range from one to ten. I had a 1-4-8, so someone liked my work. I will give it a try again next year, because I feel it is worth pursuing.

Talbot Street Art Fair is in Indianapolis in June. I have always heard good feedback on it and wanted to try it. I had applied for the past two years and was not accepted, this year I made the waitlist and I am thrilled. It is in June so I feel there is a good chance that I will be able to get in. It will be on my schedule if I do on my home page. All in all, I have applied to 18 shows. I am trying some new ones and going back to others that I really liked. Music, alcohol and art shows I stay clear away from. It is too much work not to be the focus of attention. I did one and that was enough. I also decided not to go too far south in the summer time, way too hot! My sister almost passed out in Kentucky in May. So I am excited to see what the year brings. Trying to make as much art as possible to get my inventory up. Thanks for reading, I will keep you updated.


St. James Court (Fourth Street) Art Fair, Louisville

On October 6,7 and 8th I participated St. James Court art fair in Louisville. This is a huge (overwhelmingly so) art fair. In fact it has 700 artists. It is on three streets and also the side streets and then there are off shoots like in a church parking lot and such like that. It was in Old Louisville area with large houses like this one. It was behind my tent and for sale.

This house was exactly behind my tent and they made the most of the inconvenience of having their street blocked off for three days, they provided food and bathroom facilities for the artists. I felt very fortunate to be at this spot. This couple has been through many of these shows and just joined in.

The tents were only given a 10 X 10 space and there was no space between the tents whatsoever. Load in went pretty well because you had a time limit of two hours to unload and set up. For the most part we had a good portion of it done and did the rest the next day. Margaret, my helper for this show was fabulous!

All set up and ready to go.

This was before the show actually started and people were out taking walks. There were thousands of people walking the streets, so many that it was not just an easy walk to look in each booth.

We were very close to the airport and I was not able to get the lower planes. They were so close though that you could hear them throttling down and hear the landing gear come down. The first few times it was disconcerting.

Sunday was a bust. Hurricane Nate made his way up and kept dropping rain. When it rained harder, this is what my tent looked like. They finally found the blockage and it helped, but this was the most rain that I had experienced. Thankfully it let up by the time tear down came. I have to say it was a great experience, I saw my cousin, met some really nice people and Margaret and I had a good time. I won’t go back though, I feel that smaller shows are more beneficial to the artist.


Just hot off the easel

A the Satek Winery show, I was asked if I ever did paintings with sunflowers. Since it was almost fall I thought that it would be a perfect time to do one and I was looking for an idea for my next painting. I chose to start the background with cool colors.

I knew I wanted to do different sunflowers because variety is the spice of life. Here I was choosing the placement of them on the canvas.

This is one of the sunflowers that I depicted in the painting.

Another one, I love this puffy sunflower!

I used molding paste with acrylic paint with a skewer as the tool to get the texture. Note that the goldfinch has wallpaper wings.

Adding in the leaves, deciding how I would tone down the background. In the upper right corner is the sun and I eventually add a yellow circle in the middle for another layer.

I eventually decided not to do the usual leaves and stems but to add geometric shapes, to be fun and funky. Then a gentle all white butterfly.

The completed painting. This was really fun to do. I finished the painting on Thursday and it was purchased on Saturday by a lovely woman for her daughter.

This is my tent at Art at the Riverside in Leo Indiana, September 23rd. The painting is on the back wall and is showing quite nicely. That is a wonderful art show that is growing every year. This year I was told that 10 more artists were added. The only downside was the unusual heat wave, it was kinda crazy. Be sure to put it on your calendar for next year if you are in the area.


On My Camera

This past weekend I participated in the Arts and Apple Art Fair in Rochester Michigan north of Detroit. It is put on by Paint Creek Center for the Arts. This is Paint Creek and it was behind my booth.

It was held in the Municipal Park and my tent is the one with the rounded top on the curve of the sidewalk. I was in the area of trees and had to wear a jacket often.

I brought this painting along with me to work on in my room. I plan to have this it done for the Art at the Riverside show in Leo, IN on Sept. 23rd. I did this 3 day show solo and I missed my helpers, but it is always good to know that one can get the job done alone.  I did have help from a neighboring artist to bring down my tent roof though.

Felicia from housekeeping left a note for me, that she liked my painting. I really appreciated that.

I am so happy to say that our kittens are growing nicely. They are the sweetest little creatures! We have forever homes for every one of them, makes my heart sing.

Beautiful sunset to end our day before we are supposed to get some rain. We do need some. Thinking of all the people who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, what an event!

Looking forward to a little down time

My husband Tom and I are preparing to leave for Maine this weekend for some soul rejuvenation. I feel that nature does that, I also think that a painting is in the future with some wording like that. It has been a busy few months. I have done art shows in Indianapolis, Northville Michigan, La Grange Kentucky and Fort Wayne, IN. There is much preparation for shows and I always feel very stressed the week of the show and now we are going to have some well needed down time. I have found that no matter how much I sell at a show I always come away with more than that. I meet many people, who get introduced to my work. I get a lot of good feedback which means so much. My helpers are top notch and I enjoy spending time with them. It’s fun and hard work growing my art business. This painting is a print of my “In the Pines” and my sister Linda had it framed. It just looks so lovely.

This was taken on the Fourth of July from my back porch of the downtown Fort Wayne fireworks. I couldn’t see all of them but the tall ones were bright.

The video above, I took from my booth at Three Rivers Art Fair in Fort Wayne. Our booth was tucked behind the statue of Anthony Wayne on his horse, which drew a lot of folks to it but I feel that our placement didn’t draw the crowds like others. I have asked for a different spot next year. The kids loved climbing on it, many had their picture taken with it and the horse was anatomically correct with the 10-12 year old boys laughing and pointing at it. This cat painting was a hit and  my sister Linda purchased it, she loved it so much. What a complement. I have prints though in my etsy shop, and which a few purchased at the show. .

My customer that purchased the original In The Pines sent a picture showing where she put it. I was quite thrilled to get it!

Such fun it was to carve new stamps for my note cards! So connect to my facebook page and instagram because I will be posting pictures of our trip along the way. I’m so excited!!

Broad Ripple Art Fair this weekend!

Imagine yourself sitting at the bottom of a hill and you look up to see a beautiful evening sky with a hint of pink, surrounded by a sea of color. This is my newest painting, “Under the Blue Sky”. It will be for sale along with many others at the Broad Ripple art fair in Indianapolis.

When I started this painting I knew I wanted snapdragons with a lot of texture. The sky, then the snapdragons then I wasn’t sure which way I was going. Intuitive painting is putting down paint on a canvas and then eventually it will turn into something to work with. You stand back and start seeing different elements, shapes, colors. Check out the Indianapolis Art Center site and come visit us at booth 117.


Art Show Review

So much has happened in the last two weeks that I need to catch you up. On March 3rd and 4th my sister Linda and I drove to South Bend and set up the mini gallery to participate in the For the Love of Art Fair.

It was a very nice venue with many large rolling carts for the artists to use. It was an easy set up and tear down. I am not one that just has to rush to get out of there as fast as I can. We can usually count on 1 1/2 hours for everything up to shutting the door of the Transit Connect.
Shireen Kline is the promoter of this show and that woman works her rear end off. She keeps in touch via emails and personal phone calls. She also promotes the heck out of this show, with billboards, television commercials, social media, promotional cards that she will send to the artists to give to their customers. Television stations came out for some live shots. She was there the whole time for set up and when it was time for tear down she she was right in there helping everyone. It seemed as if she was tireless.

We stayed at the Doubletree hotel which was attached to the Century Center via a walkway, very convenient for the tired artist. We could also keep our vehicle parked in the garage all day long. It was a great hotel, the beds were comfy, we received the usual choc chip walnut check in cookie that Doubletree is known for. We were a bit concerned about the other residents on our floor, they were young hockey players with a lot of energy. Lots of running and congregating outside of our door and someone also threw up. The hotel was right there cleaning up the mess and when the time came to go to sleep all was quiet on the floor, they did really well. Shireen had worked it out with the hotel at having artist pricing for our room which was very much appreciated.

Our room was on the St. Joseph river side and the city really utilizes the river. That is a walkway with a stage area which could accommodate many activities. It was impressive. Being a chilly day in the 30’s we did not venture down there though.

This is what that same area looks like at night. The rapids are lit up and changing colors all the time. The bridge down the river also has color changing lights and there are two sculptures on each side of the river that change colors. It was enjoyable to watch.

A shot of my booth head on. The pipe and drapes were already set up for the other booths behind and beside. The area was exactly 10 X 10 with no extra room so I was not able to put my drapes up with no extra room but it worked out fine. I would have preferred a little more room so that storage behind the tent could be used but Shireen had curtained off a corner of the expo hall so that the artists could store their items, which was pretty convenient also. 

Right side of my booth. Another new option I have added to my booth this year are the lights though the lighting in the expo center was very good. I did like having the lights shine on the paintings and they were very easy to hook up. Shireen moved the art show to the South Bend area this year because the venue was nicer and the Elkhart area did not embrace the show. Though there were attendees never did I see large crowds in the aisles which I would have been exciting. My view is that this area was hit hard in the economic turn down of 2008 and they are being very cautious about spending their hard earned dollars and understandably so. I loved talking to the wonderful people that made their way into my gallery, that is always the fun part.

My next indoor art fair will be April 7,8 and 9th in Novi, Michigan. They have already sent me 50 of these cards to give away. I have not been to this venue before and it will be a new adventure. If you are in the area, stop on by and say hi and possibly pick up some happy art for your home.


Completed In The Pines


When I started building this painting my main vision included the different size pine trees. I cut out different sizes from wallpaper and originally was going to use many less. I then added all  the rest and liked the way it looked. The background was originally much different with many different greens. It didn’t make the picture and I painted over it with Paynes grey and Chromium Oxide Green. I wanted it to be dark like the inside of a forest.


Here is the completed painting of In The Pines. I really love the sky, it has a lot of movement and the sun is Van Goghish. The words are Take Our Hearts For A Walk In The Woods….And Listen To The Magic Whispers of Old Trees. There are many interesting elements to this painting. Look closely to find the pine martin peeking through the trees. I have posted this in my shop if you would like to purchase a print. The size will be printed as 8 X 14.5 on 11.7 X 16.5 archival paper and ink.


I will be adding this painting to my booth when I set it up in Columbus, Ohio December 2 through 4. If you are in the area please stop by. My shop link.

New Painting in Shop


Just finished this painting today just in time to offer in my booth this weekend. I will be setting up in Roanoke Indiana at the Art Fair A Renaissance in Roanoke. It will be this Saturday October 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is going to be a beautiful fall day of 63 degrees and sunny. This painting is named “Love Many Things” after the Vincent Van Gogh quote I have added to it.


This is a photo from my tent two weeks ago at Art at the Riverside in Leo Indiana. This was a really nice show setup. All the art booths were in an oval so we could look out and see everyone. The traffic flow was quite good with nice space in between the tents. There were food trucks to choose from for lunch. There was great music groups also. Each show becomes more successful and that is fun! Since this show was close to home it was nice to be able to see people I know too. I hope to see you this weekend.

Two Art Shows in a row


On August 20th I set up my booth in Greenwood Indiana at the Wammfest. We ran the whole of summer outdoor harsh weather, but we survived. Wamm means Wine, Art, Music and Microbrew. This is my lovely helper Theresa, who agreed to come along for her first art fair. The humidity was harsh upon set up. We went through many paper towels just wiping our faces of perspiration. The nice thing was that we could drive right up to the booth space and have the transit there the whole time. I like to be able to set up the night before and the booths were set up in a four square which was also nice because everyone had a corner. This picture was taken the next day after we hung everything.


For our dinner that night we chose Buca Di Beppo Italian Food. I loved their retro signage and the restaurant was quite good. You have to share because the portions are for 2 to 3 people on the lower end.


The windows looking like an Italian restaurant in an Italian village. Lots and lots of pictures on the walls and it was larger than I expected it to be.


More retro signage. We were so warm and our clothes were so wet that the air conditioning made us cold. The food was filling and great and we came away revived a bit.


The day of the festival called for rain showers off and on. We actually looked forward to the rain and not the sun because of the humidity and when the sun came out it was smothering. During the rains the tent held up beautifully. At one point around 4 or 5 o’clock the Greenwood police came around and told us a severe storm was coming and we would be welcome to leave, but with our good weights we decided to stay as none of the veteran artists were packing up. We would not have been able to get everything put away by that time. It ended up that the storm broke up and we just had some rain. This picture is just showing the animals that people bring. It would have been a nicer walk had it not been so warm.


The booth across from us, lots of words but I really liked the coat of armor.


Another dog, this tent that you cannot see inside of made leather goods. Especially leather journals with nice paper inside.


This artist had very pretty glass items that she made. When the storm came she zipped up her tent and took advantage of the down time to take a nap.


This woman came into the booth and I had to ask her to take a picture of her leg. She was obviously a big Wizard of Oz fan and had this tatooed all around her leg.


She said that it took 100 hours.


Amazing work! The leather journals were flying off the shelf, the jewelry maker beside us said that her sales were really down from the year before and I am sure that had to do with the uncertainty of the weather. The bands were fantastic, the promoters were great, the crowd was also really nice but I think they were there for the music and drinks more for the art, especially my art. I sold very little, but got a lot of good feedback. I don’t plan to attend this one again but it was a very well put together festival.


The next weekend, August 27th, we set up the booth at the Oakwood Resort in Syracuse Indiana on lake Wawasee. It was not a big show, 38 artists, but they were all very good artists. You could tell that the community supported the arts and made it out to the show even though it did rain. We really had about an hours down time from 11 am to 12 pm. Sales were doing well up to that time. It rained hard enough that we had to put all the sides down on the tent. It was warm to set up on friday evening, but not as warm as Greenwood was. They were generous with the booth size placement also. It was set up in an event area along a meandering path. My sister and I set up the tent the night before and then put the pictures up again the next day. Here I am the morning before the show started.


We decided to have our meals at the resort and sat outside for the evening meal on friday night, this was our view. The only problem was the darn august bees.


Topped off my fancy mac and cheese meal with some very tasty cheesecake. It takes a lot out of you to set up a tent in the heat. You need nourishment!


Morning sky on Lake Wawasee.


Another pretty one I had to share.


The beach at the Oakwood Resort, our room window was on the third floor. The inside was so well lighted and lovely. It was a treat to stay there.


This is the S.S. Lilypad, people were dressed up and boarding for an evening cruise, possibly dinner we think. This was also the view from our room. We were so fortunate!


Here is a morning sunrise picture, just delightful! We had their Saturday buffet for breakfast and that sustained us through the day until we were on our way home.


Our sunny room and my helper was my lovely sister Linda. I have a very fondness for the Oakwood Art Fair, it was my best so far. It was not big but the people who came out were wonderful. There was music, and things going on for the kids. The bathrooms were easily accessible and clean! Good food items and wine to taste and buy. Linda picked up a bottle of “Cruisin Concord” from the Tippy Creek Winery and I look forward to drinking it. Each show I learn new things at and the artists are so nice, an experience I wouldn’t want to miss.