Skip to main content

Fish bowl vs. privacy

    "The thing I remember best about successful people I've met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they're doing......and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of other people" Fred Rogers

     That must be why successful artists are always looking for their next show. That’s where they get to love it in front of others.

I personally really love and look forward to my upcoming shows for that very reason. It's my time to tell my story!  

     I often thought in making my art, that I need to work in a "fish bowl" where people could see me work. Of course the other side of this coin is the need to work in my private studio, which is where most of the work gets done.

      I once had a shop that was about the size of a large closet, which was also a fish bowl of sorts. It was 1988 and hand painted clothing was popular. In the front of the shop, right across from the front door, was a beautiful oak drawing table. I would put a solid colored shirt, coat or dress on a wooden board, and it became my blank canvas.

      So women would come in to my shop and watch me paint. They would try on this or that, and sometimes come up with something for me to custom paint for them. I would show them the clothing pieces that I could order and then I would paint them a one of a kind outfit. Watching me paint worked: they got to see me “loving what I do in front of them", which motivated them to make a purchase.

      My little shop at the beach is long ago history. I no longer work in a fishbowl. I now spend many hours by myself in my country studio, squirreling away at jewelry pieces and collage.


     My biggest satisfaction comes when someone sees my work and “gets it.” They may not see all the thought processes that went into it or the decisions I made to design it this way, not that way. They don’t see the way I had to juggle my schedule so I could sit in my studio and produce. They won’t know the expense or the fatigue, frustration or the coming up dry that occurs in a cycle. What they do see is the hand-crafted finished product, which hopefully tells a story and captivates their imagination. And when they get it, they get my obvious delight coming through! The biggest compliment I hear at shows is “Oooh, this jewelry is FUN!” Yep, it IS fun, because I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing, and I love it in front of you!

    Why do we artists go to such lengths to make our art, with little or no regard for worldly acclaim? Why do we have such obvious delight in what we’re doing, even to the extent of loving it in front of other people? Do we require working in a fish bowl to get that need met? What do we do when no one is watching?

I expect that at this year’s shows I will show some of my best work ever!!

Here’s my 2016 show schedule:

May 21, 22         Riverside Art Works Riverside Illinois.
June 4                 Old Mill Festival, Noblesville IN
June 25, 26         Columbus Art Fair, Columbus IN
July 30, 31          Glenview Art Festival,  Glenview, IL
August 6             Noblesville Art on the Square, Noblesville IN
Sept 10, 11          Downer’s Grove Art Fair, Downer’s Grove, IL
Sept 17, 18          Park Forest Art Festival, Park Forest, IL
Sept 23-25           Funky Ferndale, Ferndale, MI
Oct. 8                  Monument Circle Art Fair, Indianapolis, IN

I hope you will stop by and see me, so that I can love what I’m doing in front of you !

For a preview of my new work please visit my  online shop.


Popular posts from this blog

The Parts of Parts of Art workshop

In this lively workshop we will focus on designing and producing the components of mixed media art jewelry. By the end of the day, guests will be able to take home several pieces of wearable art of their own design. 

Components include but are not limited to handmade textured paper, acrylic paint skins, canvas remnants, polymer clay beads, paper beads, and various painted and textured surfaces. All materials will be provided to guests. Yummy snacks, drinks and lunch are also provided.

Parts of Parts of Art workshop will take place on Saturday, March 3

What Do You Expect?

Years ago when I was new to the art show circuit,  there was a local arts and crafts show in which I participated.  All set up and waiting for the inevitable crowds of customers to come,  I started conversing with my neighboring artist.

    “You really should do this one show I just did last month,” she said,  “Your work is great and you would probably sell out!”

       Now that I’m a seasoned vet of art shows, there are certain phrases that make me run as fast as I can in the opposite direction.  “You will probably sell out” is one of them. I mean, how do they know that I would probably sell out, and why would I even want to sell out?  That day, however,  the words of that well-meaning woman caught my interest.

       "You have to set up the night before, because people will come out early to shop." she said. "There is not much for people to do in this area, so people really look forward to the show.  I’m not kidding you, women come out to shop, with wheelbarrow…

Autumnal palette (literally)

Know what inspires me in this autumnal season? Copper! 

Here’s a recipe from Bustanoby’s Color Manual, copyright 1939 (no, its not edible):

Copper: Neutral tint of red-orange, typical of this ductile, metallic element. Copper is used in the arts, in electrical manufacture and in alloys.  Color matched from actual copper articles: 
16 parts Zinc White
8 parts Yellow Ochre
1 part Venetian Red

        So there you have it; the recipe for copper paint. And if you’re like me, and feel compelled to pull that dried copper paint off its palette, you might procure pieces such as these. 

       This might be just an ordinary old paint pan with layers of dried creamy caramel and burnt sienna paint to some. To me it is a mouth watering concoction of harmonious blends that make me wanna exile to the studio, fire up the wood stove and make jewelry. 

And yes, this is where it starts....

       When I’m not really feeling the creative juices flowing, when I am in a gray space, desiring some inner spark to ign…