The 4th annual Art on Nepessing St. art fair opens tomorrow! Friday June 2 from noon-8pm and Saturday June 3 from 10am-6pm I will be parked in my booth doing my part to promote the arts in Lapeer. I'll be peddling my classes, showing off the JKPP book, and will have mixed-media Mandalas, some random paintings (including a clearance sale section), and painted rocks for sale.
Today Cliff and I are assembling this year's Community Art Project, which will be revealed in the main art tent Friday. Stop by and take a look! While you're there, check out all the donated art that was featured in this year's art walk. You can bid on your favorite pieces in the silent auction throughout the art fair, up until Saturday at 4:30.
Saturday, please bring your kids! The kids' art activity tent is open Saturday from 11am - 4pm. And once again, they will be able to paint on an actual car (and possibly, a van too?) This was a really popular activity last year, adults wanted to get in on the act too.
New this year - we have a map listing all the vendors, along with the entertainment line-up. It will be available in the main gallery tent. Please note that the previously advertised chili cook-off has been cancelled. But there will still be food and beer and other beverages available in the Court Street entertainment area.
The weather forecast looks good (so far) ... no rain predicted until late Saturday night ... keeping fingers crossed it holds off until after clean-up. It should be a fun sun-and-art-filled weekend in downtown Lapeer!
... or it could be argued that I have rocks in my head, because I have taken up yet another creative folly: rock painting. (No this doesn't mean I've completed my last folly, the overly ambitious foray into art quilts - hah! I stuffed that into the spare bedroom for now.) Yep, I've been painting rocks. They are abundant at our new home - everywhere you stick a shovel in the ground, you hit a rock or ten. So I've been collecting, sorting, washing, looking up ideas and instructions online, of which there is also an abundance. Did you know rock painting was a "thing"? I sure didn't. But I do now. Here's my first completed batch. More are in the works. I'll have them in my booth at Art on Nepessing St.
I'm going to give this art class teaching thing another go. Gallery 194 has been working with me to schedule some new Mandala and Portrait class dates in June, and the ads have just been completed (thanks Katie Beth!)
I'll have more info at my booth at Art on Nepessing St. June 2-3.
The Art on Nepessing St. facebook page has been posting "artist profiles" almost daily, introducing the different artist who are participating in this year's event. Here is mine, featuring the painting I am donating this year:
Right here in my happy little hands is my copy of Portrait Revolution, US edition. I hardly know where to begin in describing this amazingly fabulous book. I have already read it cover to cover, every word, every name and caption, smiled at all the familiar faces and noted how many I didn't know, marveled at all the talent and vision, and tried to soak up as much of the information as I could. And I will certainly be reading it again and again. Yes, i bought it because two of my drawings are in it (and surprise! a little one of me by Janet Burns), but even if they weren't I think I would still love it. It is very well put together in a engaging manner, full of inspiration, tips and techniques, and so many beautiful images in every imaginable style by incredible artists all around the world. Everyone who is interested in portraiture and figurative art should buy this book. Seriously, BUY THIS BOOK.
Today I finally placed my order for the new book - Portrait Revolution - about the JKPP phenomenon, which contains two of my drawings. Even though it's still in pre-order status, I say "finally" because it's been available for pre-order for quite a while, has had a write-up in an art publication, and a few group members have advance copies already. So there has been a lot of excitement buzzing around about the book over the past couple months and I feel like I'm a bit behind.
Even if my drawings weren't in the book I would still buy it. The JKPP group has been such a huge influence on my growth as an artist. It has introduced me to many spectacular artists around the world, with a vast array of artistic styles, and led me to study portraiture (which I've been interested in since high school) more seriously. I would buy the book just for inspiration and as a memento. Having my work included in it is a very exciting added bonus, which is incredibly validating and humbling at the same time.
I ordered both the US and UK editions, which should arrive within a couple weeks. I can't wait!
In the mean time, here is a link to the review (it’s a jpeg, but you can zoom in to read):
May 17 issue of UK magazine Artists & Illustrators (supposed to also be available in the US.)
Ordering information for both the US and UK editions for the book: Portrait Revolution
Because, this. And this isn't all of them. Just all that I could fit in one picture without suspending myself from the ceiling to get a better shot.
A select few will go on the walls of my house, somewhere, hopefully soon. The rest, I will try one more time to sell at this year's Art on Nepessing Street Art Fair (and will probably add a few new ones just to try to keep it "fresh"), and the rest .... I dunno, maybe paint over them in time?
Speaking of adding a few new ones - what should I paint? Mandalas, landscapes, florals, animals? I like everything, that's a huge part of the problem! What has the best chance to sell?
In the mean time - more bag making. We've started calling my basement sewing area the "sweat shop." But it's really kind of fun, except for the pain in my right hand getting considerably worse. I just slap on a pain patch and put a brace over it and away I go. Maybe I can sell these? If not, I will end up quite the bag lady. That art-quilt-thingie is still in progress too, working on it every once in a while when there's still feeling left in my hands after time in the sweat shop. Which is where I'm headed now.
Update time. The art quilt thingy is coming along ... slowly, haltingly. I got the background done, with lots of little issues along the way, particularly the top thread shredding and breaking. Is it the needle? The thread? I changed both, and cleaned my machine, yet it still happened sporadically. I suspect my foundation fabric (an old percale sheet) may be a factor, and that I can't change. Very aggravating. But I got through it.
While I was working on the background, my husband and I were setting up my quilting machine frame for the first time in our new home. And for the first time, it is being set up at the full 12-ft. width instead of the smaller 6-ft. option. (It looks HUGE.) Unfortunately, one of the adjustable rubber feet had broken during the move which we didn't discover until we were setting it up. A new foot is now on order and will take about 2 weeks to come in; set up is on hold until then.
So back to the quilt. After finishing the background. I wanted to do the quilting before adding any embellishments, but now with having to wait for that foot, I didn't want to wait that long. So I started adding some of the ribbon in certain spots where it won't interfere with the quilting. Of course, this was preceded by trips to several craft stores because in spite of my vast stash, I just didn't have the right colors. Then today I worked on the flower, and finished it .... and then decided I don't like it. I tried telling myself it doesn't have to be a masterpiece, it's my first time trying something like this, blah blah. That's not working. I know I can do better. Tomorrow I will probably rip the flower all out and start over.
Part of me wishes I hadn't posted about this project with such optimism a week ago. The other part of me is glad I did because making it public is an incentive to keep plugging away. So here's the progress to date, minus the yukky flower. More to come. But it may take a while.