For the last month or so, I’ve been participating in outdoor exhibitions run by The Delray Artist’s League that are called “Artists in the Park.” Usually, it’s a fun and interesting, although particularly unprofitable, experience. However, on my birthday, February 20th, it got a lot less fun.
Here is where I hit the street to sell my art
I was moving things from the car to my assigned display-spot when my toe was caught by the concrete stop the city had put in place to prevent cars from touching their precious sidewalk. Because I had my hands full, the first part of my anatomy to reach the ground was my face. Fortunately, beyond a cut lip, an enormous bruise on my cheek and a broken rib, I was relatively unharmed.
Back in my consulting days, we had the phrase “hit the street running,” this was NOT what we meant; however, it did point out with painful clarity the difference between what I was fearing, “falling flat on my face as an artist” and what had happened, simply “falling flat on my face.” Obviously, I wasn’t able to vend that weekend, but the next weekend, I was back in my old spot, fired by a new determination. Up to this, it had been Sidewalk -1, No Sales -1, Donna -0. It was time for me to get on the scoreboard.
It worked. I sold a print. A total stranger walked up, loved my work, and bought it. The print was of one of my favorite paintings, an underwater view of a coral reef with all the delightful wildlife that is so much a part of it. What a head trip to be recognized as an artist!
Of course, I haven’t been wasting my time. While I sat outside of my tent painting, I have been taking careful note what people seemed to like about my work, what things were appealing to them and what my colleagues were selling.
Another thing that takes place quite a bit when I’ve vending is because my sign announces my orientation as a Remodernist Painter. While I do have a short explanation of what this means as part of my personal display, many people come by and ask me to expand on it. This has led me to consider creating “an elevator speech,” something that is short, compelling and memorable.
When I asked the assistance of my friends on the artists’ website RedBubble, it spawned what is called “a challenge,” wherein the contributor on a particular board engage in the cooperative effort of refining a statement to its essence. (You can view all the responses at http://www.redbubble.com/groups/remodernist-painters/challenges ) My personal response is Remodernism is an alternative to the established High Art hegemony, known as Post-Modernism. The movement is a response to the distance from meaning, beauty, and emotion that Post-Modernism has traveled and favors instead the intent of the artist communicated through the spirituality or emotional impact of their work.
The other big news is that I’ve been accepted for Vermont Artists Week at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, and I will be going up there the last week in April through the first week of May for an intensive week of studio work. All of the participants live at the Studio Center and share time, space and meals. I will have a private studio and have a chance to meet with other artists. I’m really excited about the opportunity.
Oh, and another thing, I’ve discovered that Dunkin Donuts and I are celebrating the same number to years, not sure if that is good or not.