Monday, October 15, 2007

Open Studios San Francisco 2007 Report

It's Monday morning after a weekend of Open Studios. What an experience. I think, foot traffic wise, it was the worst of any of the 5 years I've shown down at Fort Mason. Every year, it seems to get worse and worse - because I don't think Fort Mason really cares if Open Studios is held down there or not and they don't promote it or make it visible. Every year I tell myself I am not going to do it again next year there, but then I do. Fort Mason keeps raising the prices by large leaps every year and provides less and less service for it. It really is time to find another alternative place but the choices are very few and far between in the city and in a group large enough to attract visitors to come to it.

Saturday was just bizarre down at Fort Mason. In a larger pavilion building there, they were also hosting the Oktoberfest. And different than other years of the Oktoberfest, this year there were tons of twenty-something kids who were *way* too drunk, and while they didn't come into our building where all the artists were holding Open Studios, they were loud and yelling in the parking lot, peeing against the other buildings, being generally scary, and twice during the day we saw 6 police cars, 3 ambulances and a fire engine, and sirens over at that building (we could see the entrance from our windows). As I was driving out of the Fort Mason parking lot at the end of Saturday, it was almost dangerous, with drunk kids leaping out in front of cars and yelling at the drivers and knocking into one another and streaming out of the parking lot on to the city streets nearby. It was just bizarre.

Sunday was also Oktoberfest but it seemed a lot calmer and more family-oriented. And more people (who did not seem drunk like the day before) did come into our building to view the art and artists did make more sales on Sunday than Saturday. I did horribly - only selling 5 miniature paintings the whole weekend and not even making the cost to rent the room (but fortunately had sold a bunch before the show in Indiana so in the end it was fine for me). On the good side, some friends did stop by to visit, and some people I had not seen in awhile which was fun, and other visitors who were very interested in my encaustics and wanted to know all about the process, so it was enjoyable educating more people on what makes encaustic beeswax so interesting to work with.

My legs are quite sore this morning from standing for two days and I'm feeling my back ache from the setup and take-down, but another Open Studios has come and gone and now its on to the next thing. I have a juried exhibition to get ready to enter on October 28th.

This is a shot of my setup. It does not include all of my setup - as there are some oil paintings off to the left and a larger encaustic painting off to the right... but it shows most of it.

Here are a couple of "roommates" (five artists shared our room), with Peggie MacDonald talking back at Sandra Riker's table. The very last hour of Sunday, Sandra had a customer buy the $800 bronze sculpture you can see in the upper right part of her table in the photo. In total she sold 7 sculptures so she did very well in the end.

Now I get to go visit my artist friends who are holding their Open Studios on the remaining weekends of October (in other parts of the city) and the Hunter's Point artist collective (which still remains the largest collection of artist studios in the city) has theirs the first weekend of November.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

San Francisco Open Studios Oct 13-14, 2007

I'm all set for my busy weekend for Open Studios Oct 13-14th. I'll be at Fort Mason in San Francisco, Building C, Room 210. 11-5pm.

I didn't expect to pre-sell some of my miniatures (which I never show on my website) and a $1500 painting when I was in Indiana, just showing people what I had prepared for Open Studios. So I enter this weekend totally relaxed - I have already made back the money on the room rental cost and much much more so everything I sell this weekend is just "gravy", at least in my perception.

So I'll feel more relaxed to just meet and enjoy people who are coming to look at art... and something tells me that will probably help my sales even more, but I guess time will tell.

Now I'm just doing the last-minute stuff, preparing my table coverings, getting candy to have in a basket, and this year I'm going to actually make my lunch beforehand. Every year I tell myself I'll leave briefly to go buy a salad or sandwich, but I never do. So this year, I'll make sure I have something healthy in the room.

I'll post the results of my weekend experience on Monday.

4x4" miniature

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Coming Home

I am back in San Francisco after a month in Indiana and adjusting back to my daily routines here.

Here is a 3x4 foot oil painting I completed while in Indiana, called "Coming Home". It is the largest-sized painting I've done so far.

And here it is on the client's wall:

My Open Studios is this 13-14th, so I'm just going to get started on before-show things, like labels and signs and gathering all together my selling supplies. I might try to squeeze in painting some more miniatures as I completely unexpectedly pre-sold 6 of them in Indiana at a book club meeting!

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