Posted on

Gorgeous Sunday

It is 76 degrees with a crystal cerulean blue New Mexico Sky. Great day to be outdoors! I must confess my arms are sore though…I weed wacked all the weeds creeping onto the driveway, into the edge of the garden, along side the rasberry patch and around the back “lawn”. We have 7.5 acres of “natural” grasses, wild iris, blue flax, indian paintbrush and scores of flowers whose name I don’t know. In the front, I’ve carved out an area in the “L” of the house and it is teeming with columbine, iris, roses and some giant, about to burst peonies. Except last night somebody (deer? elk?) ate the flowers off of some of the columbine. If they try again tonight they’ll get a nose full of, um, wolf urine. It worked last year. We’ll see.

This morning we wandered up to Red River to personally congratulate my friend and gallery artist, Jacqui Binford-Bell. She won “Most Colorful” and (drum roll) Best of Show at the Red River Wine and Art Festival. The Best of Show is a big deal, because it was judged by one of New Mexico’s best known and legendary artists, Ed Sandoval. Well done, Jacqui! Way to go!

And now, I’m loathe to go inside…it’s way too nice out here to be in there…laying brick. I should also be painting. It’s supposed to thunderstorm again tomorrow…there will be time for painting and brick laying. It’s the first day of summer…and the weather today makes me believe it. Think I’ll pour a glass of wine and let the birds and the wind serenade me.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

To Donate, or Not

I know it’s not Sunday (that’s usually when I post) but it is quiet here at the gallery now, and I had a great conversation with Jennifer Cavan which compells me to write. She wrote a great post on “how long does it take?” (to create a piece). And as she says, there is so much “not art” that goes into the business of being a professional artist that the casual viewer doesn’t see. So, whether you spend an hour, a day, a week or a year, that process is not the whole piece. I’m starting there, because our “great conversation” was about donating work (or not) to the many organizations who ask. She might post about too, but I thought I’d get the conversation going here.

Over the years, I would hazard a guess that I’ve donated, somewhere in the range of $25,000 in my art. So, why do I severely limit what I donate and to what organization now? Let’s see what those donations did for me, for the organization, for the art community, for the galleries.

If I donate a piece with a retail value of $500, what is that for me? lost revenue of $500. It is basically “advertising expense” and based on tracking, very poor at that. Worthwhile advertising nets revenue. Not so a donated piece.

How about the organization that gets it? Once in a while at the Music From Angel Fire Art Auction, a piece will go for at or near it’s value. But way more often, most work gets “sold” for about 20 cents on the dollar. So, they have to sell ALOT of art to generate reasonable revenue…and if you’ve ever been to one, you know that they do.

Now, examine the impact of that. If, at the auction my $500 piece was lucky, and sold for $200, the lucky winner got a “bargain”, and I’ll hear about it for the next few years. Will they come buy a piece from me? Not likely. Will the person that was bidding against them? Not likely. Why? because they’ll go to another auction and try again. I have actually had people tell me that they love my work, but will wait for the MFAF auction. Those same people say, “I love this gallery, I hope you are successful!” and walk out the door without spending a dime. So, I wonder, how does that work?

A few years ago I donated a $300 piece to a local group and they sold it in a “Live” auction, for $35. While one person jumps up and down about how they “stole”it, several hundred others watched it. What is the impact of that?

That said, yes, I will donate to the MFAF auction. Maybe a handful of others. But I sincerely hope those of us who buy at similar auctions will consider supporting the artists, as well as the organizations. And I would encourage the non-profits that auction art, consider more than their own bottom line, look for ways to support the artists that make their fundraisers possible.

I have lots of ideas on that……

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Grey and Rainy Sunday

Good day for a day off! Dark skies, howling wind and scattered rain, now soft, now hard, now scattered. I hope it doesn’t damage the beautiful peach colored iris that just opened this morning in my front garden! They are lovely.

So it is a good day to stay in. Which is good because we had big day yesterday! My morning was filled with people and painting as I did demo after demo of painting watercolor on yupo paper. In all, I think I did 14 paintings…some as small as 4 x 6 inches, some much larger. By the end I was wiped, but I ran home to shower and rest a bit before the big wedding we had been anticipating for what seemed like months. I’m sure it wasn’t, but we were really looking forward to it. And we were not disappointed! Congrats and all the best, Tom and Bonnie. The setting was beautiful, the ceremony sweet and fun, and the party afterward will likely not be topped! It was way beyond fun!

We actually slept in this morning, sleeping off the exhaustion. This morning we spent mostly brainstorming. We want to start a business incubation center and were tossing around ideas and dreams in advance of a meeting tomorrow to pitch it to some locals who might have guidance and know-how. What kind of thing would you do with a business incubator..or do you need one, and why? I’d value your input.

When we decided to move on with the day, I headed down to what was the hot tub room and did more brick laying. The floor was so badly out of level, that it is tricky to fix it and I’ll have to remove the trim from the doors because it is now too long! To slide a brick underneath it would mean that brick would be a full 1/4 inch below all the others….and I’m barely a third of the way across the room. wow. It’ll be good when it’s done though. At least I know how to do it right now!

So, it’s almost 4pm and the angel food cake John is making has the whole house smelling incredibly yummy. It’s my favorite cake and strawberries were on sale….guess what I’ll be having for desert tonight! oops..the dryer is chiming it’s “I’m done” song. Guess I’d better get to it.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Time to get productive…

It’s been about two weeks, I think, since the last post. Sorry, guess I’ve just been busy.

The brick is still being slowly laid in the great drying out of the room that held the hot tub. Sand is mostly dry now, and the adobes are dry, but the mud in between is still damp, so I’m holding repainting the walls for more dry time. I’ll finish the brick after the walls are painted, anyway.

In the meantime, alot has been happening around here. Let’s see, since I last wrote, I was elected President of the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, held the annual planning meeting (which was very productive!) and have been diligently working on the stack of commissions sitting in my studio. In the middle working on the 4 16 x 20’s I got the drawing done for an 18 x 24 and got a rush order for an ink and watercolor illustration for a local builder.

That, has been quite a challenge. The unfinished house Ray Renfroe of BlueRay homes is building is going to be stunning…but capturing the detail through the array of trees, scaffolding and workers has been a task! I spent 3 hours on the drawing yesterday, another hour last night and I have sent it off to a friend to print it on paper big enough that I can transfer it to watercolor paper in a half sheet (15 1/2 x 22). Once transferred, I’ll ink all the lines, then wash in some watercolor. I have to have it done by tomorrow…so hopefully she can get it printed this morning! Whew!

So, off I go, to add a few more layers to the three canvases I have in process. Feast or famine…I’ll take the feast!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM