This blogging is a funny business. You sit at the computer typing out your thoughts, and when you think you've got it where you want it, checked for errors and re-read the thing several times over, you hit the "submit" button and send it out there into space, not knowing if there is anyone out there to receive your message, or anyone who even cares what you have to say. But thanks to the miracle of technology, I do get to see how many "hits" my blog posting gets on any day, and the encouraging thing is that a surprising number of people (up to almost three thousand in one month) are landing on my blog page, and presumably most of them are reading my postings. HOWEVER, usually only two or three regulars may say something and the other 2.7 thousand sneak in quietly and leave without comment. It's a bit like doing a presentation on stage with an audience of faceless, hooded viewers, barely visible in the darkness off the stage, who come and go at random to listen to what you're saying, and then disappear into the darkness whence they came without so much as a throat-clearing cough. Did they like what I said? Did they agree or disagree? Were they entertained or did they learn something? Do they think I'm an opinionated arsehole not worthy of feedback? What brought them here in the first place? I'd love to know (except for the arsehole part), so I encourage some of you to talk to me once in awhile. I don't usually bite, and you can remain anonymous.
Today I'm not going to be controversial or say anything offensive. I thought it might be time for an update of what I've been up to in my art business, and where I am trying to go now that we are well into the new year.
My "solo" show at The Old School House Arts Centre, which was really a much larger show with me as the featured artist with 14 paintings, together with one or two works each from 25 other artists on the same theme, ran for three weeks in February. Out of the 45 or so paintings in total, only two sold, reflecting the current tough market for original art all over the continent. Despite the lack of sales, hits to my website increased by 100% in February and March, and while they have slowed down somewhat, they seem to have settled at a new level a bit higher than before the show. I'm sure the demonstration I did for the De Cosmos Art Society in January also had a bearing on increasing awareness of my work.
Upon packing up my paintings from the TOSH show, I drove straight to Victoria to Luxe Home Interiors where our good friends and owners of the business, Darren and Scott, wanted to feature some local art. They did an amazing job of displaying most of my pieces on one wall, with other pieces scattered throughout the store. Sales were almost instant, and I'm very encouraged by the reaction to my work in this much larger market.
On the weekend of May 14/15 is the season-opening studio tour for the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour group which I have participated in since its inception three years ago, and for the second year I am responsible for media and advertising activity to promote the events. Our group has grown to 20 studios this year. We plan an outdoor art festival August 13th to be held under a big tent at Nanoose Edibles farm, and a closing tour on Thanksgiving weekend October 8/9/10. In between these events I expect to have my studio open to the public most weekends, although with almost all my current work on exhibit in Victoria, it will be a bit of a struggle to fill the studio with product. I anticipate offering more giclee prints this year as I simply won't be able to create enough new originals.
The challenge for me now is to decide what to paint next. I have so many ideas, but never know when an unexpected inspiration such as my most recent painting of the Lions will hit me out of the blue. I keep trying to talk myself into doing some smaller paintings and have several small canvasses on hand, but I just love to dive into a big canvas and find it difficult to get motivated for smaller work. This coming Easter weekend is a 4-day stretch I'll have over at the studio, so it will be not only decision time, but action time as well. I am hopeful of getting two, or even three paintings accepted into juried competitions with the Federation of Canadian Artists this year in my struggle to qualify for signature status, so I have incentive not only to produce, but to do my best work yet. So much to paint, so little time!