Alcohol and Art

June 16, 2013

Whether consuming alcoholic beverages encourages people to buy art is an interesting question.  I have donated paintings to charity auctions and attended these events.  Those who buy the pricy tickets are offered the chance to eat and especially drink as much as they wish before and even during the auction.  I think the organizers of these events believe that people who are relaxed and happy will be in the mood to bid and keep bidding.  And with the help of a good auctioner, some pieces  go for very good prices to benefit the sponsoring charity.

Last weekend I and 25 other artists and, I think, 10 local wineries participated in Winesong in DeSoto, KS.  This is a very popular event.  All 2,000 tickets had to be purchased ahead of time and the event sold out.  The weather was good and the event was wisely planned from 4 to 8 p.m. when temperatures weren’t so high.  The rain even held off until the event was over.  Ticket holders were allowed a certain number of samples from the participating wineries, who also sold bottles of their product.  The artists in their tents hoped that these relaxed and happy people would purchase some of their work.  Alas, that seldom happened.    While there were long lines in front of the winery displays, many of the patrons pretty much ignored the artists.  I sold nothing and two other Lawrence artists I talked to didn’t either.

But I’m not one to give up easily.  One result of my being at Winesong is that the Rowe Winery has invited me to have an exhibit at their winery in September and I said yes.  Will I return to Winesong next year?  I’m not sure.  Doing an outdoor tent show is a lot of work, not only for me but for my helpers.  However, one of those helpers enjoyed sampling wine and socializing with friends and would like to return next year, so we’ll see.

While I didn’t win any prizes at Stems Plein Air, I did have one painting, “Reverie,” which I mentioned in my last blog, accepted for the Stems show at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center at 11902 Lowell in Overland Park, KS, which opens this week.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away

Reverie, acrylic, 20" x 8"

Reverie, acrylic, 20″ x 8″

June 6, 2013

In the final week of Stems Plein Air at the Overland Park, KS, Arboretum I only painted one day because of rainy weather, of which we’ve had an abundance lately.  When one is painting with other artists in a plein air event it can be a challenge to come up with something that looks at least somewhat original, since other artists are painting in the same location.  Above is my attempt.  I had found a frame I liked that was 8″ x 20″ and I stretched a canvas to fit it.  The usual way to paint on a long, narrow canvas is horizontally.  So I did a vertical painting and I like the results.

At the end of the event each artist could turn in three paintings for judging to decide which ones will be in a show.  The above painting is one of three I turned in.  I also turned in the one of the lake I did the first week.  I haven’t found out the results of the judging yet.

In the meantime I am in another show that is not dependent on weather, since it is inside on the lower level of Drury Place in Lawrence.  I and several other artists are showing there during June.  Drury Place is an independent living retirement facility.  The people there live in small apartments and probably already have any art that they want, so I don’t expect any sales.  But it is still a good thing to do since even people who may no longer be driving can still enjoy and appreciate art.  I’ve had compliments from a couple of the residents whom I know.

But the weather is a big concern for Saturday June 8 when rain is predicted.  I have agreed to participate in Winesong in the DeSoto, Ks, area.  It is an event featuring wine tasting from local vinyards, food, as well as art by 25 different artists.  I’ll be there in my tent hoping some of the folks who have already purchased tickets will love wine and art enough to brave any inclement weather.