Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Pop-Up Show

Finders Keepers is well under way.  And - with the exception of some people I suspect were hoarding rocks on Day 1 - it's been going very well.  So now it's time to move onto the next event on my agenda: The WeHa Artists Emporium Holiday Pop-Up Show.

Last year, we did a small on in a member's house.  We could only fit 6 artists.  And you know what?  It was fine.  Easy.  This year - mainly due to interest from other artists - we're going bigger.  We're renting a space.  (Not as easy, but should be fun.)

This is what it looks like now:

But this weekend it will be filled with 19 artists and their goods.  We're also having 2 food trucks on the premises, which will be great for the artists.  We get hungry.  And one of them is a donut truck!  Yes please!

This is Stefanie and me with the sign Stef made.  Here's one of my promo posters.  Oh, the marketing!

So now, with one week to go, I am trying to work in as many little goodies as I can.  I've been painting more rocks (because, after Finders Keepers, people will want rocks) and making ornaments and softies.  Here's a peek.

In my spare time, I'll be baking.  I like to make holiday cookies for my neighbors and friends.  Sometimes I curse myself for doing it because it's time consuming and messy, but still, I like to hand over the boxes of goodies.  It's Christmastime!

Hope everyone is healthy and well and enjoying the holiday spirit.
If you're in the area (and I don't think you are) please come by the Holiday Pop-Up Show next weekend.  You can get a donut.  :)
Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gearing Up for Finders Keepers

I find myself in a position of juggling several artistic adventures at once.  The Holiday Pop-Up Show is December 10-11, the group show RED goes up in the Noah Webster Library on January 3, and on Thursday, December 1st FINDERS KEEPERS begins.

If you don't know, FINDERS KEEPERS is an artistic rock hunt that we've been doing in West Hartford for three years now.  It was hugely successful the first year, so we've kept it up.  It really is very fun.  We post clues daily as to what rocks are hidden and where they are hidden and people got out and find them.  And it's totally free. 

These are some of the promos I've done to show off the rocks and get people involved.

Seventeen artists participated this year, which really blows me away.  Everyone has been so generous with their time, skills, and paints.  And it's a special thing to do at this time of year, when we all want to come together and give.

So, as always, I'm pretty busy trying to keep all the plates spinning, but I am looking forward to the fun of Finders Keepers this year.

If you're local, sign up for the 2016 Finders Keepers Event on Facebook for clues.  If you're not ... sorry.  (I think you can still peek on the page though.)

Hope everyone had digested their turkey and is now settling into the holiday season.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Open Studio Weekend 2016

Forgive me for a quick post, but already my to-do list is piling up.  Open Studio Weekend went pretty well.  My good friend Angela Shenk, who I normally sit next to, was sick, so I was all by my lonesome this time.  But - lucky for me - many of my wonderful friends came to see me, support the arts, and commiserate over what is, to me and many of my people, a very disturbing and disappointing presidential election.

And now I must prepare for the NEXT art show.  The WeHa Artists Emporium is having a Holiday Pop-Up Show in December.  Since we're throwing it, there's a ton of organizing to do.  And Finders Keepers is right around the corner.  And now the group is curating the main gallery of the Noah Webster Library so there's that.  And there's a little thing called Christmas right around the corner.  Woosh!

So I'm off to get some things done.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Wishing you a good week.
Stay strong and be kind to each other.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted!

It's a big day, people!  Very exciting.  I dug through my closet to find the only blazer I own and put together the closest thing I could to a pantsuit to go out and vote for my candidate.  Woo hoo!  Go Hillary!  (In case the pantsuit didn't tip you off.)

I hope you all voted, too.

In other news, Open Studio Hartford is this weekend.

I'm dotting the i's and crossing the t's, packing things up and making my signs.  The weather is supposed to be cold, but clear.  PERFECT conditions for going to an art show.  Now, all I need is a good election, because this is Connecticut.  This is Hillary country.  And if she does not win, people around here will be unhappy.  Unhappy people don't buy art.

I'm hanging my show in a new way this year.  It's always such a bummer to bring a lot of framed work to these shows and leave with a lot of framed work.  Frames are heavy.  Frames are delicate. You can knick them easily and sometimes the glass breaks.  In fact, that just happened.  I was packing up a crate of art from my recent Wind & Water show, and I have a rather large watercolor of two koi.  I propped the painting up against a wall so I could slide the crate into the backseat of my friend's car when a gust of wind came and knocked over the paint.  Crash.  To add injury to insult, when cleaning up the glass, I cut myself.  Then, I bled on my white mat.  It was a comedy of errors.

So that was fun.  (I am fine, by the way.  The cut was not big, but it was a gusher.)

This year, I am bringing far less framed work.  Instead, I am going to run some "clothing lines" along the wall and clamp matted pieces to it.  My idea is that the pieces will be less fragile, less expensive, and more accessible - which I think the Open Studio crowd likes.  And then I can just swap pieces in and out from my standing rack.

Open Studio is THIS WEEKEND.  If you're in the Hartford, CT area, stop on by.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It was my birthday!

I like birthdays.  I like to have a cake, make a wish, open gifts, and celebrate with friends, so I throw myself a party every year.  This year was no exception.

(Above)  I made a very delicious chocolate avocado cake.  Oh - it came out so moist and rich! This is the recipe I use.  Try it.

(Below)  Taylor Swift has her crew and I have mine.  Heather, Adrian, Angela, me, and Jackie all pose for a pic between talking politics and eating chocolate and Trader Joe's Shrimp Toast.   Isn't Shrimp Toast a bland, crude name?  Shrimp Toast.  But it was really good!  If you need a nice little appetizer for your party, try Trader Joe's Shrimp Toast!

I love a small, fun party where I can talk to everyone and it's chill and we all have a good time.  And that's exactly what I got.  And this mug!  Go Hillary!

And the necklace I'm wearing is from my son.  He picked it out himself.  Good job, Magoo!

So that was my birthday.  The husband and the son mingled in and out of the room, but mainly it was me and my gal pals.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'd give you all a piece of chocolate avocado cake if I could.  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pre-Show Prep

Hi all!   It's a busy, busy time right now.  Open Studio Hartford is November 12-13.  Finders Keepers starts December 1st.  And there's a WeHa Artists' Emporium Pop-Up Show on Dec. 10 - 11th.  All of this means there's a lot to organize, prep, package, make signs for, write press releases for, and a whole bunch of other things.

Here's a peek at some of the art I've been working on for these events.

Bear Rocks                  2016                   j.c.phillipps
 Bears!  There have been a lot of bear sightings in West Hartford this past year.  They seem to be coming in off the mountain a little more.  They've inspired me.  I've made a series of bear rocks, and I just started a series of collages called Bear Sightings where bears have wandered into town and they're just sorta living an everyday life.  (Below) This one is my favorite so far, Bear Sighting: Pool.

Bear Sighting: Pool              2016               j.c. phillipps

I have been bagging card sets and prints.

And I made a bunch of softies.  I made the usual characters from my books (Wink, Monkey Ono, Dizzy and Rocco), but this year I expanded and just started making whatever I wanted.  I made some teddy bears, a sloth, a sheep, a snail, a robber, a fox.  They're not cost effective by any stretch of the imagination but they're fun!

Various Softies                                 j. c. phillipps

This year I'm trying something new.  I was playing with my art gum eraser one day and molding it into faces and I thought, These look kinda cool.  So I bought some small canvases (3" x 3") and made a bunch of tiny clay faces.  I glued them onto the canvas, painted them, then added a protective gloss coating.  I think they're kinda cool.  We'll see if they sell though.  Sometimes my experiments can't find homes.  They're the lonely orphans of my imagination.

In addition to all of this, I am actively looking for a new literary agent and submitting some picture book projects to publishers that do not require an agent to submit. There's a ton of research and prep that goes into every one of those submissions.

So, I'm keeping pretty busy these days. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope you're all enjoying Autumn.  It's my favorite month and the colors up here are glorious!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Night Fall 2016

Night Fall is a newer Hartford tradition.  I think it started about four years ago by a wonderful artist, Anne Cubberly.  If you want to know more about it and her, read this.  Anyhoo, it's a wonderful visual performance with costumed players, music, and giant puppets.  So ... right up my alley.

Here's Magoo doing a little reading before showtime.  Night Fall takes place in rotating parks each year.  This year, it was close to home.  People bring their own chairs or blankets.  I knew if we wanted a decent seat that we needed to be there an hour early, thus, book.

There are characters that work the crowd before the show.  Here's a bird meeting some young audience members.

When night falls (there's your title right there, folks) the show begins.  This year the theme was Differences, and that was evident in the performances.  In the shot below, a group of woodland creatures and insects are having their picture taken, on the photographer wants to separate the mammals from the bugs.  All the critters keep having to fight and trick to stay together.

Here the Rain Goddess (I don't know if that's what she's actually called, but that's what I got from her) is dancing with her rain drops.

And my favorite, the giant monkeys!  I'm not 100% sure what was happening in their sketch, but they're loads of fun.

I have to confess, we didn't stay for the whole thing.  It started to rain and we didn't have the car, so Magoo and I took off a bit early.  Still, it was a wonderful thing to see and I'm so thrilled to live in a place where fantastic community events are created and shared.

Thanks so much for stopping in!
Hope you all have a great week!