Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Yes, More Rocks


I know, I know.  More rocks.  But it's what I've been doing lately. 

I'm really, really thrilled with how well FINDERS KEEPERS has gone over in my town of West Hartford.  But I know that when I speak to the other artists involved we're thinking 15 days will be plenty next year.  31 days of this is A LOT.  It's hard to maintain the momentum.  Also, when you're the "Hider" for the day, you really have to be on Facebook a lot to give people hints and congratulate the winners and thank people for posting.  You're kinda like a FINDERS KEEPERS Cheerleader that day.  It's time consuming.

This is the last batch of rocks I've made.  I'm definitely into the clay additives these days.  I got tired of just painting.  And I'm all kinds of in love with the Gnome Homes (above.)  They're like a fairy tale version of Tiny Towns.  But painting those teeny mushrooms is a bit of a challenge!



 I've been lucky enough to make a little cash off this adventure.  I made so many rocks for FINDERS KEEPERS - I think my last count was 90 - that I put some up for sale at a salon in town.  Now locals who haven't been able to find a rock, can go into town and buy one.


Now I'm hoping to move away from rock art - if only for a bit.  I've had SO MUCH FUN with this project and painting nearly 100 rocks will give you some new skills and insight on the art form, but I'm ready for a rock-free vacation.  I think 2015 will be the year of printmaking for me.  I've always loved printmaking, but I've never really taken the time to learn it properly.  We'll see.

Thanks for stopping in!
HAPPY HANUKKAH to my Jewish friends!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone!


Friday, December 5, 2014

The Rock Train Chugs On

Yesterday I had a great time being interviewed by Mark Zinni on Channel 3.  The embed code doesn't seem to work, but if you click on the link below you should be able to see the nice story they did on FINDERS KEEPERS.

WFSB 3 Connecticut

And because the rock momentum is building, I took a break for my hustle and bustle today and painted a few more rocks.  Here they are:




I'm into putting little extra bits on everything, so the Viking has clay horns, as does the opera singer.  And the house has a little clay chimney.

Tomorrow is the first weekend hunt.  It's going to be rainy so Magoo and I will probably hit someplace with buildings and structures to keep the rocks dry.  But Sunday is going to be bright and sunny, so anything goes!

Happy Friday everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Thanks for visiting!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Whirlwind of Awesome


I have been busy.

I'm kinda always busy, but I've been even busier because the new art group that I'm a founding member of WeHa Artists Emporium has a few things going on and we're getting some buzz.

First, tonight is the opening reception of our first group art show, PRIMO.  If you're in the West Hartford area you should stop by.   It takes place right in the middle of the Holiday Stroll in the Center - so there's going to be lots of festivities in West Hartford tonight.  We're starting at 6pm at Salon Medusa with lots of art from 10 different artists (I'm pictured above with Stefanie Marco and Andres Montiel.)  There will also be wine, treats, and a raffle!

FINDERS KEEPERS has begun and it's going so well - I can't even tell you!  In three days we have hid 15 rocks and most of the people who have found them have posted them on the webpage.



Both the group and FINDERS KEEPERS has been getting a lot of attention.  We have a story coming out in West Hartford Life, the Hartford Courant, there's an online article at We-Ha.com, and today Stefanie and I were interviewed by Channel 3 for the evening news.  (I had less than an hour to get ready so it's a good thing my hair was already up in curlers.)


The rock hunt is VERY VERY FUN, so if you're in West Hartford or close by, you can get clues on the webpage and join in.  We'll be hiding over 100 rocks all through December and I know Stefanie and I are both having such a great time hiding them around town.  We feel very sneaky!

Anyway - that's what I've been up to.  And now I have to go make sure I have everything ready for the opening!

Thank you so much for stopping in!  I really appreciate it and I love all the kind comments I get.
Happy Thursday!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving and the Weather

 Hi all!  I love Thanksgiving because we have a big family event and Magoo gets to hang out with his many cousins.

These kids are so good.  They humor me every year by posing for a photograph.  Here is this year's shot (and a couple previous ones.  Can you match the kids?)


I missed a couple kids on the wood pile.  They simply weren't having it.  And the bottom shot is a bit of a cheat because it's not Thanksgiving, but it did remind me that Magoo liked to show off his studly chest.

Another wonderful thing about Thanksgiving is pie.  Pie!  Pie!  Pie!  I married into a family that knows how to bake a pie.  Normally I get a small slice of apple and a small slice of lemon, but this year they had pumpkin pie.  I LOVE PUMPKIN PIE!  So after helping to pass the slices out, I chowed down.  Mmmmm.


We got our first snow the day before Thanksgiving.  It was just enough to muck up travel for anyone leaving on Wednesday, but it didn't cause issues for Thursday travelers.  (Thank goodness.)  And now it's gone - thank you mild weather.


I'm not anti-snow, but it's only November, for crying out loud.  And believe me, I'm not complaining.  I could be in Buffalo!  Yikes!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and safe travels!  Lots of fun art stuff happening this week.  More on that later.

Thanks so much for stopping in!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Finders Keepers



This Saturday was the collection day for rocks for Finders Keepers.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Finders Keepers here on this blog before, but in case I haven't, I'll remind you.  I'm in this new artist group called the WeHa Artists Emporium.  We started in September, and we wanted to do something fun that would say "Hey West Hartford, we exist!  And we have a webpage!"  So I had this idea to paint rocks and leave them around town for people to find.  All of the rocks have a sticker on the bottom saying that they are from us and we'd love for the finder to go to the page and let us know where they found the rock.

That's what the project is.  Saturday was the drop off for artists to bring rocks to the house.  We have over 100 rocks!  YAY!!!  All through December we'll be hiding them throughout West Hartford.  I think it will be really fun.

I did a test run this weekend.  A reporter is doing a story on the group and she wanted us to hide a rock and get pics of someone finding it.  Sounded great ... until I really though about jumping out of the bushes at some stranger I'd been stalking, "HEY YOU FOUND A ROCK!"  No thank you.  So I asked my neighbors to help me out.

I did hide the rock though.  I gave them an area and I let them find it.  Also, they didn't know what the rock would look like, so I tried to keep it as authentic as I could.  Kinda a "Real Housewives" brand of reality.

Here's the rock:

And here are my neighbors (and their smartly dressed doggies) finding it.


I will probably stay close to the scene of the crime (after I hide a few) and I might even take some sneaky pics - but I doubt I'll talk to anyone.  I want these to be little individual treasures.  I don't want to invade the moment.

Tee hee.

Thanks for stopping in!  If I don't get back tot he blog before Thanksgiving (I might, I might not.)  I wish you all a happy meal and safe travels!

Julie

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Open Studio 2014


Hi all!  Woosh - I've been a busy gal!  But at least my weekends should be free from now on.  (Seeing Mockingjay on Sunday!  Woo hoo!)  Here's my Open Studio Weekend breakdown.

I often like to set up on Fridays, but this year I was on the first floor in the main hallway.  This is great because I don't have to load my art in the elevator and I get a lot of foot traffic.  It's a little bad only in that this is the part of the building with the least amount of security.  Since I had a piece stolen one year, I wanted to lower my odds of theft by setting up Saturday morning. 

Here's how it looked at 9:15am...


 Here's how it looked at 11:15 am ...

Things went well enough.  I didn't make a ton of money (the only painting that sold off the wall is the bowl of plums right next to me, below) but Angela (in the red shirt) and I always have fun!  And it's great to have your friends come and visit you.  Below I am pictured with Stefanie Marco and Hannah Dunnack Jackson, both founding members of the WeHa Artists Emporium with me.


In addition to all the lovely, sane people who come through, (THANK YOU LOVELY PEOPLE) there are always some colorful characters who pass by.

One man in a group looked at my clothes with a quizzical expression, stopped, then said, "Oh, it's an apron."
"Yes," I said.
"But it's practical," he said.
I just nodded as he passed by, wondering what he thought aprons were for in the first place - fashion accessories?  Aren't they always practical?

Another lady was asking me about my books.  As I explained one story to her, I lightly touched her on the shoulder.  She jumped back.  "Don't touch me like that!  I hate when people touch each other like that!  Why do they do it?"
"Um..." I said.  "I think they're just trying to make a connection."
We went on to talk about the books more, me being very careful to maintain a nice buffer of space between us.
When she left, she said, "Oh, and that kind of touching does not make a connection." 
Guess what she was doing when she said that?  Lightly touching my shoulder!

Angela had a good year.  She sold five paintings (I think) off the wall.  YAY!  I sold a painting and a collage.  BOO!  (I mean, yanno, yay - two pieces, but I brought twenty-two.)

Most of what people bought were discounted painting from my rack, prints, cards, Monkey Ono books, a couple t-shirts, all the cat softies, one dog softie, and half of my Tiny Towns.  I'd say the average amount spent was close to $30.  All of which says to me: Don't bring so many framed paintings.  OR make sure MOST of my wall art consists of smaller pieces that I can sell for less that $100.

But it's OK.  I have another show running through December and January at Salon Medusa in West Hartford that I'm doing with the WeHa Artists Emporium which I'm really looking forward to.  And there might be another pop-up show that I'm doing in December back at Artspace.

Always more to do!

Thank you so much for stopping in!
Best,
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Getting Ready for Open Studio Hartford


It's that time of year again - the time when I put together all the little things I've been working on all year long, pack it up, and do a weekend-long art show!  Yay!

Here are the details:
OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND
Nov. 15 - 16, 2014
11 - 5pm
Artspace, 555 Asylum Ave. Hartford
FIRST FLOOR
Park at the train station for $5

Like last year, there are many places doing Open Studio so you may want to drive around.  But it's going to be COLD, so it's great to have a nice big location like Artspace where you can park, brave the cold for a little bit, then hang out with us for a few hours.

I have my usual fare:  painting (above), books, T-shirts, stuffed animals (below) ...


... card packs ...


...  and prints.


This year I have a couple NEW features.  TINY TOWNS are here!
TINY TOWNS are tiny clay towns on rocks that look great on your mantle, in your garden, in a planter, on your window sill - all over the place!  Prices range from $10 - $20.


Also, I've just started doing custom made PAPER PEOPLE and PETS!  I'll have some examples at Open Studio, but this is all custom work.  For more info on PAPER PEOPLE, click here, or email me at julie_c@rocketmail.com.


I think it's going to be a great year!  If you're in the area and want to stop by, please do!  (I have a ton of leftover Halloween candy that I'm looking to pawn off on the kiddos.)

Thanks so much for stopping in!  Stay warm!