Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My World: Art Fair Experience

Kathiesbirds spot at Civano by Gusto with Cannon Powershot SX10IS

I went to bed late and awoke early on Saturday morning with butterflies in my stomach. I had loaded the car the night before and now Gus and I drive north to Civano Nursery for the Artisans Fair. We wait in line to unload, then set up our new folding display table amidst flowers and pots. A chorus of birds sings to us as vendor after vendor takes their spot and waits…and waits…and waits…

Kathiesbirds magnets by Gusto! Cannon Powershot SX10IS

It is a slow day in the garden center. Traffic is slow and no one is selling anything. A few people stop by to say hi and look at my paintings. I sell 6 jars of jelly—four to people who work at the nursery! We arrived by 7:30 a.m. to set up, but the nursery didn’t open until nine. Somewhere around 1:30 p.m. an adolescent boy comes by. He notices the magnets made from some of our nature photography. While most are birds, I also added a few of butterflies, lizards, and toads. He has a pet lizard and he was attracted to the magnet of the Desert Spiny Lizard. My youngest son, Alex used to have lizards, snakes and turtles when he was a boy. When I made this particular magnet up I thought of him and I thought to myself that some young boy would buy one of these. Now here he is, like a thought coming true. We chat about reptiles and I take the $2.00 his mother handed him. This is my only “artistic” sale of the day.

Gus and I watch the sky growing darker to the south as a wind comes up and blows our paintings all over the ground. A heavy charcoal colored cloud sinks lower as the wind continues to blow its warning. Vendor after vendor packs up their stuff and leaves. Gus and I follow suit and soon we are on our way home, exhausted and debating about whether to return again tomorrow. After all, “Tomorrow is another day…” and the weather is suppose to be better.

On Sunday morning I arise long before Gus and drink my tea in restless unease. I spent a fitful night in bed, wanting to believe today would be better but fearing another long day of tedium. We do not have to be there quite as early today. I wake Gus around 9 and we arrive by 10:00 a.m. On the long drive there we discuss what to do. Neither of us wants to sit there another day. Gus is willing to support me in whatever I choose, but I don’t know what I want. I am pulled in 2 directions and it’s wearing me out. I feel responsible to give it a good try, but I am dreading sitting there all day almost as much as a trip to the dentist!

We park our car and walk to our spot. A few vendors are here again, but many have not returned. I stand where my table stood yesterday and glance around the nursery and decide I would rather be doing anything than this. I would rather be doing than sitting. I would rather be experiencing life and writing than all this waiting!

New Plants by Kathiesbirds with Nikon D80

Gus and I walk off down the garden aisles together and start searching for plants to go in our newly filled planter beds, complete with irrigation lines. Yes, in the midst of all the craziness this past week we had the backyard landscaping completed to the point where we can now buy plants! We left Civano with three guara, also known as Whirling butterflies or Wand flower and three Cape Honeysuckle tecomaria capensis. The rest of the day is spent in a joyful search for plants to complete our backyard habitat. We continue our search at various box stores in town as we add plant after plant to our cache, each one chosen to attract birds or butterflies. It is late in the evening by the time we return home with all our plant purchases of the day. We line them up on the patio and reach for our shovels. Let the planting begin!

Gus' Paintings

Copy of Madame Matisse The Green Line by Gusto! 1999 Acrylic on Canvas

Pond Sunset by Gusto! 1999 Acrylic on Canvas

Yes, Gus can paint also, though he hasn't in a long time. These are two of his paintings from an art class we took together in college back in 1999. His style is quite different than mine. He also did the lighthouse painting you can see in the first photo.

Photographers Note: We recently purchased a Cannon Powershot SX10IS so Gus and I can both take photos at the same time. All the photos on this post today that were taken by Gus were taken with that camera.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

And Thanks Klaus, Ivar, Louise, Wren, Sandy, and Fishing Guy for all you do!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Darn Kathie, I'm sorry your weekend craft sale was a bust. I wonder if it was the location? Timing? I'm glad you at least got to buy and plant your newly built garden.

Do you think you'll try again at another place?

Kathie Brown said...

I'm alright Lynne. I was glad the agony was over! I may try again later and in a different location but for now I am ready for another birding adventure and more plants!

abb said...

Hope your next show is much more successful. An sign of our time, I fear.

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Kathie, I was a crafter for many years and went to craft shows at every place imagineable from 1983 to 1996. There were the non-events but for the most part I enjoyed them and it was fun meeting people. Of course I had my boring shows also, and times when I got all my sales from other vendors, and they from me. Enjoyed these photos, didn't realize Gus was a painter. I've been wondering about getting another camera as when Gregg and I go out we are always swopping back and forth. When you need that camera instantly for a special shot, it's fleeting and that window of opportunity has closed in an instant. I keep hinting but we're not there yet ;)

Deborah Godin said...

Too bad you didn't get much attendance and excitement there, but your display looks great - I love the flicker with the green background!

bobbie said...

You certainly had a lovely setting for your wares. I'm sorry they didn't move, but apparently you were not alone in that. The timing just wasn't right. there will be other sales I'm sure.

I'm glad the young man bought your lizard magnet. that was nice.

Louise said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too!!

I'm sorry it was a disappointing experience, but all was not lost with the plants! Beautiful paintings.

Celeste said...

Kathie, I am so sorry that the Artisans Fair didn't work out so well. Chalk that one up to experience, and, I suspect, the current economy! How great that you were able to turn the weekend around and get all the new plants for your garden. Now you can enjoy placing them all as you want them and watch all the critters that are attracted to them :)

SandyCarlson said...

That's quite a range of styles at the fair. I wish it had worked out well for you. Thanks for bringing us the color.

Arija said...

Kahie, manning a stall even when there are lots of people can be unrewarding work. What the few sales bring in nowhere near covers the time of making the items and the day wasted standing arould.
I really like Gus' paintins.

kesslerdee said...

I love your bird magnets- I hope you try again!

Kathie Brown said...

Thanks TS Annie!

Denise, You are a braver woman than I am! I hope you get that new camera soon. We have yet to go out together with both cameras but I believe it will be a big help!

Deborah, It was a learning experience. I'm glad you like my flicker. I love woodpeckers I've discovered. I think they are so interesting in their behavior and their color patterns.

Bobbie, it was a lovely setting with birds song all around. A little hummingbird even stopped by some of the nearby flowers!

Lousie, thank you! I am okay.

Celeste, I was so relieved to leave and once we ate lunch I had a ball searching for plants with Gus. The critters are already coming to them!

Sandy, you are welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

Arija, you said what I feel!

Dee, we will see! Thanks! I may try the Rincon Farmers Market one of these days.

Gaelyn said...

So sorry the art show didn't go well. Guess you made a good choice on Sun. People just don't have any spare money. You are both marvelous painters.

Heather said...

Sorry to hear it was a slow time for you at the show. But at least you gave it a try, right? That's more than some of us can say (myself included). You can always try again if you want. I did like your "booth" though - all of the paintings look wonderful!

Larry said...

I was curious about that camera because I was thinking about purchasing one myself.I'm trying to figure out if I will be able to take better bird photos with that compared to my Canon S2 IS which is only 12x and 5mp.I know next to nothing about photography.-Do you think the new Canon would give me better results?