Tuesday, October 12, 2010

show re-cap

My booth was 10' x 10' and it was the first time I exhibited a combination of watercolor and encaustic landscape paintings.

There is always a fundraising event tied to the art show, this year it was food,  crEATe
Each place setting (pictured above) including the centerpiece, was created by one of the exhibiting artists.

Early Monday morning, the hallway in the main building (with my booth left front) shows how few people arrived when the show first opened at 10am. There were 275 exhibitors, ranging from fiber artists, jewelers, furniture makers to painters, and everything in between. I was in the Arena building but there were 2 additional annex buildings and a main exhibitor tent (and a huge food/music tent).

My personal favorite - the sculptural garden outside, (pictured below) a combination of rock, wood, and metal sculptures.

Now that my car is unloaded and I am sitting leisurely at home, I can start to process what happened at the show beyond my actual art sales. I never had as much interest and as many people looking in my booth as I had at this show and I have to attribute that to the new combination of watercolors and encaustic paintings. As artists we forget that the non-artist community is not as informed and is looking to understand the creative process and details. My encaustic landscape paintings were new and different. When I went to an encaustic conference this past June I felt like I was doing something wrong because the way I was using the wax in my paintings was not like anyone else at the conference. I was using the medium less abstractly, and worried I wasn't building enough of a luminous effect with the wax medium. Now I can say that I am confident I am doing exactly what I should be doing!

Despite the fact that my total sales for the show were down about 10% from last year (and I still had a productive, profitable show) I have several galleries interested in showing my work, assuming they follow up, and for me that is another level of success. I am invited to show again with Paradise City in the spring season and I am thinking I have to embrace the opportunity. But right now, it sure feels good to be home.


  1. I've long realized that the success of a show goes way beyond sales, although it's hard not to focus on that when they are slow! Sounds like this one was successful for you - congrats on being invited back and I hope those galleries do follow up!

  2. Thanks, Deborah. I need to add in the word "profitable" after productive! My sales were good enough and being down slightly from last year is not a surprise. Another highlight for this show may have been all the returning patrons that have bought from me in the past, that greeted me with hugs, and confirmed they still loved their paintings.

  3. What a success. Congratulations.

    I've always thought your encaustics were exactly right for you. I'm glad you're doing it your way. That's what makes them stand out.

    I love that shot of you in your booth. You're rockin' those boots, sister!


  4. Seeing you in your attractive booth, looking very attractive yourself, makes me miss the shows. I remember when I tried to introduce something different it was rarely as successful as I hoped. My patrons wanted the more of the same. I guess it was a way of confirming their previous purchases. I learned that consistency worked better for me.

  5. Don, when I learned how to paint with watercolors, I spent years learning the "rules" about the medium and how to use it properly only so I could break the rules once I mastered it. Because encaustics are so new to me I feel like I should learn the rules of the medium before I go breaking them but guess what, there are no rules with encaustics! (aside from each layer of wax must be fused together with heat). My boots seem to be as big a hit as my encaustics, thanks!

    Eva, I do have patrons that come to see me at these shows, to check on my artwork, and I think to reconfirm they made a wise purchase when they invested in me and my art. I had a good show because my big sale was the biggest painting I brought to the show... a watercolor. These new encaustics are a very different type of art (and price range) and my hope is that I continue to do both in a way they can mesh together. Do you have any photos from when you did shows? I would love to see!

  6. What a gorgeous show all the way around! Congratulations on the resounding success.
    You are such a beautiful woman Robin! I couldn't help but notice. :-))

  7. And I love those boots with the skirt. Sounds like a great weekend in every way. I'm sure those galleries will be following up and previous buyers showing up means they're happy.

    Reading this makes me miss the great shows in the Baltimore/D.C. area--they were major events.

  8. Hallie, this is definitely a "high end" show that is always well promoted which is why I look forward to it every year. I hope you are right about the galleries... no word from either of them yet.