After spending 16 consecutive days sitting in Marion Square during Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit, here are a few thoughts and observations I came away with.
- I should definitely keep painting. I had an overwhelming response to my COLOR, subjects, and style.
- I am definitely not doing any more 2-day outdoor art shows (at least not until the economy is stronger like in the good-old-days, early in my career.)
- A person really can get used to spending the entire day sweating.
- Most people (anyone who isn’t a full-time artist) seem to believe that they are NOT even remotely capable of creating anything artistic. This is something I want to help to change in my corner of the world.
- I love to read. I read FOUR good books over the course of the show during the days. So not only did I actually make some money, I had some down time to relax!
- A 10-minute nap (while sitting in a chair hiding behind your sunglasses) is amazingly refreshing.
- Dirt does NOT really wash off your feet once it’s ground into your heels for days on end.
- I’m not the smoothest or most natural sales-person in the world, but it’s a skill (just like making art) that can be developed and improved upon, given lots of practice.
- I love my husband. Tim relocated his office (and worked at his engineering job in the laundry room of our rental home) for 16 days so that I could experience this dream of selling my art while living in Charleston. Not to mention all the physical labor and time involved being my solo road crew for the show. We had about 10 days alone together living in the city, and I was reminded again of all the many reason I fell in love with him during the summer of ’92.
- Happy Hour has value. My neighbors at the show coordinated a daily “happy hour” for about a dozen of us artists. It ended up being a great way to start to feel like a team, as we commiserated on our days. Being an artist is a rather isolated business, so the community I enjoyed with colleagues in Charleston really validated the fact that being an artist is a legitimate “job.”
- A little encouragement goes a very long way.
- Charleston is one amazing city. I think it may be my new favorite place on earth. We will definitely go back and visit, and maybe even return for the Piccolo Spoleto 2012 Outdoor Art Exhibit.
God was more than generous in answering my prayers before and then during our time at this show.
I specifically asked for some clarity for my future AND to make enough money to cover my expenses. So many people were praying for me, that it was almost ridiculous how generously He answered those two requests.
I heard from several artists who have done this show for years (in some cases meaning 31 years) that this was the lowest attendance they had ever experienced. Yet while many of my neighbors went for days on end without a single sale, I was fortunate enough to sell at least a small print or two on my slowest days, and on my two best days, to sell more than any other 2-day show I’ve been in since 2004 when I first began the art show circuit. So I’m taking this as a strong answer to continue painting.
Here are some of the photos I took of some of the beautiful things I saw both in the show and as we walked all around the city.
One last observation:
“Walk” and “Don’t Walk.” When was it that those words got replaced with the symbols that are now in the cross walks?
I can remember being a kid in the early 1970’s, reading those words with my grandma as we crossed busy Oklahoma Avenue in Milwaukee. After crossing King St. for the 100th in Charleston, it dawned on me that those symbols used to be words. I just wondered when that shift took place.
Yes, I did have a little too much time on my hands to think. 🙂