Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oxford, MS....Doubledecker Art Festival

Ajax Diner....24x30.......$700

Square Books......24x30.......$700


I know that there are those who read my blog that have absolutely no interest in paintings of Oxford, MS. But then there are others for whom it is the "center of the universe". But for me, well, this weekend it WILL be the center of my universe.

I will be participating in the Doubledecker Festival this Saturday. It has been a grueling week trying to get everything ready to go. People sometimes ask me "how long does it take you to do a painting?" Well, this week I have worked all week from get up to fall down and have not picked up a paintbrush. It's about more than just the actual moment you put the paint on the canvas.

This festival is different from others that I do. It is a one-day festival.

That means that you get there as the sun comes up (or before) and you roll your tent in on a dolly. You rush to set it up so that you will have somewhere to put your stuff when that tiny window of opportunity opens and you get to pull your vehicle within sight of your booth.

Because, you see, there are 100 other artists doing the same thing in a very small area. There is not room for everyone's vehicles. So you have to take turns. It's not always convenient or smooth or fun.

Then you have to take your paintings and try to arrange them as attractively as possible in the 10x10 space you are given. No small trick there. They are stacked in boxes today in my dining room and they seem to entirely fill the space.

So this process normally takes me about 4 hours. This Saturday they say that I can start setting up at 7:45 AM and have to be done by the time the festival starts at 10 AM. You do the math.

Then the festival itself starts. It is so much fun, but so exhausting! Non-stop talking, smiling and schmoozing. You meet a lot of great people... a few wackos...and a few rude folks who take pictures of your work without even asking. Hopefully you make a few sales, which involve thinking, figuring tax, etc.

Then the end of the day comes and you have to break it all down and pack it all up. Another normally 2 or 3 hour process. I see people around me that do it faster, but for the life of me I can't seem to master it yet. But it's something I aspire to.

So by the end of the day let's just say your are not feeling like a glamorous artist. Why do you do it? you may ask. Well, when you hang your art in a gallery or in your foyer to dry like I don't get any feedback. It is so interesting to hear what people have to say about your work. Granted, you mostly hear the positive stuff, because if they have something nasty to say, they normally wait till they are out of earshot to say it. But it is sometimes the shot in the arm that you need to keep you going when you are wondering if you are in the right profession.

I sure wouldn't trade it. (But ask me again about 9 PM this Saturday night!)

No comments: