So, how did our first big art show go? As it turns out, I'm still not exactly sure how to answer this question...
My son's birthday (1 year!) is on Aug 16. Since the grandparents haven't seen him in a while, and we needed a babysitter to watch him this weekend anyway, they decided to come down and celebrate early. This gave us the time to get some things ready for this show that we haven't had for other shows. We finally made and matted a few of the largest print size that we can make, 16" x 20" (matted to 22" x 28"). We only have about a half dozen or so paintings that we have a digital copy that is high enough quality to print that size anyway. We also printed some more greeting cards. There were a few paintings that we hadn't made cards for yet and we wanted to have at least five of each one. We also double-matted most of her original paintings using colored mat board. I think that this really increased the perceived value of the artwork and they look great. We're thinking about double-matting our larger prints as well. Lastly, we printed and stretched our very first canvas prints! I'm not sure how well they will sell, but they look really great.
Since the art show was 2 1/2 hours away so we left the night before and stayed with some friends in the area. Waking up at about 6 am, we headed to Starbucks and the grocery store to pick up some water and snacks for the show. About half of the attendees were already at the event when we arrived at around 7. It was quite easy to find our space, a 10' x 15' spot between a glass artist and a lady who made and decorated bird houses with sea shells. We were able to park our van right across from the spot, unload and set up with no issues. Set up took slightly longer than normal due to having to rearrange our wall display to accommodate and showcase a few of the larger prints and canvas prints. We also had to frame a few of her newer originals. About an hour and half later, we were all set up and ready for the day.
One of the first things we noticed is that the atmosphere was a bit different there than at the other shows we have attended. For starters, everyone seemed to actually enjoy looking at art! This makes sense of course as it was an art/craft only show, but it was nice to see greater interest in her works. It didn't take long to be able to distinguish between regular show attendants and other artists. Other artists usually gave themselves away by their tendencies to "analyze" the artwork rather than just look at it :P There were a surprising number of artists that expressed the difficulties that they've had when they tried to use watercolor. I heard a quote the other day that went something like "with watercolor, you're always only one decision away from disaster". Genia doesn't seem to share that sentiment, her work flowing pretty effortlessly and smoothly. Perhaps its simply that she doesn't see a "mistake" as a disaster as I typically do.
Genia drew some rather decent crowds when she was painting one of the two paintings that she brought to work on. One of them was the commission she's currently working on of a sleeping baby. There were lots of "aww, look at the baby" exclamations with that one. The other was a image of a local Calsbad monument. It was great to see people point and say "Oh look! That's just down the road!". I definitely think that providing some type of demo increases the publics interest in an artist and Genia was one of only two that was doing so. We were also one of the few booths with two people working it, so I guess its more difficult to do a demo without someone else to take care of the customers. Husbands, help you wives!