Wisconsin residents are the country’s most extroverted. Really?

MichiganAug12 020

One of my bohemian friends in Levering, MI.

TrainGermany89

Traveling Germany by rail, 1989.

So I travel. A lot.

I’m blessed to be able to live a bit of the bohemian life style so I participate in art shows all over the country. Some of the events are high-end museum shows while others are rocking music festivals or community events. As such, I meet an enormous cross section of Americans.

It is always interesting what sells from one show to the next. I may go to 10 shows and no one looks at a particular original or print and then in one show sell a half dozen in a weekend.

You just never know.

What is more fascinating to us is how people react when you say “hello.” At some shows a “hello” will run people out of the booth – they don’t want to talk to anyone. In other regions, if you give them space they think you are ignoring them.

CMK & Michael 19

My bohemian friend, Michael. Also, in Michigan. That is weird.

And don’t even get me started on how different parts of the country perceive the art of negotiation. We won’t get into that here.

Which is why I find this article so interesting. It tries to quantify and qualify the “mood” of a state.

I thought you might find it interesting. Take the quiz and see if your mood matches your state. Check out how your state stacks up against the rest of the country by clicking here.

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Trip to Texas

Deep Ellum Art Festival 2012

Deep Ellum Art Festival 2012

Spring is sprung! Almost!

In four short weeks I will be leaving for my first show of the year at the Deep Ellum Art Festival. I can’t believe it has been a year already.

Last year was my first major road trip with my partner and we had an amazing time stopping at Bill’s Garage in Lebanon, MO and seeing hundreds of other wonderful people, places and things.

This year will be even better. I won’t be towing a trailer (because I bought a large cargo van), I have a new high clearance tent and the show promoters at Deep Ellum assigned me an end booth on a high traffic corner! It’s going to be a good time.

Plus I have new work. Check out some of the images below.

My partner can’t wait. He went and bought a CB radio just for this so we can chat with the truckers on our 20 hour drive.

Lebanon Missouri

Painting: Bill’s Garage

This year I will be in Texas for two shows back-to-back.

Obviously, April 5, 6 and 7 at the Deep Ellum Art Festival. If you will be there come see us, I’ll be in booth 127. The following weekend I will be at the San Antonio Fine Arts Festival. I will let you know exactly as soon as I get my booth number.

Either way I hope you will come see me.

We will be making a detour to Houston and Austin between shows for my partner’s business. He has to still work. If you are going to be in the area please let me know. We would love to have lunch or dinner.

We are always interested in meeting new people and lovers of art.

Happy Trails!

My new van.

My new van.

Here are some samples of the new work I will be bringing with me.

Framed Print: Bill's Garage

Framed Print: Bill’s Garage

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

Original: Jim's Music

Original: Jim’s Music

Original: Piddle

Original: Piddle

A special thank you to Charles van Heck

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

I want to take a quick moment and thank Charles van Heck at Woodhull Arts Journal for taking the time to get to know me and my art.

Yesterday he publishing a wonderful interview on his site entitled American Experiences; Visions of History and the Business of Art: An Interview with Chrissy Mount (Kapp).

Charles’ interview process is based on a thoughtful and thought-provoking interview where he made time to consider my art and my business before he even spoke with me. He read all of my blog posts, perused my website, examined my art and researched my painting styles and influences before he decided to profile me in his online art journal.

He is a true professional in a world where narcissistic self-promotion all too often hides behind a mask of journalism.

His introduction utilized a wonderful analogy that not only accurately portrayed some of the issues I face every day as an artist but also made me a bit hungry for a really good salad.

I hope you will make the time to read his journal – and the other interviews with other artists – and get to know him for his writing, photography and poetry.

I am Nivens McTwisp

Nivens McTwisp. Bet you didn’t know he had a name.

I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.

Nivens McTwisp
White Rabbit
Alice in Wonderland

I have a whole lot of social and a whole lot of media. What I don’t always have is a whole lot of time.

For example, my partner and I have been juggling my website, WordPress blogs, Facebook, Google Plus, FineArtAmerica, Zatista, Twitter, art show schedules, gallery correspondence and events, inventory management, travel management, marketing, promotion, sales and two well-loved eight year old twins.

A whole other kind of White Rabbit in Indianapolis, IN. Hasenpfeffer anyone?

Plus we are working on the Art Elves project.

Oh, and life. Did I mention life?

Phew…

To make things easier we have decided to use Constant Contact to streamline out social media outreach. An electronic newsletter, with information about events, specials, new work and the life and times of a mother, painter and art show carnie emailed on a regular schedule.

Hopefully, this will make it easier to keep in touch.

To sign up for the newsletter click here or follow the link below.

Art Elves: Looking for artists

Looking into one the store front windows from the atrium.

The Art Elves – where Santa goes for fine art – is looking for regional Wisconsin, Iowan, and Minnesota artists to participate in a seasonal artists show at the Gaviidae Commons in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

We have secured 1,400 square feet on the street level of the Gaviidae Commons II and are situated between the Italian restaurant D’Amico & Sons, the retailer Talbots and Neiman Marcus, the coffee shop Caribou Coffee, the Westin Hotel Minneapolis and the RBC Plaza.

Atrium View

All of these businesses open up into the atrium.

The Target Holidazzle Parade passes the store every Thursday through Sunday until December 18 bringing in additional foot traffic and interest.

The store will be open from Black Friday (November 23) through January 4, 2o13 (Yes. I know. 2013 already?!) and through a lottery system every artist will rotate through the storefront windows and have access to the street window.

Store View.

We have space for ten artists. Each artist will have approximately 100 square feet depending on the type of art and how it needs to be displayed. Although the store has excellent track lighting and display space you may need to provide your own booth panels, displays and lighting.

You must provide your own insurance.

Let’s get the money questions out of the way: $800.00 Participation Fee + 10% commission + 3% for credit card transactions.  Art Elves will collect and pay all applicable sales taxes.

Did I mention that is a total of six weekends and five weeks over the holidays in downtown Minneapolis? On the parade route? In a high-end, high traffic location? Alongside other heavily promoted retailers? Over the holidays?

With fresh coffee nearby? And you don’t even have to work in the store unless you want too.

Participating artists will be mailed a check on Monday, December 17 for sales registered between November 23 to Friday December 14 and on Friday, January 11 for all sales registered between Saturday, December 15 and Friday, January, 4th. Checks will include a statement reflecting all sales.

All credit card transactions in the store will be taken via a Square.

Artists are responsible for delivering, setting up, replenishing inventory and picking-up their own work during strict hours.

Artists may opt into sales and promotional opportunities that may include Groupon, Living Social, Google Offers, Facebook promotions, Google+ promotions, Linkedin promotions, SMS text marketing and in-store promotions.

More details to follow.

The space is limited to ten artists and is first come, first served and until the spaces are filled. To the best of our ability we will not have competing artists.

Did I mention? This is first come.

Call or email Chrissy Mount (Kapp) or Sean Kinney for details. Chrissy@vintagepainter.com or Sean@vintagepainter.com or visit www.vintagepainter.com.

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The story matters

Among other things, my partner would argue their are entirely too many birch trees in this painting by John William Waterhouse. While you are at it check out the very cool Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

I have always been an artist.

…and as an artist I’ve always been drawn to portraiture.  Not the easiest discipline in a culture that currently values contemporary, plein air, botanical, abstract and minimalist styles. “How many paintings and photos of birch trees,” whispers my partner in my ear as we visit art shows and galleries looking at regurgitated and tired ideas, “does the world need before it becomes a cliche?!”

I don’t have that problem because I am faithful to my Vision. As such, I am driven to create in a style that evolves on an internal linear path and not on an ad-hoc cultural trend line. I paint to an internal sense of classicism and not to culture’s external faddishness.  This commitment has the additional benefit of resulting in

paintings that are uniquely mine.

I have an evolving style. A style I own. I see. I create. I embrace. I follow.

As such, trying to stay rooted in what I am moved to create often conflicts with what others think I should be doing.

For example, I had a gallery owner suggest I just paint only objects and leave the people out because objects are easier to sell. She encourages me to paint so that what I create matches a couch or a carpet or someone’s lifestyle. She wants me to paint to a formula.

My sepia painting “Working the Fields”.

In other words, paint a motorcycle. Paint a landscape. Paint a tractor. Paint a birch tree.

I was at an art show recently listening to my partner talk to the man next to us. He was bragging about driving his wife from Washington DC to San Diego to sell at an art show. She was out of new paintings so on the drive the stopped at Michael’s, bought some paints and canvases and as he drove she sat in the back of the van “painting”. She “created” fifty-five new “pieces”.

They figured she averaged nineteen minutes per painting. She had a formula and she stuck to it. She wasn’t painting for a Vision she was painting for production. A process he admitted to embracing. It is about money and not art.

The irony is when buyers asked about his wife’s work he gave them some dog-and-pony story about how she spends weeks creating colors and images.

Just talking about formula art makes me queasy.

It is the difference between music created by the Honeydogs and the New Kids on the Block. There is a market for both types of music but I know where I will spend my energy.

My Vision would never let me do formula art – or listen to the New Kids on the Block.

It would break me first. I need the stories to feed my creative side. I need the people to give what I create depth. Otherwise, it is simply a motorcycle, a landscape, a tractor or – HORRORS OF HORRORS – a birch tree.

 

RADIO INTERVIEW on Thursday April 19th – Juried Art Shows, Fairs & Galleries with Chrissy Mount Kapp

41st Stevens Point's Festival of the Arts

On Thursday, April 19 from 10 pm CST to 11 pm CST Annette Coleman will be hosting me on her radio show to discuss my experience with juried art shows – the how to’s and the how nots.

I hope you will join us either online or call in to (646) 915-9294.

Visit my Upcoming Events calendar or Annette’s page for more details!

Talk to you Thursday!