Art View: I Get Around

I get around. No. Seriously. I do.

This year we are doing about twenty-five shows between April and October from Texas to Michigan and up and down the Mississippi River Valley. Because of all the getting around we do, this year we began a project to video document the artists and people that we meet around us. The videos are far from professional, but like my friends, I prefer to think of them as authentic. The result is that you will get to meet some really wonderful people and fantastic artists that you may not know are out there.

At least that is the hope. You get to decide. Where possible we will include links to their websites, Facebook pages and their other social media.

You can see more about this endeavor on my Vintage Painter Youtube channel.

 

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Powderhorn Art Fair in Minneapolis

paf-2014-poster-ms

First of all, next year, there is no way we are doing an art show every weekend between April and September. NO WAY! We are exhausted.

I’m sorry we haven’t been able to post much this year. Not even pictures but with only five shows left this season I wanted to make a moment and let you know of one close to home in Minneapolis.

The Powderhorn Art Fair is this weekend. Of the three major art shows in Minneapolis this weekend – Uptown, Loring Park and Powderhorn, I like the cool grassy, tree-lined park overlooking the lake of Powderhorn best.

Especially if it is as hot as they are predicting this weekend.

I will be in Booth 102 overlooking the lake and, hopefully, under a tree. Come see me.

Cheers,

Chrissy

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Lost Things: Beer cans and Georgia

Beer Can Collection LR

Beer Can Collection (Original) by The Vintage Painter

My mom and my twins

My mom, Georgia, and my twins

It was very difficult to paint. It was nearly impossible to be creative.

As such, I had to find something more detailed and labor intensive that required more concentration than creativity. I settled on my brother’s vintage beer can collection. He inherited most of the 600 cans from an older cousin.

Out of the 600 cans I chose some for sentimental reasons and some simply because I liked the imagery on the cans. Almost all of them are from Minnesota and Wisconsin with the rest from Iowa and one from West Virginia.

During mom’s illness my Partner would tell me to go and paint. He would insist that I go and work on it for a few minutes or a few hours. It took me nearly a year to complete. This time frame was partially because painting in thin layers of glazes and paints requires long dry times and partially because of the mental fatigue brought about by life’s situations.

It is interesting at how many shows people of all ages stop and reminisce about their more-often-than-not lost beer can collections, which one they drank in their youth and which ones they remember a relative loving. People have even offered me money on the spot for he Grain Belt cone-top.Screen shot 2013-10-13 at 3.47.13 PM

I can’t count the number of times someone told me they lost their can collection when they left for college and their parents threw it away. During the late 70’s and 80’s the trash-bins of America must have been full of steel and aluminum cans as kids left for college and boomer parents cleaned rooms and garages of “trash” in order to make way for the study or spare bedroom.

Almost all of these cans are as old or older than me…and I’m, um, older.

After talking to so many people and listening to so many stories, I see something more than oil and canvas. I see history, culture, family and my mother.

Beer Can Collection (Original)
16″ x 40″ Oil on Canvas
Framed: Recovered and re-purposed metal and barn-wood. Handcrafted.
$4000 + S&H

Beer Can Collection (Canvas and Paper Prints)
FREE Shipping through 10/31/2013.

Canvas Print
Small, 8″ x 20″, $95 + $12.99 S&H = $107.99 –> SPECIAL $95.00
Full, 16″ x 40″, $250 + $28.99 S&H = $278.99 –> $250.00
Framed, Small, 8″ x 20″, $250 + $49.99 S&H = 299.99 –> $250.00
Framed, 16″ x 40″, $600 + $79.99 S&H = $679.99 –> $600.00

Paper Print
Matted, 11″ x 17″, $25 + $3.99 S&H = $28.99 –> $25.00

All canvas prints are in limited editions and are signed by me.

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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My Business: Fears and Avoidance

An Artist’s Workday

I read a quote from Seth Godin’s Blog on G+ the other day. In it he talked about the influence of Fear, Scarcity and Value in relationship to success. He wrote:

The things we fear are probably feared by others, and when we avoid them, we’re doing what others are doing as well.  Which is why there’s a scarcity of whatever work it is we’re avoiding. And of course, scarcity often creates value.

The shortcut is simple: if you’re afraid of something, of putting yourself out there, of creating a kind of connection or a promise, that’s a clue that you’re on the right track. Go, do that.”

I have been hiding or avoiding certain parts of my art business that are necessary to find on any kind of success. If I were to have it my way, the safe way, I would close off the world and retreat to my paints and easel and get lost.

Let’s face it though. We need people. We all need people. However, for many years I have been living out in the country hibernating with my family and keeping to a limited number of friends. My main professional activities have been attending art fairs and for a period of about 4 years I co-owned an art gallery (I’m not sure but does Facebook count?).

To get me where I want things need to change. As such, I am actively restructuring my life and taking a serious look at how my business is run.  In the process, with the guidance of my partner and friend, I realized I need to reach out to galleries and interior designers. So we took a journey to some places that have reputable galleries, looked around and gathered information.

Here is where my fear and avoidance plays a role.

My next step was to contact the galleries I thought would be a good fit.  I worked on the top two.  I emailed them my web site and images and waited for a response.

Nothing…

Historically, I would have just thought, “Well..they are not interested,” and just dropped the idea. I would have avoided any direct contact out of fear of rejection.

But my partner wouldn’t met me off the hook and reminded me that the difference between a hobby and a business is very specific. If I just stay in my studio and paint and give paintings away, sell it below its value, donate them to charity for auction than painting is a hobby. I want my art to sell through reputable, established and knowledgable galleries. I want to make a good living selling my paintings, fine art prints, private commissions and mural work. As such, I am responsible for a host of other responsibilities besides painting. I am my own accountant, secretary, travel agent, marketing director, P.R. director, SEO manager and Director of Sales.

Unless I take these responsibilities seriously my painting is just a hobby.

As such, I chose to “put myself out there” and tried to “make that connection”.

The first gallery I contacted was ran by a former boss that I knew already liked and appreciated my body of work.  Unfortunately, he is in the process of shutting down his business so was not a good fit for me.

So I moved on and I called the second gallery.

I emailed, called several times and left my comfort zone. I was always greeted respectfully but they were too busy to talk with me. Eventually, I reached the owner and she kindly informed my that I probably wasn’t the right fit for her galleries but she added, “well MAYBE we can set up a time on Monday for you to come in and you can show me your artwork.”

MAYBE, that was a scary word for me…that meant I had to call again and maybe just get a rejection. Maybe she was just being kind.

Regardless, I made a decision and on Monday I packed my car with my artwork (including a brand new still wet painting), drove 50 minutes south and showed up.

As she was busy with clients I sat anxiously and waited. I waited nearly two hours trying to convince myself to stay when what I wanted was to run.  However, watching her with her clients I knew this was the kind of gallery I was looking for. She greeted everyone warmly, she answered questions and genuinely took an interest in what her clients were looking for in their purchase.

Finally, a break came and she invited me in.  Opportunity presents itself to the prepared mind, and as I walked up to talk with with the gallery director, the gallery owner walked in.

Serendipity.

Suddenly, I had the attention of the gallery director and owner. When I left nearly two hours later, I had a verbal commitment from the gallery to stock and sell my limited edition prints, my original paintings and to keep my painting catalog on hand.

Clearly, Godin’s shortcut to building value in my business is to be willing to do what others are not. Now I just need to find consistency.