Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Are you a dreamer or a doer?

...Major League Dreams...
carbon and graphite pencil on paper, 7x9
prints available

As a young woman I was so involved in my family and everyday life that I didn't think much about the future. As I look back to day, any goals that I may have had were rather immediate and frivolous. I can't help but think, what a shame...but I also believe this is the "curse" of youth.

Today, I look at life much differently. Now that I'm older and in the latter years of my life, I have long term goals. Isn't that would think that one would make long term goals in ones younger years when there was more time to achieve them!!

Why do some succeed while others fail. You can either sit around and dream about what you want to do with your life or do something about it. Just because I'm older doesn't mean that I can't have long term goals. I wrote a series of articles a while back called It's The Journey That Defines You, I absolutely believe this statement. Whether in your relationships or your is how you plan and your ability to adapt to change that produces success.

Dreamers are just that "dreamers". They talk a lot, rarely take action, and if they do they're usually not on solid ground...meaning lack of research and unreasonable expectations.

I don't mean to indicate that you can't have big dreams. But I will say this, if you never take action they will always be...just dreams. And if you don't break them down into smaller short term steps and do the research, they will most likely never become a reality.

Be a Doer...Set reasonable goals, do the research, be willing to alter your direction a little if need be to assure success. Write your goals down and look at them often. Make a plan. If you get off track, get back on...and stop beating yourself up for small failures. As a "doer" you will make mistakes, it's just part of the process...learn from it and go forward.

Can a Dreamer be a Doer? Absolutely...The young man standing on third base (in the drawing above) is dreaming about becoming a Major League Baseball Player. Will he achieve his dream? I don't know. But I do know that it's possible.

Dreaming is the nourishment that feeds your goals! I didn't say "don't dream", I said dream accountable for the results.

So I ask: Are you a dreamer or a doer? Do you set goals? What advise to you have for other on achieving success? How do you deal with failure?
The "Chat Line" is open...I look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say. Remember...what you say blesses others.

Have a blessed weekend...I have the next few weekend off, no art fairs. I'm enjoying the nice weather and catching up on things neglected in my absence. The weather is beautiful and my yard is calling! Will write more later.


Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Monday, July 21, 2008

Abby, asleep on daddy's shoulder...charcoal and graphite

...Abby, asleep on daddy's shoulder...
charcoal and graphite on fine art paper...10x13,
double matted, prints available

The Story Behind the Image: Every summer my church has a "tent service" one evening during the county fair. It was very warm as usual during that time of year and Abby had spent the afternoon enjoying the fair with her daddy. The music was playing and people were singing...I looked over and Abby was sound asleep in her daddy's arms. There was such a trusting peace about the expression on her face and the way she kept snuggling into her daddy's neck. The perfect photo op.

I was just beginning to draw again when I did this portrait. It took several attempts before I captured Abby the way I wanted. I used charcoal and graphite for this drawing...applying charcoal directly to the paper for the darkest areas. The softer shadows were applied with various blenders. The hair ornament was re-created using an electric eraser. I then went back in with charcoal to define the twisted yarns (I was never really satisfied with this first attempt at using an electric eraser...but once done it was done!). Graphite was used to develop the soft shadows on Abby's face and her daddy's shirt.

This portrait has always been a favorite of mine, there is just something special about the relationship a little girl has with her daddy. It brings to mind more secure uncomplicated times.

The drawing, Abby, asleep on daddy's shoulder, is on cream toned fine art paper and presented in a double mat. It is also offered in Limited Edition Prints and Artist Proofs...check my Portfolio for availability of the Original and prices.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
"Abby, asleep on daddy's shoulder"
...learn more

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...I am so blessed.

This drawing is called "Sacraments"
The reference photo was taken at my niece's wedding.

As I went to bed last night I kept hearing the words "I am so blessed"...even throughout the night I remember the words creeping into my dreams. When I awoke I found myself speaking it audibly.

I've always for the most part been a self motivated creative mind always on the go. I believe in God, read the Word, and pray...but I'm at fault sometimes when it comes to being quiet and listening to what He says. I tend to forge ahead on my own.

Over my morning coffee I began to think about the many ways I've been blessed instead of the things that "appear" to be problems and came to realize that many of the issues of the past that were sooooo big at the time actually turned out to be blessings.

It's been six years now since I started drawing again. It has not been without it's struggles...the main one being, "have I made the right decision or am I just wasting time and money?" God has placed people and opportunities in my path throughout my journey...saying "yes" this is the path you should take.

I'm going to be 63 this next April. Will I become a famous artist, it's doubtful? My goal was small...I just wanted to supplement my SS in my retirement years doing something I enjoyed.

I'm beginning to get a more regular flow of commissions as a result of the exposure I've had from my website and blog, and from the Art Fairs I've been doing now for four years. And, most recently an opportunity has come for a part time position related to the experience I've obtained by developing my web presence. (I'll tell you more if it materializes.)

I could go on and on here, listing the many blessings that were shown to me as I slept and again over my morning coffee....But instead I want to encourage you. Struggles make you strong, struggles grow you as a person, struggles produce the blessing.

So I ask: Are you blessed? Are you struggling? Have you taken time lately to sit quietly and listen for the answers to your prayer?
The "Chat Line" is open...I look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say. Remember...what you say blesses others.

Have a blessed weekend...I have the this weekend and next weekend home, lots to catch up on. It's raining here this morning making everything so clean and fresh...guess I'll try to work inside...(housework, don't you just love it!!)


Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Monday, July 14, 2008

Naperville Woman's Club art

As I said in my post before I left...set up for this art fair is a dream. You drive right up to your spot and can stay until you're done. The organizers (woman's club members and volunteers) are helpful and pleasant. I have one of the first spots as people enter and am shaded until late afternoon, when the sun comes in the back of the tent.

Friday night we had bad storms with lots of rain and I drove through blinding rain yet the next morning to get to Naperville from my brothers in Grays Lake. When I arrived at 7:30 AM it was still raining. I drove into the site (right up to the back of my tent) and began to figure out how I was going to stay dry while I put up the back awning. (You've got to picture this!!) I put a plastic grocery bag over my head and tied it under my chin...tore the bottom open on a black garbage bag and slipped it up over my pants to keep them from getting wet. I was quite something to see...but it kept me dry while I got my awnings up. (my rain coat was in the "rain crate" inside the tent!!)

I have to get the cart with my print crates on it out so I can begin to hang I have no choice but proceed. When the rain stops the people will come fact they come out rain or shin, umbrellas and all.

I work outside my tent under a 54" back awning unless there are bad storms. The next thing I did was "build my shed" as others call it. I use heavy weight plastic (which lets in light as you can see in the photo) and clip it to the awning. I have two covers the side and two thirds of the back...effectively protecting my print crates (which I sell out of) and the area where my chair sits.

I have also clipped the plastic to the cart holding my crates and it was also clipped to my step ladder earlier when it was raining. This keeps it from blowing in. In the picture I have pulled it back but not taken it completely threatened rain most of the day and had to put it up all the way again later that afternoon.

Notice my desk area. I work off of the "rain crate" and can easily pull prints from the crate next to it. I'll try to take some better pictures of my chair next time. There's a storage area under the seat where I keep bags, a "pocket hangs on the side and a table of sorts that I can attach.

Now for what we are all most interested in...sales. Saturday was bad...really bad. But on the drive home I remembered that the past two years had been bad on Saturday. The crowds were light and they weren't buying. Sunday was a much much better day. In fact if my sales had been as good on Saturday as they were on Sunday...this would have been a "really good weekend" it is it only gets a grade of "good".

You just never know...there was a different crowd on Sunday and they were buying. The weather was rain, not hot, I even wore a jacket until sometime in the afternoon. It was really windy and some of the "easy ups" had to be held on to by the artists...but it was an absolutely beautiful day. (both weather and sales)

So far this season, despite the economy, none of the art fairs I've done have brought in less than last year. This has been a pleasant surprise. I was ready mentally for lower sales. I sold some of all that I carry with me and I'm happy to report that as with Quincy, I need to replace prints and have new works framed!

I have two weekends at home then head to Libertyville, Illinois. I will again be staying with my brother in Grays Lake...more great food, perfect lodging accommodations, and wonderful conversations. If you live close by, I would enjoy meeting you.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

Naperville Woman's Club Fine Art Fair
Historic Naperville Settlement
Heading to Naperville, Illinois this weekend.

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Camera Decisions...frustrated and confused!!

The camera I use for photographing my still life setups, my art for posting on my blog and sometimes to develop prints from is the only camera I have. It's the Canon XTi with the EF-S 17-55mm /1:2.8 IS lens...this is a huge set-up to carry around. I have a couple of smaller lenses (in size and quality) but they don't have image stabilization and once you're used to this its hard to go back to being so careful to hold the camera still.

For a long time I've wanted something "just to snap" pictures with...small enough to fit into my purse without killing my shoulder. I go through phases...of researching until I am totally confused...I've even gone to look at these "little" things...(like the one to the left) only to be more confused!! There are many times I would like to be able to get a picture...but my camera is at home.

The last couple of weeks I went through the whole process again...research, go to the store and look and hold, talk to the sales people (who know less than I do)...and came home with nothing.

This time, I went back the next day and bought I happy with it? NO!! It's going back the first of the week. After listening to me talk about what I have and what I wanted to do the salesman recommended a "mid range camera" (Powershot 100SX IS) . It just doesn't feel right, DON'T LIKE THE PHOTOS and it's bigger than I wanted...or at least bigger than WHAT I THOUGHT I WANTED.

But then history has proven that despite all the research I still don't know what I want. Canon now makes a smaller "starter lens" 18-55 with image's only about 2.5 " long (quite small) and would downsize my camera package considerably. It still costs as much as some of these little cameras I've been looking at. I JUST DON'T KNOW!! Why are some things so hard?

So one more time I've done nothing...OOPS! sorry, wrong here, I did make a purchase, which because I'm not going to keep it...I now have to make another trip out of town (using expensive gas) and (precious time) to return it.

You know the thing is I LOVE MY CAMERA (Canon XTi)'s just too big to always have with here I am again lugging this huge camera an lens set-up to another art fair.

So I ask: What camera do you use as your main camera for photographing your art and your reference materials? Do you have a second camera? Is there a camera you recommend as a "carry around" ?
The "Chat Line" is open...I look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say.

Have a great weekend...I'll be showing at the Naperville, Illinois woman's club art fair this weekend...will report back the first of the week...WITH PHOTOS!


Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Heading to Naperville, Illinois...Art Fair

The Naperville Woman's Club sponsors this art fair and it is at the Historic Naperville Settlement. The setting is beautiful...old restored buildings, people in period costumes, tree shaded grounds. Just lovely and quite pleasant. This is my third year to show here and it's always been a good show. The people are knowledgeable about art, appreciative of our craft and the crowds are usually quite good.

Last year I booked two commissions and sold a couple of originals as well as a nice selection of prints...both framed and unframed. The weather looks good for Friday's set-up but Saturday there is thunder storms in the will again be dragging out the "rain gear". This seems to be the pattern this season. I've gotten pretty good anymore at being prepared, at least for your every day rain storm.

The nice thing is you drive right up to your spot and unload...the bad thing is you can't start setting up until 5:00. It's an hour drive to where my brother lives so it makes for a long day. But he's great help and a wonderful host. When we get back to his place Friday...dinner will be waiting. What more could you ask for?

The van is loaded but still have some things to get together and have to pack clothes yet. I'll report back Monday with photos and let you know how the weekend went.

Say a little prayer for good weather...if it rains, at least let it be a gentle storm!! Not of this severe stuff that has hit other art fairs this far I've been very fortunate.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
Naperville Woman's Club Fine Art Fair
Historic Naperville Settlement

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grapes and Pears...carbon and graphite pencil

...Grapes and Pears...
Carbon and Graphite Pencil on paper...9x7, double matted,
prints available

The Story Behind The Image: This is a more traditional still life arrangement and my latest piece for the 2008 show season. I'd like to say I took the photo but I can't...I found it in the Wet Canvas photo library and immediately knew it would make a great drawing. The shadows and highlights were perfect for my style of work.

I used carbon pencil for the dark background, applying it directly to the paper and blending with a stump until I had complete coverage. For the cloth on the table and other dark shadows, carbon was applied and blended into the lighter areas. The grapes and the lightest areas on the bowl were rendered in them shape and bringing them forward.

The drawing "Grapes and Pears" is on cream toned fine art paper, presented in a double cream toned mat. This piece is offered as an Open Edition Print...check my Portfolio for availability of the Original and prices.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
"Grapes and Pears, a still life"...learn more

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Severe weather hitting art fairs this season!

This photo was taken at the Fountain Square Art Festival on Saturday, June 28: showing the damage at the Evanston, IL as the result of a "micro burst". I seriously considered doing this particular art fair this year and would have been there except the entry fee was higher than I wanted to pay, considering the questionable economy. You can view a video of the aftermath here.

The weather this year has been erratic and many art fairs have been the brunt of it. I've been lucky so far, but what I'm about to share has certainly has made me give thought to just how vulnerable we are out there in our pretty white tents.

Some organizers are watching the weather for you, but rarely give you enough time to get your work out...let alone get your tent down. Unless you have an easy-up tent it just takes awhile. I understand that the storm system could by pass or dissipate...but I hope the events that follow will give organizers a wake up call as to their responsibility to their artists.

This is what happened at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival. The photo was taken by Don Ament..."The Summer Arts Festival is the latest victim of the severe and unpredictable weather which seems to come up out of nowhere. Most of the artists were okay, but according to the Omaha World-Herald, 10 to 20% of the artists suffered enough damage to have to leave the festival after the Friday storm. The festival continues on after the cleanup."

These are some links from The Art Fair Insider if you would like to read the entire articles I have referenced. The remarks of the artists attending these art fairs are phenomenal...a real wakeup call as to just how terribly vulnerable we are out there. Stone Arch Festival of Arts in Minneapolis, Omaha Summer Arts Festival, Chicago...Evanston, Ill, Evanston, Ill..#2

I sit out there many weekends during the summer to the elements and at Mother Natures mercies. I've never experienced weather like there has been this summer and these storm reports have made me consider my display, packing, and my take down.

I never leave my art hanging at night and I always take my originals with me when I leave for the day...but there is allot left in the tent over night, (prints, framed and unframed in crates...and large framed prints in the "Stiffy" bags I've mentioned before). What I leave in the tent is as protected as possible for the "normal" storm. But these things seem to be getting worse and worse. It's impossible to hall all that I carry out each night, and just as impossible to get it down in a hurry...let alone out and into the van.

I try to always have someone keeping an eye on the weather for the area where I'm showing and I say a little prayer at the beginning and end of each day, for God's blessings and protection....don't think there is much else we can do. I did experience one bad storm system at Hinsdale, Ill. and chose to leave early before the next front got there...I escaped with all intact. Many did not. Many artists lost everything!

So I ask: Do you think "global warming" is the cause for the changing weather patterns? How do you prepare for bad weather when showing at outside events? Do you leave your work in the tent at night? Any advice for those of us out there on the art fair circuit? Would you be able to recover if a storm took your tent and made trash of your art?
The "Chat Line" is open...we look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say.

Hope you had a nice July 4th...I'm home this weekend, enjoying the wonderful weather.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
The Art Fair Insider

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quincy, Ill...Midsummer Arts Faire

Quincy's Midsummer Arts Faire was without a doubt the best art fair I've ever had the privilege to be a part of. They treated their artists as royalty...there is just no other way to express it. Volunteers stopped by many, many times each day to see if we needed anything...and they meant anything! They wanted to know if everything was OK...did we need water, potty break, had we had something to eat...were our sales good that day? There were some threatening clouds and they were right there to see if we needed help getting our sides down and protecting our art. I've never felt so wanted and cared about at an art fair, and it was genuine!

Friday night there was a blues concert in the park that attracted hundreds of people. There was alcohol permitted and people brought little tables, their own wine or beer and horsdoeuvres. Many were walking through the art fair...listening to the music, sipping from their wine glass, and purchasing...I had great sales that night as well as the rest of the weekend.

There was musical entertainment the entire weekend in the bandstand, ranging from soft rock, classical piano, smooth jazz (my favorite), to some theatrical features. I've been to other art fairs where there is constant entertainment and it's annoying...I think the difference here was the high quality. People, again on Saturday and Sunday came for the entertainment...but they also came for the art. The people were interested us and appreciative of our work...and purchasing.

I had a perfect location...shade the entire day and was able to display on the outside walls of my tent. I was even able to put up my 54" side awnings...which I like to do if I have art work outside. They are block out awnings and keep the sun off my prints. I always keep all my originals inside, so if rain comes unexpectedly they are protected. (I have to say, I don't think there were many, if any, bad spots in the park. Everyone seemed to have shade at least part of each day.

I just can't say enough good about this art fair. If you do art fairs, Quincy is one you should consider. The entry fee is quite reasonable and as you can tell, the organizers and patrons are wonderful.

The only bad thing was the buffalo nats!! They have been just horrible everywhere this year. I've experienced them here at home when working in the yard...but never as concentrated as they were this weekend.

Quincy is by the river and there has been considerable flooding. There is nothing you can to deter these nats. Fogging and Deet do not work. A strong breeze helps and some say that vanilla will keep them off you...but it didn't work for me. My head is full of bites and all around my looks like I've had the chickenpox and scratched...and I did dig myself raw in places. This too will pass. The itching has subsided, just the "scabs" are left and a little swelling.

Nats and was the best art fair of the season thus far. I have this weekend at home, then show at Naperville, Illinois the following weekend (July12 and 13). If you're close, hope to see you.

That's it. I have lots of prints to replenish and need to get some new things to my framer. Isn't it wonderful when you have work to do because you've SOLD OUT of some things!! This is a "pleasant to do list"...the kind you look forward to.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
Quincy Midsummer Arts Faire

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment

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