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preparing for Elvis - EBSQ: Art Meets Blog
News from the Self-Representing Artists Community
angiereedgarner
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angiereedgarner
preparing for Elvis
[Hi, I'm a painter-- I self-rep and also work through the gallery system. Now I am an artist blogger for EBSQ. You can read my resume here for a sense of my professional activity. But what keeps me going is the ability to communicate and share work with other artists online.

Last summer I moved to the tiny town of Monmouth IL, rented a storefront, and began painting in full view of the public. I didn't imagine that I would develop an art market-- I did it to connect with other people and get some local eyes on my work.

With that background, maybe this entry will make some kind of sense.

Oh, and EBSQ rocks. :)
]

Al Hull, Elvis impersonator extraordinaire, is coming to the Rivoli Theatre tonight-- right next to my open studio.





I meant to be open for theatre events, ever since I rented the space. Hadn't yet done it. But my landlord stopped by, gave me love for my new goofy landscapes, and pointed out very sweetly that it sure would be great if I was open for the King.

My back studio door opens onto the hallway used by theatre patrons to access the Bijou Bar (on the other side of my storefront from the theatre) and the restrooms.

I bought strings of white lights and put them in the front windows and around the back door to attract people in. I am gonna prop a canvas that says something clever like:


ART ------>

...on a barstool out in the hall.



Unfortunately painting signage completely freaks me out. So the sign, as you see, is blank. I have maybe three more hours left to paint the sign or else the wet acrylic will get on people if they brush against the sign. Instead of painting the sign, I am blogging.



Stringing up lights so they look good is harder than I thought.As you see I ended up kinda puddling the lights along the bottom of the windows. I think I need about six more strings of lights. Must sell painting.

Decided the dotty water tower was my MOST Elvis painting, and so hung it back in the window. See above.

Oh Elvis. How I want to be worthy!

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23 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
goldleafgoddess From: goldleafgoddess Date: October 22nd, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that blank canvas says it ALL! Just place an arrow on it!!!! :)
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 22nd, 2006 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately what I just learned from painting the sign is that I can do letters but cannot paint an arrow worth a damn.

Al Hull's brother, who is bouncing/handling security tonight, just informed me that he and Al started out as signpainters and Al did pinstriping. Oh, the shame.
goldleafgoddess From: goldleafgoddess Date: October 22nd, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

hahahaha

It's always the the ones who know it all that catch you as a newbie - Murphy ought to be shot.

How did the evening go?

I think you are so so brave for what you are doing there, and only good experience and knowledge can come from it.
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: hahahaha

It was really worth doing. Am writing a recap to post. Next Friday two heavy metal bands play a Halloween show at the Rivoli. I'm gonna open up and prepare to headbang.
goldleafgoddess From: goldleafgoddess Date: October 23rd, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: hahahaha

Hehe....when I read this, I immediately pictured a poster with the "Rivoli" pictured on ravioli's on a plate with guitar-string spaggetti. I love play's on words, even when they are silly.
Bang some heads for me...lol
katequicksilvr From: katequicksilvr Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
*Snort!!!*

So did you get the sign painted, Worthy One??
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)

I got it done, sort of

I think I may be too proud to post a photo of it online.

:)

greenbiscuit From: greenbiscuit Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

Awww come on Angie, let's see it. How did it go?
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

It went well. Am writing recap. Sign looks really bad-- it did not get better overnight. But it did get people in!
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

If that didn't make sense-- sometimes when my paintings look really ugly to me, I come back the next day and the paintings magically got better overnight. But my sign didn't. :)
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

i worked on it some more


This is it even after working on it more. The arrow is just a problem-- I was thinking about subway/mass transit maps when I drew it-- it didn't work out.

I need to gesso that part out and just put a plain tail on it.
katequicksilvr From: katequicksilvr Date: October 22nd, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

Just so it brought people IN!!*G*
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

It did. There was also this certain demographic that stood on the threshhold not allowing their feet to touch the carpet in my studio ("don't cross that line!" and LEANED in to see the walls.
katequicksilvr From: katequicksilvr Date: October 23rd, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

Aren't people ODD though?!
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

They are really precious. :D We get so scared of each other!
katequicksilvr From: katequicksilvr Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I got it done, sort of

Yes! And no idea what we're afraid of...often, people just don't want to intrude.

I did a little test at the Wine and Jazz Fest a few weeks ago--a friend of mine who runs one of the galleries that handles my work has always been sure if I worked in public, sketching (which I do anyway!) that people would want to buy what I'd done. Just this once, I took some individual sheets, too, rather than just work in my journal, so IF anyone approached me, I could let them have whatever it was.

Absolutely no one did, except perhaps to comment in a positive way as they walked by. An old friend kept her distance because she didn't want to disturb me!

Hey...maybe I'll have you paint me a sign for next time! *GG*
tourmalina From: tourmalina Date: October 22nd, 2006 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope you sold lots of paintings! Sounds like a fun experience to combine your talent with Elvis's.
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 22nd, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh heavens no. :) You have to understand where I am living. One woman asked timidly about getting a small portrait of her chihuahua. When I said "about $100 for a size like this" she blanched and recoiled. She said "I'm sure that's fine, it's just... McDonalds doesn't pay me that much."

This whole open-studio thing is about love not money. I have met a couple of professional artists in the area but they are making their living selling fine crafts-- painted china, jewelry, yard decorations-- at art and craft shows and selling nothing locally.
From: jenneubauer Date: October 22nd, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's a bit heartbreaking that the woman said
"mcdonalds doesn't pay me that much"
i think it's brave that you have the storefront
as a studio - allowing people to come in
while you're working. i wouldn't be so kind - lol!
i think it would irritate me to no end - lol!!
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 22nd, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

it was heartbreaking

It made me so, SO glad that I decided not to put prices on paintings in my studio.

I know that not pricing things is ridiculous in terms of marketing wisdom but there is simply no art market here-- and this is why I can afford a storefront studio in such an amazing location in the first place.

Prices would have alienated many visitors last night and gotten in the way... I want people just to be able to see the art as much as possible and not have to struggle with money/value entering the equation.
tourmalina From: tourmalina Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I see. I hope you can get your work shown in a larger city then! People attending gallery shows in cosmopolitan areas tend to understand the prices for original works.
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 23rd, 2006 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I do-- thank you! I'm coming from that art world-- still participating in it, but also looking for new ways to reach people with art whether or not they can buy. This open studio adventure is new.
angiereedgarner From: angiereedgarner Date: October 22nd, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
And it really was a fun experience-- thank you!
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