Last Saturday was the first of only 2 craft shows I'm doing this summer. It was scheduled for Allaire State Park, in Wall, NJ; a lovely park with a restored village depicting the time when iron ore was refined there, back in the 1830s.
There were 44 crafters lined up for the event.
It poured down rain on Saturday so it was postponed until the next day. (Rarely a good thing.)
Sunday morning dawned gray and damp, but it wasn't raining, so we loaded up the truck and headed down the "Green Tunnel" of our drive and hit the road.
When we got there we discovered that only 20 of the 44 artists decided to show up. But we had prime spot and so we set up and waited to see what would happen. The wind was gusty, but not to the point that we needed to worry about our canopy flying away. The sun came out about 2 hours in so that was very nice!
The crowds were nonexistent. Probably about 50 people wandered through all day.
At lunch time my friend Alex Connell stopped by. She brought me a lovely lunch and we talked about my businesses and her wonderful website, www.pattiandricky.com, where she sells fashionable gift items for people with disabilities. Check it out! My walking sticks are there.
Later in the afternoon it started to rain, so everyone closed up and went home.
I didn't make any sales that day but I met some really interesting people.
I'm not discouraged at all. Life is good and it's a tax write off anyway!
Last Tuesday was the last nice day. Seriously. It's Friday now and we haven't seen the sun since then. Tomorrows craft show was put off a day because of forecast rain and may be canceled altogether.
So, I took advantage of the one nice day, took my tools in hand, and went to the woods! Thankfully I didn't have to go very far. I live on 16 wooded acres so I visited the hardwood stand closest to my front door.
There's red maple, white oak, sweet gum and holly, as well as white cedar and white pine. Today I spotted the sweet gum saplings first. Climbing through the cat briars is never much fun!
Last year, when I did my first cutting, I went earlier to the woods when the sap was just rising. The leaves hadn't come out so I wasn't really sure what I was cutting. I ended up with mostly sweet gum, as well as oak and some sassafras. This year I waited a little longer so I could identify what I was cutting.
This is the look of exhausted satisfaction!
Lesson learned: a hand saw works better than loppers.
I cut 6 saplings, which provided me with 9 hiking sticks. After I'd recovered from my climb through the briars I sat in the sun on my back stoop, cut off the little side branches and peeled the bark. Now they sit and season. They should be ready to paint in about 4 months.
I figure that 4 more trips to the woods will provide me with a total of 50 hiking sticks to paint (enough to get me through the Christmas season!) and will also meet the profit requirement for my farm tax assessment.
This past Sunday, April 22, I took myself to the
NYC Art Expo at Pier 94, on the East River.
Someone in my local guild had given me a free ticket, so I jumped in my car, rode up to Weehawken, and took the ferry across. I couldn't have asked for a better day. The temps were perfect and sun shone so brightly and the sky was just oh so blue!
It was 15 minute walk from the ferry terminal to Pier 94 and I brought one of my walking sticks with me. I passed right by the Intrepid Museum Ship, with all the military planes perched on the deck. And after that was the Circle Line Cruise Boat and a couple on HUGE ships taking on passengers for a cruise to who knows where.
When I got to the Expo was given a swag bag with a magazine, map and some apple crisps and a granola bar.
There were hundreds of artists there. Some represented themselves
and others were represented by their galleries.
I went specifically because I want to educate myself in the aesthetic of abstract art. It's something I've always had trouble relating to. But I guess if I'm going to have abstract artists showing in my gallery I'd better get a grasp on it.
But the first artist I happened upon was a fiber artist who makes her own felt and then creates wonderful art for the walls. Lali Kharebava, lalisart.com Each piece is three dimensional, although each sits in a frame and is intended to hang on the wall.
The next artist that grabbed my attention was a traditional icon painter. Jodi Simmons. jodisimmons.com All of her work is done in the traditional style of illumination. She uses gold leaf and egg tempera paint. Each image is a contemporary take on a religious theme.
So, two artists down. Not doing very well on the abstract education.
But the next three artists I visited each had a distinct style.
Christian Jan Bakker cjbakker.com is an Ecuadorian abstract artist. He has paintings of different sizes and his large pieces are quite extraordinary. He was kind enough to take my picture in front of the one I liked best.
Emilija Pasagic's work is reminiscent of flowers and green growing things. It can be viewed at progressivefineart.com
Francine Kohn, francinekohnart.com swirls her colors madly and you always have a sense that her painting is watching you.
Paul Heller, paulhellerart.com does magic with stained glass! His pieces are
so rich and bold and alive with light! Someday I'll have one of his pieces.
The day was full and rich. I have a saying:
My eyes were filled with looking.
So true at this event.
I had a meeting this morning with two board members of the Downtown Toms River Association and two members of SCORE. (Service Corps of Retired Executives), We talked about a small shop I want to open. It'll be called BREAKTHROUGH GALLERY and will be boutique for fine arts/fine crafts.
We talked for forty five minutes about all the ins and outs of starting a small business. I supplied them with a business plan and a 90 day planner.
The atmosphere in the room was very positive and I felt that they were all moved and a little excited by what I want to accomplish. They tell me that they'll contact me within a week with their final decision.
If the response is "YES", then I'll be opening up a small retail space in downtown Toms River and at very, very good monthly rent that includes my utilities and internet. My Grand Opening will be June 8, 2018.
Stay tuned for further updates!
When I was a little girl, I always knew that I'd be an artist when I grew up.
When I was a teen, I wanted to be a naturalist and learn about medicinal herbs.
When I was a young adult I wanted to be a folklorist
Somehow, all of this has come together, now that I'm approaching my elder years.
My deep love for all things wild, the joy that sharing my life with wildlife brings,
living in the woods, surrounded by birds, furry creatures and old growth forest bring to me a peace I know I could never find anywhere else.
And my artwork reflects that.
I've found this great FB page, South Jersey Trails.
They've got over 2000 members and I just joined.
You may have seen some of my shares from them on my
FB page, Leaning on the Promises.
Since first seeing them on FB I have discovered some interesting things about trails in my area.
The Batona trail is 50 miles long and goes from Bass River State Park. to Brendan Byrne State Forest.
Cattus Island County Park right here in Toms River is one of the most popular places to hike in NJ.
Since I've just joined the group I'm sure I'll finding lots of other neat places near me to take my hiking stick and take to the woods!
Keep an eye on
For future tidbits about hiking in NJ!
Two weeks ago I was present in Asheville, NC for the Created to Thrive Mastermind Intensive weekend. Saturday afternoon we were treated to a panel discussion and Q&A from several prominent Asheville artists who have studio/gallery space in the River Arts District.
Cindy Taylor Walton is a long time presence in the art world of Western North Carolina. Seeing her and listening to her speak about her process has given me a whole new outlook on Abstract Art.
She uses an oil paint and cold wax process in which she creates layers of color, words, meaning and a cold wax product on wooden sheets and then very artfully removes layers from certain sections of her creation to reveal the beauty and meaning beneath.
Her work is evocative, subtle and powerful in quiet ways. Often bits of silver and/or gold peep through.
Looking at her work gives me a sense of peace and of things coming together in order, out of chaos.
The weekend sessions ended on Saturday, so Sunday morning I took a walk from my B&B down to the River Arts District and visited her gallery. (A total God thing, since she had not expected to be open at that time, nor any of the artists who have galleries on the same floor, but they were all open!)
Cindy also paints in her gallery, so if you come at the right time you can see her create.
You can follow her on Facebook
and check her out yourself at
What's a Master Mind Group?
It's a collection of like minded people, getting together to brainstorm how to improve on what they have in common.
This past weekend I flew to Asheville, NC to participated in a Master Mind Intensive for Christian art business owners. All told there were 47 people, divided into 5 tables. My table had 9 people at it, 8 women and one man.
The two days were split between special speakers and what were called "Hot Seat" times.
Each of us took a turn in the Hot Seat and introduced ourselves, including what we think is going well with our artistic businesses and what is not going so well. Then the others of the group brainstormed about what could make each of us more effective and more content with ourselves in our business roles.
We wrote our comments on the wall, (which was painted with white board paint. Isn't that cool??) It was a very powerful time for each of us and really helped to get our heads into the places they need to be in to more forward in success.
Jeremy Ashburn talked about SEO optimization. If you need any help with that, he's your guy! www.pushleads.com/
The group that put this together is called "Created to Thrive" and it's a Facebook mentoring group headed by Matt Tommey. I've learned more in the past year on how to succeed in business than in all my years of trying. If you're interested in joining, take peek and consider if it'd be a good fit for you! www.facebook.com/groups/createdtothrivementoring/
This isn't my first gallery show, but it's the first one in very, very long time! I look forward to working with these folks in the years to come.
Here's my self portrait. I call it "Identity" and one of my
Monarch Butterfly Hiking Sticks
The show will be up until the second Monday of March. After that I'll have something else hanging there.
I've always taken special pride in my Scottish lineage.
My father's name was Russell. In Scots dialect it means Red Headed.
He was a flaming redhead!
His mother was a King, of the line of the famous Rob Roy MacGregor.
So, it's no wonder I'm drawn to the intricate and charming delights of
Celtic Knot Work.
Judy Goddard creates beautiful walking sticks.