Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting Ready for the Busy Art Season Ahead

Is it Spring yet?

This morning the temperature is -14. Really? March is 2 days away. I'm longing for my garden and the ability to spend time outside painting, digging and just breathing it all in.

But to get to that I need to look ahead and start planning for the Art Season, which for me starts in April. It takes a lot of preparation to get through all the art shows and exciting events but some simple planning and prep work can make it all run much more smooth and enjoyable.

Here is my "I can't wait for Spring" art check list.

1. List of your art goals for the years. What do you hope to achieve this year?  Mine include; new series in alcohol inks, 10 shows, 2 contest, 3 charities, small paintings in gallery up North, start teaching...

2. Update your web page. It's time to go through every page and make sure the wording is accurate and what you mean to say. (I'm in the process of doing this myself and I must say, I'm a bit surprised by some of the corrections I need to make.)

3. Apply for any of the art shows or fairs you wish to participate in this year. Many shows start accepting applications in January and several have early deadlines on or before March1st. This process is becoming much easier with the help of application sites as I start by printing out the information on the shows I'm interested in and mapping it all out on a calendar with deadlines clearly marked.

4. Check your inventory. Time to frame some of your originals so they will be ready for the shows. Do you need to order more cards or prints, are frames slightly damaged etc.? Do you have enough business cards and other marketing materials? Does your booth need a fresh coat of paint or some repairs?

5. Don't forget to paint. Make sure you have enough originals for the busy season. This is always a good time to experiment with techniques. And while you're there a quick once over of your studio is good idea. Keeping the area clean and organized will help those creative ideas flowing.

6. Use your goals, show lists, inventory and and current works to inspire your social media postings. I like to get the calendar out again and make a general calendar for my blog posts for the year. This gives my a general idea of where I'm going and what I have to keep track of. Holidays, graduations, Mother's Day and Father's Day... a good time for custom artwork, portraits, vacation drawings, pet portraits etc. Just make down your marketing strategy long enough in advance to make it happen.

7. This is a great time to start those projects you have been putting off;

  • start a newsletter
  • learn how to make videos to post to U Tube
  • expand your email list
  • approach businesses you wish to hang your work in
  • publish a picture book of last years paintings using one of the popular publishing sites like Shutterfly
  • sew protective bags to store and transport your artwork
  • approach places to teach classes at during the year
Well, that's a pretty big list. Some of these things I've already started, some I still need to get to. Wherever you are in your career, doing a few of these preparation steps will make the up coming season and those that follow much more manageable and enjoyable.

What are you doing now to prepare?

Happy Arting Everyone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Update on the Drive By Series

My first "Drive By" is done!

With this series I hope to spotlight some of the beautiful buildings in Rockford that many of us drive by every day and take for granted.


Greenwood Chapel
Alcohol Inks
9 x 12
Holding For Shows

Greenwood Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Rockford. It began is 1844 on the land where the Tinker Cottage is now located. In 1852 the cemetery was relocated (175 bodies moved) to it's current location on the corner of North main and Auburn Streets. Veterans of every war (except the current conflicts) are interred in Greenwood, including one Revolutionary War veteran and 529 Civil War veterans.

This distinctive chapel, designed by Chicago architect Henry Lord Gay, was built in 1891.

Rockford used to be the second largest city in Illinois until about 14 years ago. From about 1850 to 1970 it was a  thriving industrial city with a lot to offer including a wonderful a college. At the turn of the century there was a lot of money around to build some beautiful mansions and gorgeous buildings, many which are still in service today - but sadly, several are just too costly to bring the buildings up to code and have fallen into disrepair. When industrial jobs went overseas a lot of the companies moved out leaving a lot of people without jobs. Today Rockford has plenty of problems with crime and gangs but it continues to be this city where one can have access to wonderful concerts by top performers like Elton John or see traveling Broadway shows along with wonderful orchestras, several gardens, an arboretum and museums.

My next piece is the Metro Christian Center. I love some of the Gothic elements including the buttresses. I'm having a hard time locating information on this building which I think now serves as a gymnasium. I'll ask around and see if I can come up with anything.Hey if we're taking beautiful old churches and converting them into something let's convert them into artists studios. What a great gallery this church would make!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some Thoughts About Orchids

A wonderful time at the Nicholas Conservatory Art Guild show.

Along with the beautiful art work were the orchids.
For your pleasure....

Pretty Orchids
Delicate butterfly orchids
stand paper thin and tall
Perfect pout pink lip-gloss kisses
with proud protruding power jewel center
Ephemeral Angels
sign of life and hope
renewed strength and passion
Powerfully poised petals
gently nod affectionate ‘I love you’s’
long since they were given as gift
bringing forth renewed romantic setting
an idealistic reminder every day
© anaisanais A-M Docherty. All rights reserved, 5 years ago



when two people
understand each other
in their innermost hearts
their words are sweet
like the fragrance
of orchids

Joseph Pullman Porter
Wild Orchids

Under the pines, near the murmuring brook,
I know the wild orchids grow,
Fair and pure in their shady nook,
A page in God's own wonderful book
With a message for me to know.

Come in the Spring to that beautiful bower
And pause by the moss and the fern
To study. And know from the little flower
God's promise of hope is ready to shower
On those who will trust and learn.

Over the land, with colors so bright,
Leaves whirl in the chill, fitful breeze.
The gurgling brook, ice-coated and white;
Ferns, mosses and orchids have vanished from sight,
Dead and lost in the Winter's first freeze.

In weakening faith and hopeless despair,
Black winters of woe hold my soul.
For death is the end; and each mortal must share
The fate of the orchids that once blossomed there.
Oblivion marketh the goal.

Hold thy hope, faithless soul, for again in the Spring
Neath the pines, the wild orchids will bloom.
Struggle upward toward God, thy Creator and King.
The Saviour is risen and Nature doth sing,
Christ overcomes death and the tomb!


 Come visit...
    until March 1st.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nicholas Consevatory Show

I had a lot of fun hanging work for the Nicholas Conservatory Show yesterday along with my fellow guild members.

Here is Mosaic, a Rockford Art Guild collaboration.
 In honor of 60 years of art.
8 x 8 Panels
$25 each 
Show will be on exhibit at Nicholas Conservatory Show and Spring Art Scene 
Panels will be distributed after Art Scene

A few more pictures from the show...

My painting, Diane's Irises by Paula Marsh's beautiful piece.

Just in time for Spring, my painting, 
 Beth's Tulips is located by the beautiful iron door.

Come and join us Saturday for the opening reception 
10AM to 3PM.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Week in the Life....

I'm having a whirlwind week. I'm not sure where it went but I know I worked pretty hard and I enjoyed myself while I did it. It's hard working at home and keeping on track although I have to admit, I did a lot of that in my previous job of 16 years so I'm ahead of the game a bit.

 So what did I actually do this week?
I blogged twice and kept up with my social media. I have great forms to plan out my blog and keep tract of social media but I don't seem to find the time to do it. But I have to admit that I did make some plans for this post.... Art Business. See it there?

I got ready for two shows. Diane's Irises are framed and ready for the Nicholas show on February 20th.  Today my last two panels will be delivered to Cristie for the Mosaic Traveling show- premiering at the Nicholas Conservatory Show.         

     I finally got all caught up with my Quick Books Program. Book keeping doesn't come easy for me. And be honest what kind of system is it that putting money somewhere is a debit and taking it is a credit? Who came up with that? Thanks Don.

  Rockford Art Guild  has a new webmaster - or "Web Goddess" as I like to call it. Scarey thought... I've been working on a few up-dates. Lord help us all! Thanks James of Meow productions for holding my hand. Check it out at .  Keep in mind it's not done yet.     

After running around Rockford and taking all those shots from a sometimes moving car, I had to down load them and several other pictures from my sister's Italian vacation (Some nice paintings in the making) to the Walgreen's site. I only bring this up because it took one and a half hours to down load and choose everything. What's the savings in that? Really one and a half hours of my life?

Earlier in the week I drew out the large Katie's Cup painting, it's 20" x 16" (I think). It will be the largest Alcohol Ink so far. I now have 23" x 35" paper and am just trying to work my way up to it. I masked out the Greenwood Chapel painting and started on it. It's the first in my "Drive By" series. I also am trying to learn to make videos so I did some time lapsed pictures. Interesting... not done yet but I am hoping I have a natural talent for editing when I get to that point. Trust me, I'm going to need editing talent. It's a start.


It's also time to sign up for art shows. After investigating the possibilities I map it out on a calendar. Don't want to miss our nephew Ben's wedding in September - or Matt's graduation party in June. I'm kinda running late on this. The St. Charles show is already past it's deadline... sorry Lauri. Most of the shows have a deadline of March 1st which means I'd better hurry up. Did you notice the price tag on this little endeavor? $2500 Yikes! Had a meeting with my roadie/partner - Mark and made the final decisions.

Here I am trying to be organized but let's be honest - it's hard for a creative so most of the time my desk looks like this......
My organizational tools are making my office a mess! (That, and the tubs of paintings and prints waiting to be adopted by a good person.) Well that's my week. I wouldn't change a thing! Okay, yes I would, the book keeping... I have my husband's business to start this afternoon. Change the Bookkeeping! Please.