Outdoor Art Shows, Studio Painting Meditation by Jo-Ann Sanborn

There's a lot more to do than painting when you are in business as an artist. Here in Florida September is quiet time, and a good time to catch up on work that's been delayed.

I'll be spending time this week getting ready for the season's upcoming art shows. There's entry forms to fill out, slides or digital images to prepare, jury and booth fee checks to write, stamped, self addressed envelopes to include, and then checking it twice so that I'm not eliminated for a technical error. Acceptance into the good, quality outdoor shows is not automatic and the fees are getting higher. Some shows will change up to one third of their artists each year to ensure a fresh, new and interesting show. Others get four or five entries for every space and have to make choices, and others have just so many spaces for painters, jewelers, etc. I feel fortunate when chosen, but that's why my schedule says "tentative" for so many entries. I'd like to be there--and just have to get a letter of acceptance to make it so.

This year we'll do a lot less shows that in the past. The art market has slowed, and although people still attend the shows, many have been affected by the slowing economy and are reluctant to part with money they may need for living expenses. Outdoor shows are a lot of work, we're aging, and getting up every weekend for months to be out of the house before first light, as lost some appeal. Still, outdoor art shows have brought great rewards and often beneficial surprises and acknowledgements. So, we'll limit our participation to just two a month this year. Here's my 2008-9 tentative schedule.

It's time to start writing a yearly letter to my friends and art collectors telling them about my art year. The fall letter has become a tradition, and includes a list of upcoming shows for them to keep as a reference. To do that there's printing of the two pages, folding, labeling and stamping. I'm always happy to have help with this job!

I've also let slide a lot of archival information. Business books are done on Quicken, an Excell spreadsheet contains collector purchase and mailing list information, each painting has a information page, and a photo program houses photos of the paintings. I'm trying to combine much of this information in a single new program, Flick. Pulling the information from the other programs is time consuming agony. I'd hire someone, but there's too much insider information to let someone else try! Ugly!

Today's painting is one of the group completed this summer for the show as August Artist in Residence for the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The show closed the end of August, and the painting is now back in my studio. A painting should have a predominance of warm or cool color temperature. This painting is predominately warm and the colors have been grayed and softened. A wetland waterway leads you into the painting and there's a sun softened by veiling clouds in the sky. A touch of complimentary green was added to the distant bushes for contrast.

Call first, but come by and take a look!