It's HERE! The Final Week of the 365 Project! (plus some announcements)

It's here! It's the LAST WEEK OF MY 365 PAINTING PROJECT! "What are they talking about??", I sense you are asking yourself (#realtalk I haven’t posted in this section SINCE THE FIRST DAY of the project, so… I don’t blame you). ANYhoo, lemme let you about it!

I started this project in 2018 with a big goal - to FINALLY FINISH a 365 art series. So, I dissected what held me back in previous attempts and I identified the following overarching theme - I need to make it easier on myself. Lower those barriers that got in my way *just* long enough to have doubt creep in and spoil the party. 

The creation of the art was not the stumbling block... it was the practical parts:

  • having paper at the ready

  • giving myself a time constraint (so I didn't lose steam day-after-day creating paintings that took 3+ hours)

  • subjects chosen ahead of time

To that end, I broke down the world of potential subjects (because it is really nearly an *endless* supply of ideas out there) into seven distinct themes for each day of the week. I spent a bleary hour standing at my sink scrawling them into my journal (see image below):

  • Morgue Mondays (body, medical)

  • Junk in Your Trunk Tuesdays (toys, random lost bits, ephemera, knick knacks, tchotchkes)

  • Weed, et al. Wednesdays (plants, plant parts)

  • Taxidermy Thursdays (animals, creepy crawlies)

  • Foodie Fridays (food, drinks)

  • Sashay Saturdays (fashion, stuff you wear)

  • Side-Trip Sundays (landscapes, destinations)

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Has it been an unbroken road? Heck no! I stopped for nearly two months around Nov-Dec 2018. I stopped again in May of THIS year - right at the finish line! I really thought it was over during that first one, if I’m honest. I’ve blown five (?) finish dates, I think? But you know… eventually… just one mark at a time - hell, one butt cheek on the chair at a time, it was that hard to re-start - and I got going again.

So, what’s happening NOW? Check it out!

  • The paintings are on sale! Since July 11th, SIXTY (6-0) of them - a sixth of the project - have new happy homes. If you want one, please drop me an email ASAP!

  • A gallery show is happening! For one night only, on First Friday here in Ypsilanti MI (Aug. 2nd), all of the paintings will be hung at Pearl Street Studios! Here’s the Facebook event with all of the details.

  • The photo book is almost ready! This little piece is actually a big reveal as I haven’t publicized it before now. It will be sold through Blurb in multiple formats INCLUDING e-book (!!) - stay frosty for the announcement with the link to purchase (which should be within the week).

  • A few more surprises I’ll roll out very soon too!

Lastly, enjoy a little grid of 365-related images from IG:

What 600 (+1) Tiny Drawings/Paintings Looks Like

So, I was just updating my Drawing-A-Day page (which isn't truth-in-advertising, I grant you) when I realized something momentous:

I'VE CREATED 600 SMALL PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS*

That's just madness. What's even MORE mad is that I feel like I could/should be doing more! Oh, self.

So, it's my birthday and I thought I'd share all 600 (+1) pieces with you! Enjoy! Do you have a favorite?? Click through to their page to see them up close & personal - these are just screen shots :)

*NOT including the derby portraits, Rob, the eyes for Art Prize, my work illustrations, etc.

Ann Arbor Art Fair Wrap-Up!

Welp, my first Ann Arbor Art Fair is complete and all I can say is: "PHEW! Whatta ride!" From the weather (heat, storms, wind) to the people from all walks of life ("My daughter won't stop talking about you after visiting yesterday, so we're back again today!"), it was a life-changing adventure. 

I was part of the original art fair that spans N. University, Washington, and the "Mall" - I was told by several patrons that it was the part of the Art Fair that was "most elite" and "hardest to get into" and that I should feel very honored to have gotten in on my first try. Of course I felt that way! 

I had neighbors from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota... everywhere! It quickly became apparent that my being "a local" was rare and maybe... an asset? So, I mentioned it when it made sense to do so.

Did I sell? Yes! Did I sell "a ton"? No? I don't think so? How does one measure that amount... I suspect it's highly individualized. Lemme 'splain: I sell tiny paintings that take me an hour to create* - my overhead was low for this show. I had the entry fee and the tent/table rentals sure, but I didn't travel or stay in hotel... I wasn't selling fragile and challenging-to-transport sculpture or glass... I could carry my work in my backpack (literally). 

I made a little more than my expenses, so, I consider that a success! Also, I really believe this experience helped put my face and work in front of my local audience again... and repetition hopefully breeds memory which will lead to commissions, sales, opportunities, down the line. Someone remembered me from ArtPrize last fall, for example! I think that's huge!

My square Moo business cards were a hit, as was my live demo that I signed up to do for the Fair; I got a (surprise) small honorarium for it as well! I forget how much I love teaching until I do it. This was no exception as I showed a handful of folks how to paint some coffee beans, beneath the shadow of Hill Auditorium (!). Magnus helped me paint up some decorative rocks (see picture in the slideshow) and I put up a small sign saying as much - that got a lot of notice too. I think folks appreciated my approachability? At least I hope so.

I learned so much - the first thing being that I need to up my booth game! I saw some amazing displays and took a million notes/pictures so I can now plan for next time. It was my first time, a learning experience - I hope the A2 folks understand that and give me another go next summer. Lastly, I will edit the pieces I bring - stay on a theme, be more choose-y. Frame more... etc. etc.

There were dance parties amongst the artisans, art swaps, tips and advice, electricity shares, chats, hugs, runs to the A/C'd Michigan League building, Italian Ices, and a shared experience unlike anything I've ever had - I want to do it again! 

PS: There are some new paintings in that slideshow up there! I passed the time (total hours: 40) painting, of course!

*most of the pieces are this way... some are more involved, of course!