Tag Archives: denver

Back from the Winterfest Art Show near Denver, CO

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Denver

Denver Capitol

Just came back last night from a weekend in a Denver suburb called “Evergreen”.  A very serene little town where the legend of “South Park” was born.  But on Saturday was dedicated to an arts & crafts show at the local high school.  I left Friday morning and was traveling 285 north from Santa Fe.  I never went this way before, but the reason is to check out where Evergreen and the high school where the show was taken place on Saturday.  I wanted to know where this was, to help avoid less stress.  I’m pretty anal that way!  But as the old saying goes, “Enjoy the journey, not the destination”, I tried to take that to heart, as I was taken in by the scenery.  I did manage to stop at this small town called Salida, which is a cute little arts town in the center of Colorado.  It was in the middle of nowhere, which is probably why the residents love it.  But I wanted to stop and see it for myself.  And it was great, I highly recommend to visit there.

Salida

Salida, CO

Upward and onward, I got a chance to see the Rocky Mountains up close, and then went through them, yes through them!  It was lots of farmland, cows, and very small towns.  I went through this town called Fairplay, which was 10,000 feet in elevation!  I couldn’t believe people lived there, but the scenery was amazing.  I couldn’t really stop too much, because I was trying to beat out a possible snowstorm that was predicted to hit the region, so I really had to fly in the car.  Plus I wanted to get to the hotel before dark.  I did get to Evergreen after all the winding roads filled with evergreens and mountain towns.  I found the high school where the show was and was content, then I drove to the hotel in Lakewood to rest for the night.  I was on the road for over 9 hours, so I was too tired to check out the Denver nightlife.  By then it was snowing, I just made it to the hotel in time before dark.  

And now it’s showtime!  I got to the show for set-up around 7:30am, had lots of volunteer help from some students.  The help and commitment was way above average. This show I managed to do some different things, like set up a portrait display advertising “Portraits while you wait”.  Most vendors were seated on the first floor and there were about 10 vendors on the second floor including myself.  Lots of natural lighting but got darker as the afternoon went by.  I then had an idea about using my own lighting.  I brought a flashlight and shined it on a sunset painting, which seemed to illuminate it quite well, great effect.  People noticed it and commented, “How did you paint that?”.  They didn’t know that a light was shining on it!  

There was a decent turnout too, but being upstairs and all, I don’t think many people ventured up here.  Part of the reason was that I did pay for the least expensive booth, but I didn’t want to pay twice as much for a premium spot, especially that I didn’t know the layout of the booths and I wanted to conserve my booth costs for other future shows.   Also, this was more of a crafts crowd, and not a fine arts crowd.  I saw people walking around with Christmas ornaments and pinecones on a stick.  I can’t compete with that!  I started getting that, “Uh, Oh, what am I doing here?”  For hours, I had just lookers and lookers, while I’m smiling and telling people about my stuff briefly, trying to make connections.  But you can’t make anyone fall in love with your art, I was just trying to make a good master of ceremonies.  

Art-Booth,-Evergreen

My art booth at Evergreen High School

But there was a ray of hope who appeared!  A woman came by the booth, saw one of my small church paintings, loved it and….bought it!  She just loved it, enjoyed everything about it.  I finally sold a painting here!  To me, a customer is a fan for life, and it meant so much to me.  I hope she understood that.  

So after 4pm, the show finally was over.  I sold 1 notecard and 1 painting.  Collected some email addresses and met some cool people.  I went to the hotel afterwards and went home down rt 25 the next morning.  I did stop at Manitou Springs for some breakfast burritos.  I’m sorry to say though I was disappointed at the customer service at “The Spice of Life” cafe.  They were a bit rude when I didn’t receive my receipt.  But I made it up by going to a local arcade where there were nostalgic video games and pinball machines, one of my favorite things about that town.  

I finally got home Sunday night, where I worked on some computer stuff and went to bed.  I wish I had a more dramatic ending to share, but it really wasn’t.  Sure sales could have been better, but I’m still paying my dues and sooner or later (hopefully sooner), I hope to have a great show.  If I could just only paint more than I’m on this computer!

Back from the People’s Fair in one piece

I just got back from the People's Fair in Denver last night.  After 30 framed paintings and close to 40 oil studies, I was prepared as I could be.  Plus, I borrowed an artist's tent and walls which helped greatly with the expenses.  First of all, the drive was easy, up route 25 is very scenic and I could paint an entirely new series based on it.  What I noticed this time was  that there were parts that reminded me of Ireland, it had this mossy green look on the hills and mountains, especially from colorado springs to denver.  Southern Colorado was like New Mexico, maybe a tad greener, but it's considered a high desert.  I set up my booth and walls on Friday night, took me close to 4 hours because I never set up a tent/booth like this.  It took some help from volunteers to set up the tent.  Turns out Broadway was crowded on Saturday, however this crowd appeared to be more of a blue collar crowd, and I have nothing against blue collar folks.  But there was more looking than buying.  I ended up selling 1 magnet and 1 small church painting on Saturday, that was it.  Everything looked good in the booth, the weather was great and was making notes what to do differently to generate sales on Sunday.  So on Sunday, I made the prices much larger on my postcards and put the prices of my work on the frames.  Though I got the most attention on paintings like "Afterglow" and "Gateway to El Santuario", nothing sold on Sunday.  Plus there was a major hail storm around 1pm, made everyone leave.  When the skies cleared, most people came back.  Turned out there was a tornado nearby.  Fortunately, nothing got damaged, just some blankets on the ground got soaked, there was a river literally running through my booth because I was parked by a gutter.  I got to meet several cool artists locally and learned much about myself and my work at this festival.  It was the most grueling, physical art fair I attended to.  On the way back to Santa Fe, I took a detour and stopped at the Great Sand Dunes near Almosa, CO, I've never been to this sand dunes.  Then I decided to climb it, it's part of my nature to challenge myself, and wanted to see if I could reach the top.  After an hour, with dehydration and Rocky music in my head, I managed to scrap and claw my way to the top.  I had a great view of the mountains and valley below me at 13,000 feet.  I'll have to go back to this big sandbox one day.  Lastly, I stopped at Ojo Caliente pools, which was a great way to end the trip, I needed to soak in the natural springs and relax. An hour later, I was finally home.  I plan not to drive today, unwinding sounds better.  Sure I wish I made more sales, but I've seen first hand what the economy could do.  It's not good for artists.  I have to try different things to accomplish my goals.  Failure can be a good thing, but for now I'm tired and disappointed.  How to bounce back is up to me.

Josh's Booth 6:09
My booth at the People's Fair, Denver

Great Dunes, CO
Great Dunes, Almosa, CO

Great Dunes
I reached the top of the dunes, still alive!

When will the sun come out?

 

Jemez Afternoon 1

It’s been a cold, rainy Memorial Day weekend and I was at the Loretto for a couple of hours yesterday before it started raining.  There were only a couple of other vendors besides me, and I had a feeling it was going to be a short day.  Today is raining as well.  I had huge expectations of this weekend, though tomorrow is suppose to be 72 and partly sunny with a chance of rain.  I should be out tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I’m starting to pick which paintings will be in the Denver show, and what kind of frames, what placement the paintings will be in.  I’ll have to get some rustic frames which will complement my work nicely.  I plan to go take the high road to Taos on Tues to paint a series of work, it will last all day and I’ll paint mostly small oil studies.  I might paint two 10×20 paintings on location, my sunrise/sunset paintings, and I’ll even do a large centerpiece, I was thinking a church in Chimayo, NM.  So today is a day of planning.  I also got new business cards from Moo.com called “Minicards”  It’s half the size of original business cards with different photos on each card, they’re very different, but I like it a lot.  In fact, I redesigned my website to complement the cards.  I know where my booth is at the People’s Fair in Denver, it’s on Broadway, booth #36.  It’s on the outskirts, but it’s near an ATM and closest to the capitol building, so I’m pleased about that.  More to come…