“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” I can’t believe how fast the couple of few months have flown by! I’ve been so busy in my studio just trying to stay on top of making enough artworks to be shown in all my recent shows. Here they are in order of appearance…
The Christmas Artisan Market, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga (Nov. 23 & 24)
This was a joint venture between Visual Arts Mississauga, Culture Division at the City of Mississauga, Potters Guild, Art in the Yard, and Living Arts Centre Resident Artists. It was a beautiful space, very bright and modern. There was live music playing (the cello sounded lovely) and being close to Christmas, people were in a shopping mood.
Again, my art pendants (made from upcycled scrabble tiles and mini-dominos) were my biggest hit – the perfect little unique gift for someone special. I also sold several of my smaller ‘mini’ encaustic paintings as well.
With these types of art fairs, I find it’s very helpful to sell different types items at a sliding scale of ‘price-points.’ While people are trying to decide which pendant to buy, they are drawn in closer to look at my encaustic mosaics in more detail.
This was the first time that I used the new ‘Square’ dongle with iPhone app. Square was recently introduced to Canada, and several of the vendors were trying it out for the first time. When it worked, it worked great. But, since the technology relied on getting a good cellphone signal, it was a bit problematic with being surrounded by concrete – I kept losing the signal and the credit card processing would time out – very frustrating! Luckily, there was an ATM on site, so ‘cash is king’ as usual.
Best of all, I was fortunate to get my first commission (Hurray!) for one of my encaustic mosaics – to be custom-made in the vertical 12 x 28 inch format in blues, purples and sepia tones.
Art in the Workplace, 10th Exhibition, McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton (Nov. 19 to Mar. 07)
I had submitted three of my encaustic mosaics to McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) in the summer and was lucky to have all three pieces selected for the show. Ironically, just after the pieces were dropped at MIP, I had someone contact me who was interested in purchasing one of the pieces, “Thought & Memory – Sapphire”, which she had seen at my previous ‘Art in the Park‘ show. Now, I’ve placed it on hold until the show’s end – very exciting for me!
Opening night had a great turnout – I attended with my mom, Alida and my mother-in-law, Pat. This time, the art was on both floors of the Atrium – lots of 2D works (acrylic, oil, photography, watercolour) and some 3D works (stained glass, wood and stone sculptures).
My pieces have a great vantage point in the main area of the Atrium – you can see them from the upper balcony and it’s close to the elevator and main sitting area. I like my pieces since they can work on two visual levels: from a distance (abstract grid arrangement of colour) and up close with a ‘Where’s Waldo’ appeal (looking at the detail of a specific image).
It was great to be able to walk around and see all the other artists’ works. Amazing amount of variety! I also really enjoyed being able to chat with people about my art – mostly on my technique since people found it hard to believe that the mosaics were only created with encaustic paint (melted beeswax, damar resin & oil paint, with added glitter and gold leaf) on Terraskin and paper (matte photo paper coated with encaustic medium). The glitter and gold leaf really catch the light – very festive!
Fine Art Society of Milton’s First Open Annual Juried Art Show, Holcim Gallery, Milton (Dec. 5 to Jan. 5)
This was FASM’s first Juried Art Show, and they had selected two experienced jurors to judge the show: Dawn White Beatty and Eileen Menzel. On the day of selection, my mom was dropping off my artwork at the Holcim Gallery for me (it was my husband, Dave’s birthday and we were taking possession of our new cottage in Haliburton – a great birthday present). A bit of confusion ensued, as FASM couldn’t find my application – luckily, my mother insisted I had submitted the application (and called me at the cottage to confirm), so my piece, “Thought & Memory – Hematite” was accepted for judging.
Later that day, my mom called to say it had been accepted into the show (Yay!), so now I could attend opening night to find out the lucky winners. My kids arrived with Dave just as they were announcing the winners (two for 2D works, two for 3D works and one for Best in Show) – and while I had to tell my kids, ‘No, Mummy didn’t win a prize’, I felt privileged just to be included in the show as the calibre of works on display was extremely high.
I had a chance to discuss my encaustic mosaic artwork with the jurors, and they both said that my piece was in the definite ‘Yes’ pile to be included in the show. A good learning experience since presenting in a ‘crafty art’ show is very different then being in a ‘juried fine art’ show.
After I got home, I was putting my kids to bed and the phone rang – I let it go to voicemail, and then decided I should check it just in case. And surprise, surprise – it was someone who wanted to purchase my piece for her mother as a Christmas present! The next day, I made up a custom ‘gift certificate’ so she could give it to her mom under the Christmas tree. When the show ends in January, they can go and pick up their new art work – a very Merry Christmas for everyone!