First…A big heart-felt thank you to all who sent me their snail mail address for this year’s Sonoma County Art Trails catalog/guide! I heard from almost 30% of my newsletter list, which any marketer will tell you is a great response rate! I have less than 18 addresses to go to meet the requirement, so you were a huge help! Second…My first class here in California! Check it out!
So very last minute! I’m filling in for an artist who can’t participate.
Fortunately, as you who have visited my open studios know, I have plenty of stuff available to show. Like, a LOT. LIKE I COULD FILL THE WHOLE STORE (if they’d let me.) (But I don’t think that would be fair to Linda Sorenson.) (BTW, oddly, I also know a New Hampshire artist named Linda Sorenson. This confuses me sometimes.)
But I digress.
The opening reception is Friday, March 3, from 5-7.
Come on by, say ‘hey’, I’ll be there with bells on. (Okay, no bells, but maybe a ponytail?)
Third Friday Open Studios (THIS Friday!) at Fulton Crossing! 5-8pm
1200 River Road, just west of the intersection of Fulton and River Roads (hence, “Fulton Crossing”. Hence!) About half a mile WEST from Exit 494 off 101, on the south side of River RD.
If you haven’t been to Fulton Crossing lately (or never), you are in for a wonderful surprise!
I’m sharing a studio space with another artist. I have new jewelry, new small wall- and table-top framed shadow boxes, and more in process.
This large building complex has completely morphed into a spacious, light-filled art space. Three huge galleries feature the artwork of many area artists, and is also the new of of Becoming Independent. Over a dozen artists in nine studios create art ranging from paintings (landscapes, wildlife, still lifes, portraits), furniture, metal sculpture, art jewelry, art glass and ceramic work.
Fulton Crossing is a working metaphor, proof that not only does art transform lives, it transforms our exterior landscapes, too–literally!
Come visit us this Friday evening, from 5-8, for an art adventure. Bring your family! We’d love to see you! My little animal artifacts are child-friendly because, well, I have kids, too. And I know how important it is to show them what is possible in the world.
And if you miss us, the building is open to the public on weekends from 12-5, although fewer artists will be there.
So if you LOVE seeing artists in person, be there or be square! :^)
If you are in Sonoma County the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving, then you could come and see me at The Renegade Holiday Art Fair at the Duck, at 2371 Gravenstein Hwy., Nov. 27, 28, and 29, from noon to 4.
Everybody liked my standing bears, so I made more!
Well, not clean, but neat. Yes, I’m finally ready for my Open Studio today (because I just looked at the clock and it’s after midnight!) Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7 from 10-5.
If you haven’t been to my open studios in the past, I hope you’ll stop by. It’s pretty informal here. I sit around making stuff for people, or showing them how to make something, while other people poke around in all my drawers, admire all the bones, shells, stones, antlers, dolls, fabric and sticks.
If you’ve been here before, you know the drill. Wander, peek, open drawers, touch, talk, eat, drink, be merry, talk, laugh, talk some more.
I have work for sale, of course, but it’s okay to just hang out and have a nice time. Have some cider, or coffee or tea, and munchies. Ask for the secret chocolate drawer! (Carrying on a proud tradition–KRISTEN!!) Oh, and the wine comes out when it’s 5:00 somewhere in the world! :^D
My artist friend Nicole is in her camper, parked on my lawn, with her work on display, too. And she's making cookies!!!
Just a quick announcement about the next opportunity for you to see my work…..
I’m part of the Fall Foliage Open Studio Tour (affectionately known as the FFAST tour), aptly named because it takes place during some of the most beautiful days here in New England. On Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7, I will open my studio to the public–YOU, dear reader.
There are two preview shows for this tour. One just finished up at the Jaffrey Civic Center in Jaffrey NH.
The other will run through the month of October at The Works Bakery on Main Street in Keene, NH.
You can see peeks of my studio here. And see more details about the FFAST tour here.
And now I have to find my vacuum cleaner and dust cloths. And find a place to stash my 250 old wood boxes for my new series I’m working on. And make it look like I actually did use the dust cloths in here…!!!
So….Why should you visit an artist’s open studio?
Well….Years ago, it was how I found out I was an actual artist.
I stuck my head inside the door to ask a new housemate something. To my amazement, he had the same vast collection of beach pebbles, small animal bones, acorns, interesting sticks, sea shells, sea glass, bird’s nests, squashed rusty metal objects and other little doodads as I did.
He was a “real artist”–enrolled in art school, making cool stuff, etc. It slowly dawned on me…. maybe I wasn’t “crazy acorn-hoarding squirrel person”. Maybe….I was an artist, too! An artist-in-waiting, perhaps. An artist who hadn’t actually honored and made room for her creative spirit–yet. But an artist all the same.
It was the beginning of an incredible journey. And I’ve never forgotten that first moment, that shock of recognition, that foreshadowing of what I was supposed to do in this world.
Other reasons to visit an artist’s studio:
A chance to talk with someone who makes stuff.
A chance to snoop through drawers and bins and shelves. (You cannot believe all the drawers, bins and shelves I have in here, and what they hold.)
The opportunity to see work I can’t display or sell at the League of NH Craftsmen shops and Fair. (Hint: It involves PEARLS and semi-precious stones!)
The opportunity to watch me make stuff.
The chance to buy really cool stuff. Like jewelry, and wall art, and sculptures, maybe even a handmade print or two.
Wine and crackers and cheese. And maybe chocolate. Oh, and more wine. Cold cider. Or hot cider, depends on the day’s weather. Did I mention the wine?
And who knows? Maybe, as you exclaim (with astonishment, or dismay) at my immense collection of pebbles, sea glass, driftwood, elk antlers, moose antlers and deer antlers, buttons, bird’s nests and such, you, too, will have that same flash of insight….
Okay, I’ve dished out life learning lessons, advice and shared information on this blog for over a decade now.
And now I need your advice and suggestions.
I have a friend who needs $3,000.
Now wait–I’m not asking you for money, okay?
I’m asking for you to help me brainstorm a way to help her get that money. (Sorry–robbing a bank is out.)
My friend is a good person. She lives alone, in a room, in isolation (to do her work), doing translating work that supports and empowers indigenous people on another continent, people who want their land back from a government that has taken it away from them and destroyed it. (Think ‘Native American’ in another country, and in this century.) She works in hand with an ecumenical council in that country, translating their documents to make their work more available on their website and in their proceedings, and at the U.N. (Yes, THAT U.N.) She actually taught herself Portuguese to do this work.
She lives very low on the food chain.
She gets by on…get this…$6,000 a year. She has subsidized housing (the aforementioned room) and lives on food stamps. Her wants are few, she never asks for help and she is the most frugal person I know.
Half her income comes from a religious group who have supported her work for the last few years. This year, they said her work “…no longer meets their criteria” for doing good in the world, and turned down her grant proposal.
She did not ask me for help. She simply told me she is frightened, and this was totally unexpected. She is grateful that I’ve offered to help. I asked her if it would embarrass her, for me to write this. “No, not at all!” she exclaimed. “I’m so unfamiliar with how to think about this. I’d love to hear what other people say.”
So my questions for you today are these:
How can I help her get $3,000?
A jewelry raffle, with the proceeds going to her? Host a bake sale? Have her write an e-book on the work she is doing, and try to sell it? Sell stuff on Etsy or Craigslist and give her the money? Have a car wash??? (Remember we got a foot of snow here a few days ago.) :^D Ask three or four people who might be able to afford it, to write her a check? (I could just give her some of the money, but not all.)
Do any of you have any experience fund-raising for a person or a cause? What’s worked? What blew up in your face? How would you go about it, if it were a friend of yours?
This weekend is my last official Open Studio (unless people twist my arm about having one closer to Christmas.)
I’m part of the NH OPEN DOORS, a trail of sights, sites, bites and sound across New Hampshire.
I’ll be here Saturday and Sunder, November 5 & 6, from 10 to 5ish. If the lights are on in my studio, so am I.
If you haven’t seen them yet, I’ve posted new pics of my studio on Facebook, I’ve made an announcement on my website under ‘Events’ and I’ll be sending an email blast tonight or tomorrow.
And guess what I’m doing tonight?
Yep, you guessed it….
Cleaning the effin’ studio!!!
Sorry for the strong language, folks, but my gosh, how did it get so messy in here so quickly again?? Gremlins? Dust bunnies? No kids at home anymore, so I can’t blame them….
I know! I’ll blame the latest foster potcake puppy, Inca! He looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, but you can just see how mischievous he looks. And best of all, he can’t type to refute me if I pass the blame onto him.
The birds are back in my studio for the winter, so in addition to Bunster, a cat or two, and maybe the puppy and/or Tuck, you can listen to little birds screaming like tiny 2-year-old chimpanzees. Unless you feed them a cookie or two.
As always, light refreshments and beverages, good company, lots of interesting stuff to look at and pretty things to purchase. Start a wish list for Christmas, or treat yourself to your own present. Come by and hang out and tell me how you’re doing.
And if you see some dust or some beads on the floor, please just don’t say anything, okay?
271 Roxbury ST in Keene NH
1/2 mile east from the downtown Central Square in Keene.
(It’s West ST to the west, Roxbury ST to the east)
Big tall skinny long white house with a great big red barn in back. Come on down to the barn, that’s where we’ll be.
I’ll be here with my good friend and talented colored pencil artist Nicole Caulfield. Below, you can see one of the drawings she was working on at last year’s event. Did I say she was talented? She is talented! She’ll be back with more of her beautiful work.
Yep, Nicole bakes cookies and draws and I…..I clean the studio. In fact, I may still be cleaning when you get here. (But don’t worry, I won’t ask you to help.)
We’ll have light refreshments (see cookies above). You can hang out, peek in drawers, watch Nicole work, watch me make earrings, eat, drink, and oh yes, buy stuff!
See Nicole’s wonderful art! See my award-winning mixed media necklace! See pearl jewelry, button jewelry, horse and bear and bird and otter and dog jewelry! See artistic mess! (It’s sooooo much more interesting than boring old house mess.)
We hope you can join us, but if not, would you please pass this on to a friend you think might enjoy this? After all–Autumn in New England, nice people, great art, wonderful jewelry, cookies and a bunny–what more could you ask for?!
Continuing my series for Fine Art Views on using story hooks in your publicity and self-promotion…
I just figured out how to republish my Fine Art Views articles here! Duh…..
Tell Me a Story: Proximity
by Luann Udell
In short, the world is a pretty big place. But it’s still made up of countless communities. These days, our communities are far more than just the people who live near us. Take another look at yours. See if there’s a group who’d love to hear more about what you’re up to. […]
This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).
Another announcement. Boy, I’m full of ’em today….
I’ll be leading a writing workshop during the month of February at Home Health Care and Community Services here in Keene NH. This is part of their bereavement support program. We’ll be meeting Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Feb. 2 through Feb. 23.
We’ll explore ways to explore our thoughts, feelings and memories through writing and poetry. The structure is flexible, and no prior writing experience is necessary.
This workshop is appropriate for anyone who is struggling with grief–loss of a loved one; divorce; loss of a pet or companion; a life-changing event.
Help me stamp out boring, pretentious artist statements!
Let’s connect your audience to the real story behind your art!
On Thursday, February 17, 2011 I’ll be teaching a workshop on creating a powerful artist statement:
“Unlocking Your Story: The Artist’s Meaningful Message”
This is a hands-on workshop. We’ll look at a few samples of powerful artist statements, and get right down to work. We’ll do some fun exercises to get the pens rolling. Then small group work to help you get the feedback you need to uncover your own unique and powerful story. I’ll demonstrate a technique for digging even deeper, using the power of being a witness to the heart’s work. Sounds very mysterious, but I guarantee you will leave with the tools you need to connect your art more deeply with your audience, whether that’s music, writing, craft or fine art.
The workshop will run from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Sharon Arts Exhibition Gallery, on Depot Square in Peterborough, NH. You can read more about the class at the Sharon Arts Center’s website here. (My workshop is on page 6.) Or call them SOON at 603-924-7256 to register.
The class is $40 for SAC members, $55 for non-members. Bring samples of artist statements you like, your current artist statement, and materials for taking notes. Actually, all you REALLY need to bring is the note-taking stuff–paper/notebook, and a pen you like to write with. Oh, and a sense of humor and a temporary suspension of belief. Cookies, too, if you got ’em.
Please–sign up NOW! Some financial assistance may be available if you need it. Even if you can’t make it, please help me spread the word, okay? One of my life goals is to rid the world of boring and pompous artist statements. Let’s find the audience who will love your artwork, and your story.
I’ll be at the Sharon Arts Center in downtown Peterborough today, for my very first trunk show.
All my stuff is packed in….suitcases! I don’t have any real trunks, but I have a wonderful collection of small vintage suitcases. I don’t know why I like them so much. Maybe I want to be able to leave in a hurry.
I think I’m done packing and I think I’ll be there around 11 to set up. For Mother’s Day, I’ll be demonstrating simple wire-working techniques–balling up sterling silver wire to make head pins, wrapping pearls and semi-precious stones, etc. to make simple necklaces for Mom (and nicely priced at under $25 too!)
I’ll also have samples of my artifacts and tons of my animal jewelry. Artfully arranged in….trunks! Er…small suitcases. And examples of books and magazines my work has appeared in.
No, I am not bringing Bunster. Something tells me she would wreak havoc in Peterborough…..
Wonderful news! In addition to my column at THE CRAFTS REPORT magazine (scroll down to my regular column, “Craft Matters”), I have a new writing gig!
I’ve just accepted a position as a regular contributing writer for the Fine Art Views Newsletter, a newsletter with almost 11,000 readers.
It’s a free daily newsletter packed full of tips for making, marketing, exhibiting, teaching and selling your art.
They’ve reprinted several of my articles in the past, such as this one on LEAVING YOUR TRIBE. Now I’ll be contributing on a regular basis–every other Thursday to start, perhaps more often if I get organized. (Don’t get your hopes up, but then, anything can happen….)
I’ll be sure to post a link to their newsletter when they run my stuff. Be sure to add lots of comments about how wonderful I am how helpful you find my articles. If I have to resort to bribery, I will.
Just in case you’re my mom (which you aren’t, because my parents have never been online. NEVER.) DO NOT call me and ask me if I’m lying dead in a ditch somewhere. A call which always came at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings when I was in college, following a period where I had been incommunicado too long, and which always baffled me, because this was way, way before cell phones and so if I actually ANSWERED the phone, how could I be dead in a ditch somewhere??
I digress…. Because I HAVE been incommunicado. I have a good reason:
I’m getting ready for another open studio this weekend. And you’re invited!
In some ways, I’m on top of this one. The studio didn’t get too, too messy since my last one, there was a lot of publicity because it’s part of the NH Open Doors Tour, and I’m not driving myself crazy about preparations. For example, I’m not going to vacuum again unless the dog barfs. (Keeping my fingers crossed here….)
But in other ways, I’m behind–as always. I didn’t do any personal promotion–no postcards mailed out to my customers. (I’m kicking myself here.) I decided to redo all my signage. Even though there’s not a year’s mess in here, there’s still a mess.
And I’m adding my usual personal anxiety to the mix. I once had a party where only one person showed up. It was traumatic. She was a very nice person, and we did do damage to a bottle of tequila (which promptly did damage to me, which is why I never drink tequila anymore, but that’s a story for another day.) But I still enter each entertainment venture with a sinking feeling that says, “And what if nobody comes this time, either??”
So help me not support my therapist single-handedly. Come to my Open Studio this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7 & 8, from 10-5, or pass the word on to someone you think would enjoy it. Tell them what you want for Christmas (if I happen to make something you’d want for Christmas) and tell them it’s only available here. This weekend.
And we will be BFF. Especially if you are the only person who comes.
P.S. Full disclosure: To be fair, at the time of that party, I was living in a 10’x10′ room in a rooming house. I think everyone was afraid we were going to stay there.
P.P.S. And I kinda forgot to tell everybody til the last minute. Which is why I probably deserve to have slow open studios, since history is repeating itself here…..
When we go in the car, our puppy Tuck rides in the back seat, preferably on the floor. He immediately would scrunch under the driver’s seat, which we thought was cute. “Oh, look!” I’d say, “He’s trying to get closer to us without actually getting in front!” (Which isn’t allowed.)
Two days ago, my “air bag” warning light came on. I took it in to the Subaru dealer today.
The service manager called me back a few minutes ago with an odd questions.
“Do you have a dog?” he asked.
“Yep”, I replied. How did he know??
“Is it a small dog?” he asked.
Wow, I thought, this guy is amazing! “Yes, he’s a puppy.”
Then I thought, did Tuck poop in the car??
Nope. Much worse. And much more expensive.
Turns out our little Tuck chewed through the air bag harness which is located…..under the driver’s seat. It will take at least four days for a new one to be sent, and it will cost $545 for the harness and it will take 2-3 hours of labor.
So here is my public service announcement: Do not let your darling little puppy-or-small-dog crawl under the car seats.
Because in addition to the candy wrappers/empty pop cans/gas receipts/other assorted trash, there is evidently a pricey little part under there that dogs just love to chew.
That, or Tuck is actually a gold-digging puppy who hoped to inherit our estate after we were killed in a car crash.
The first was Jeff Baird, an amazing photographer who is responsible for all the lovely images you ever see of my work. But in the ten years he shot my work, he became more than my photographer–he became my friend, as he did with many of the artists he worked with.
Jeff was well-known in Vermont for many other outstanding things he did, and there are many aspects of his life I knew nothing about til after he died.
But I will always remember that funny, sarcastic, straight-up guy who loved the Beatles, loved his family, loved kids, kept his friends grounded, and took great pride in helping many, many artists and craftspeople to achieve success by showing their work in the best possible light–literally and figuratively
The other friend was a fellow artist in the League of NH Craftsmen, Donna (Hiromura) Saydek. Donna served on many critical committees for the League, including the Board of Trustees and Fair Committee (where I saw her most.) She also coordinated The Next Generation tent at the League’s annual fair, where children of craftspeople could display, market and sell their own work. When my children participated, I got to see first hand how excellent Donna was with these budding craftspeople. She was patient, calm, encouraging yet firm. And she never lost sight of this fact: The Next Generation was the kids’ opportunity, not just for sales, but for personal growth. She made room for that to happen in countless ways.
Jeff and Donna were both surrounded by family and friends who did everything they could to make those last days as comfortable and happy as possible. Both were surrounded by love….
Two good people are gone, and I will miss them terribly.