Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pencil Portrait of Parents/Grandparents

I finished the commission for Nancy tonight! Just in time for Christmas! In fact a few days early.  It took me nine working days and about 17 hours to complete (I kept track for the first time).  This is the second piece Nancy has commissioned from me.  Last year for Christmas I drew her daughters.  This year she asked me to draw her parents. She sent me four different pictures in the mail, with requests that her mother's glasses be clear, and perhaps take off a few wrinkles. 
I did my best to compose a good picture from the ones she gave me, doing a little editing on the computer using Gimp. I, however, did not want her mother to be as washed out as she is in the picture I ended up using for the composition.  Flash is such a nasty thing and doesn't make for great portraits - drawn or not!  So, I used the other pictures to help me fill in the blanks some.  I hope her mom looks like her mother.  I think her dad turned out excellent though! 
But, what do you think?  Do you think I did a good job?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kids Art Coming to Life!

One of my friends recently and randomly posted this link on his Facebook wall.  Artist Dave Devries took children's artwork and then projected the image onto his canvas, faithfully tracing all the lines and then rendered them realistically.  I think his renditions are so great!  His collaboration of photos, paintings, and interviews have been compiled into a book called "The Monster Engine."

Here's some of what he's done:
 
Check out more about his project and art at his website: TheMonsterEngine.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Updated Heritage Art

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to update this piece I did in high school for my old roommate.
I have been happily working on it and think it's looks much better!  I made the watercolor background and sea more bold, and also more consistent.  I added color (using colored pencil) to the borders of the map, retraced the ink, and touched up the charcoal boat.  I also added a sea serpent and a compass to the map. 

I think all of these details really help bring the piece to life. I really like it now and am happy to sell it to my friend. But, what do you think?

Friday, November 18, 2011

A New Commission

My friend Nancy again wants to hire out my skills!  This year for Christmas she wants a drawing of her parents. How sweet!  I am excited to work on it and excited to do something for her again. She's also interested in making prints of it to give to her siblings, another awesome gift idea. (and again I need to figure out this "print" thing.) 

I have about a month to complete the drawing, so let's hope my life settles down a little bit more so I can devote more time to art.  I'm excited!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Kid Could Paint That: Documentary on Marla Olmstead

As I was browsing the DVD shelves at the library the other day I cam across the movie "My Kid Could Paint That" a film documentary about the little girl Marla Olmstead who paints abstract paintings and became really famous back in 2004-2005, especially with her 60 minute spotlight which put the authenticity of her paintings into the spotlight.
I remember talking about this little girl in a few of my art classes in college, specifically in my Art Criticism class. We talked about her because that class is all about "What defines art?  What is art?"  and all that goes along with those questions.

This little girl sold several pieces for thousands upon thousands of dollars by the time she was 5!  Does this child really create works of art worth more than many other professional contemporary artists are fetching?

While this movie was not about the art world (which is what I originally thought this movie was about) it does make you think.  The movie is really about whether or not you really believe this little girl did all of her paintings by herself or if her dad's coaching was more than "coaching."  I have to admit I am skeptical.  Some pieces just seemed too balanced, the texture too uniform, the ideas too complete for an innocent pre-schooler to put together.  Plus, I get the feeling from the video that the dad is lying?

Here's a little glimspe into the video and Marla:
They have recorded Marla completing two different paintings on film, one that was featured on 60 Minutes, the other by her father at home.  Here is the latter one:
It certainly looks like a painting done by a 4 year old right? And so do several of her other works like these:
But some are just too nice it makes us begin to question if they were really done by a 2-5 year old girl.  Of course if they are indeed what they claim to be, they are awesome! So, take a look:


Remind you of Jackson Pollock in that one^? Or is that just me?


Don't they look pretty awesome?  I mean they revel some great abstract painters of the past and present, like Pollock, Monet!  The color choices seem direct, well thought out, planned.  The patterns intentional and planned from the beginning (this one will be smudges, this one splashes of paint).  The last one is very impressive with its precise repeated pattern.

If Marla did make all of these completely by herself, it is impressive.  Makes me think we should give all children abundant painting supplies and pre-stretched canvases and see what they can create when they are uninhibited.  I do think that we stifle kids creativity too much with boundaries and limiting assignments.  I love that because she is so young when she began that she would not have those inhibitions that even slightly older kids begin to have, often trying to please someone, i.e. a parent, friend or teacher.

Also, if she did in fact make these pieces, what does it say about those currently creating abstract art as professional painters?  This is the question I really wished the documentary would have addressed more thoroughly.  Does the fact that a little girl can create and sell works at par with a professional artist lessen the work of thousands of artists practicing today?  Or is art just art and who created it of no consequence?  I believe the artist behind the piece is very important (see my post on Jackson Pollock if you don't believe me).  Also, Michael Kimmelman gives a great lesson on modern art and contemporary art that is easy for everyone to understand and isn't so elitist about today's art, which I appreciate.  It's in the bonus features. 

One of the things brought up in the video (in the bonus features) which I think is important, is that Marla was not making her own canvases.  She was not deciding to do a triptych. She was not deciding how big it should be or any of the dimensions.  She may not have even selected her own paint colors or brand of paints, or what brushes or other tools she used.  These things are important to art because of the implied intentions.  While small, it does make a difference.  She cannot engage her patrons with talk about her artwork adequately (or at all!).  She most likely has help naming them too.  Her father has at time even coached her (though I was "coached" frequently as a student in college, but I was still a student, not a professional artist) on where/how to paint.  

I guess I bring up these questions to ask if she really is an artist?  Or is she really just a little girl painting?  Pretty much every working artist has a reason behind their work.  A point they want to emulate, often profound, deep, emotional.  A very young girl is naive, innocent, pure, uncomplicated.  I think seeking deeper meaning into Marla Olmstead's works will have to come solely from the viewer.  It is happy circumstance or her mood that day that made things appear the way they do in the final piece.  Perhaps as she ages and continue to paint we can find more meaning and intention behind her work.

I really enjoyed watching this documentary and encourage others to watch it. It is very interesting.  Plus, Marla is such a cute little girl!  But, please tell me what you think about all this?
   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Finding out how to make a print from my art

One of my old roommates contacted me about buying a print of one of pieces!  It's great news!  She really wants a piece I did way back in high school that I put up on my blog under the Paintings Tab.
This one: 
It's a good piece, but I didn't want to sell it to her as is. I did it in high school, and don't want my name on a piece of art I am not currently satisfied with, though I do like the concept behind the piece.  So, I am now in the process of making it better!  I am updating the watercolors and adding a little more detail overall. I guess I wouldn't feel right about selling a piece I did so long ago that I do not currently love.  I hope she'll be happy with my new touches.  I'll post a picture of it when I have it completely updated.

I think it's a pretty cool piece, personally, with an old map of the United States/Americas, a large charcoal ship coming to the Americas, and bright bold colors and details to draw you in.  The theme for the piece was "our heritage."  This piece symbolizes my pioneering ancestors. One of my direct ancestors came across on the Mayflower.  Many of my forebears settled new areas of the uncharted West (they were Mormons).  This piece is emphasizes my heritage. 
But, one problem I am running into is that she is interested in a print.  I don't know much about getting prints done from original pieces of art.  I would want to get a high quality print, or a giclee, I think.  They are supposed to be the highest quality print you can get today.  However, I don't know how to go about it!

I have begun searching the internet for different companies and their services and fees.  This website provided some good tips while comparing printers.  A company in Pennsylvania, Crimson Atelier, Inc, seems to have pretty reasonable printing costs, allows for small orders, will scan and proof an original piece at no additional cost, and will keep a proof on hand in case I want to order more.  It doesn't seem like too bad of deal.  The only big draw back is of course the upfront cost.  Will I actually be able to sell more than 5 prints to make up the cost of printing (assuming I charge 2-3 times cost) and make a profit?  Do you think this piece is something that several people would want to buy?

My friend is open to buying the original, but doesn't have a huge budget (she's my age after all) so she was interested in how much a print would cost, and so was I.  Though I may not actually make a print out of the final image, I may be interested in doing so in the future with other pieces of art that I have created or create in the future. 

If you are an artist, who have you used to make prints of your original artworks?  Any other things to consider?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Charcoal - Add and Subract Method

I wanted to share a little about the method I have been using to make most of my charcoal drawings lately.  It's an add and subtract sort of method.

First I print off the desired image from my computer as the size I want it.  Then I determine where I want the image to fall on my paper and measure accordingly.

Then I take masking tape, rip it to my desired length, and then de-stickafy it on my jeans, sweater, chair, blanket, whatever.  But before I stick it down against the border of my paper, I rip a piece of paper to the desired length and width, keeping one side mostly straight.  I then stick down the piece of tape right up to the border of my image, but place the paper under the majority of the tape so only a small line of sticky tape is touching the border of the image.

I do that to all four sides of the image.  I do this to help me keep clean edges.  I put the paper under the tape to protect the paper from being damaged.  It seems to work pretty well most of the time.  But, if there's better ways of doing this, I would love to know!

Once the border is in place, I shade in the entire area with a light charcoal layer and blend with my finger until even everywhere.  I then mark off inch-mark ticks on the tape and draw a very faint charcoal line connecting the marks to create a grid.  (I keep the lines light enough so that I can simply smear them out when I am done with the image).

After the grid is in place I often start just lightly drawing in the shape of the image.  I like to block most of it out before fleshing it out.  I usually measure the placement of the marks against the image I have printed and use my grid to make sure the image is as accurate as possible.
Once the shapes are mostly there I begin filling in the values.  I generally work left to right because I am right handed and don't want to smear my work, but I try to keep a piece of paper under my hand while I work too.  I like to flesh out an entire area with values and then move on to the next until most of it is complete, but sometimes jump around a lot.  Sometimes I also like to start by filling in the darkest values first.

Then after the values, I readjust if areas are too light or too dark.  To make an area white, I simply use my kneaded eraser and subtract the value. 

Lastly, I add in textures and other small details to make it complete.  Once complete, I sign it, take off the tape, clean up the edges if they need to be cleaned up, push down any damaged paper on the edges with a bone folder, and then spray with a fixative outside.

What is your favorite method when using charcoal?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dry Erase Board

I may not have a lot of time for art some times, so occasionally the art will show up like this:
A quick doodle of my family.  "Daddy" complains that he has "bloody" arms in the drawing.  Definitely not my best work, and has since been erased, but fun to add some art to my home and teach my children who's who. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Victor Martinez - Peruvian Watercolor Artist


Victor Martinez
            What inspires an artist?  Why does he devote his work to a certain subject matter, depicted in a certain style?  Often these questions rise first and foremost to an art viewer’s mind.  For Peruvian watercolor artist Victor Martinez, his inspiration comes from the native Andean people of Peru, his home country.  He loves how they are still attached to nature and have resisted cultural influences.  As he says, they are “people who unintentionally resist being absorbed by the huge process of civilization and who fully exercise their humanity. That is what I try to convey in my work: their simplicity, their direct contact with nature, the peculiar clothes, attractive and full of color, of women whose faces still show candor and joy.”  He realistically and sensitively paints these Andean people and their landscapes and seascapes.
            Victor Martinez was born in 1932 and grew up in Arequipa, Peru and learned about art at a very young age from his artistic father, Victor Martínez Málaga, creator and founder of the Carlos Bacaflor School of Art of Arequipa, Peru.  His father was an oil painter and taught Victor in his realistic, traditional style, always teaching him what an artist’s work is.  He adopted his father’s dream of a loyal and academic road to truth and reality in art.
            Victor Martinez began his formal education at the Regional School of Fine Arts, and then moved to Lima, Peru, where he took advanced courses at the National School of Fine Arts.  Following his formal education however, he dedicated his time to graphic design and illustration until 1987, at the age of 55, when he returned to his first love, fine art.  Annual trips to California continued to advance his career.  He eventually permanently moved to the United States in 1998.  He currently lives and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, traveling each year to different parts of North and South America with his wife Gladys, who he’s been married to for thirty-seven years.
Victor Martinez is a self-taught watercolor artist.  He paints solely with Winsor and Newton watercolors, which he believes has a wider range of higher concentrated pigments, and he does not paint with white.  He paints on unstretched Arches Cold Press paper in at least 300 pound weight with Princeton and Richeson brand brushes.  He paints standing up, with his easel at a 90-degree angle, and tries to complete his paintings in one session.  He paints in a very systematic way, always working in the same pattern of first doing a detailed drawing, then doing the background, painting the face, the costume, and finishes with the hands and feet.  He uses photographic reference materials that he takes on his yearly trips to Peru to make his paintings.  He also employs the use of mirrors, to see his work inverted, and a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.
He paints in a realistic manner because that is what he was taught since he was young.  Even with the different trends of modern art movements, he never tried to vary the way he expressed himself.  He paints that which attracts him: images showing man deprived from superfluous appearances, man in his daily work, living his life as he must live it, exercising his reason to be alive.  He also paints the place in which that man lives.  He finds that there is still yet something that he has not yet painted.  He believes he is generating a body of work that for many reasons he had postponed, but feels great satisfaction to what he does, and that it constitutes his reason for living.
His high artistic quality, subject matter, and medium have made him internationally renowned.  His paintings have been shown in numerous museums and are part of private collections in North and South America, as well as Europe.  His watercolors have earned him professional national awards in the United States, including the “Best of Show” at the 20th anniversary international exhibition of the San Diego Watercolor Society in 2000, as well as the most prestigious award in his hometown, El Diploma de la Ciudad de Arequipa a la Labor Artística.  His works have also been featured in popular art magazines such as New Art International (Jan 1998), International Artist Magazine (June/July 1999), Watercolor Magazine (Fall 1999), Splash 6 (Jan 2000), Southwest Art Magazine (April 2000), Artist’s Magazine (December 2000, February 2006), American Artist Magazine (October 2004), and Watercolor Magic Magazine (June 2006).  He is also in major collections including the Banco del Sur in Peru, and is collected by several Mobil Oil executives and a United States ambassador to Peru.
As well as painting, he also teaches private watercolor lessons from his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He has made some videos and often talks about and shares his watercolor techniques with others.  He feels a great satisfaction when others gain an appreciation for watercolors. 
While some artist’s inspiration and reasoning behind their works remain a mystery, Victor Martinez’s art is easy to see and appreciate.  He says that to him, “capturing people and their environment in watercolor paintings is an irresistible challenge. Each time I pick up the brush I'm faced with a new adventure, and that's what provides the satisfaction that inspires me to keep on painting.”  It is great that he keeps on painting these masterpieces for everyone to enjoy.
Bibliography


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mary Henderson - Mirror, Mirror: Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive Self.


Note from the author: I wrote this in college for an advanced art history course.  I have cited my references and hope you will always do the same.  Copyright infringement is NOT good.  If you click on the images it will take you to the website I took them from.  Also, please do not use this as your own paper.  Cheating is NOT good. Thank you.

November 19, 2009
Mary Henderson
by Katelyn Fagan
            Currently in Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art is the exhibit Mirror, Mirror: Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive Self.  It deals with modern portraiture and self identity in the world today.  It features a broad range of mediums and artists, one of them being Mary Henderson.   Her works are small oil paintings of digital images she finds on photo sharing websites that she crops and edits.  She paints them in a manner of historical painting and portraiture, like those of Ingres and David, but the figures are more modest, casual, and contemporary.  They are ordinary people. 
            History is experienced today (in the digital age) through digital sources and images, increasingly blurring private and public experiences.  We see digital images on websites of foreign countries and their wars, while at the same time can find digital images and information from these same countries on public sharing websites, like blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Twitter, though from its ordinary citizens.  Mary Henderson became especially intrigued in this paradigm when her brother was serving as a Commander in the U.S. Navy in Iraq from February to August 2007.  She would search these public websites for pictures and news about her brother.  She really liked how ordinary people, like her brother, find themselves caught up in our current historical moment (the Iraq War).   She became fascinated with pictures depicting soldiers in uniform but not in combat settings.  She loved the different emotions and expressions you could see on their faces, from boredom to bravado and fear.  She likes to focus on the inward and profound experiences of individuals.

          Henderson’s work is photorealistic and her paintings are not very large.  She merges photographic qualities and historical painting qualities together to make a commentary on how we are experiencing history today.  She often depicts soldiers and military personnel, though not in combat settings.  Other works are often young adults at sporting events or people doing common everyday things.  The merging of styles draws you into her paintings; because you feel like you’ve seen these images before, multiple times, yet here they are in a gallery, hung up on the wall.  You can almost replace the faces of the people portrayed with people you know, or at least can image others in their place.  Often the people are smiling or showing a definite emotion on their face.  It humanizes them, makes them ordinary and common, like the viewer in the gallery.  By painting these images, she makes them more public, permanent, and aesthetically pertinent. 
            Henderson has created a unique new form of portraiture in the art world.  With her realism harking back decades, she adds an added dimension by capturing ordinary individuals, found in images off the Internet.  It adds historical value to simple things people are doing every day, living their lives, and how they are using media to share it with others.  With everything becoming more and more digital, it makes you wonder what physical evidence will be left behind for future generations of individuals, communities, and nations. What would happen if a person’s computer crashed, the Internet would stop working, or a website was deleted?  Would there be enough evidence left behind to prove a person lived, what they did, and what they looked like?  Also, it puts into question identity and privacy.  With images and information readily available on the internet on almost any individual, where is the sense of privacy?  Are a person and their experiences really unique?    Henderson has created a dialogue about these questions with her pieces and has done so in a very aesthetically pleasing and artistic way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Critical Analysis - Canadida Hofer's Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco Venezia

Note from the author: I wrote this in college for an art criticism class.  I have cited my references and hope you will always do that same.  Copyright infringement is NO good.  If you click on the images it will take you to the website I took them from.  Also, please do not use this as your own paper.  Cheating is NO good.
Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco Venezia
            Candida Höfer’s five by seven foot photograph Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco Venezia captures much more than a spectacular shot of an ornate guild hall.  As part of her exhibit Architecture of Absense, this present day museum is empty, allowing the viewer to take in the design and sculpture of the surrounding walls as well as the emptiness of the space.  With grand, rich details this hall makes a statement about the classics.  Jacopo Tintoretto, Vecellio Tiziano, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, famous Venetian painters, created the magnificent frescoes that cover the walls.  The marble colonnades and architectural detail date back to early Greek influences.  Through the art’s religious, historical, and artistic qualities, Höfer’s photograph compels the viewer into action.
            Tintoretto, the main artist, completed more than fifty religious frescoes in the hall, hoping to create a spiritual and beautiful touch to the Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco Venezia, or Confraternity of St. Roch.  The confraternity was a lay brotherhood of worship and charity.  Tintoretto, having worked on the frescoes for more than twenty years, provided the confraternity with publicity.  Soon, the confraternity became a shrine to the artist and continues to be unto this day.  Tourists travel to this place to admire Tintoretto’s work and remember the brotherhood who once served in the confraternity.  Value is laid on history and setting of the artwork.  But, perhaps of more importance, is the message trying to be displayed.
When Tintoretto created his frescoes, they were religious in nature.  For centuries frescoes, mosaics, and stain glass were created to inform the average person of religious matter because most could not read or did not possess their own bible.  Portrayed subjects would include the creation of Adam and Eve, biblical stories, the Madonna (or Mary, the mother of Jesus), Jesus’ life and ministry, and also saints of the church.  The artwork’s intent was to educate and create a spiritual connection to the viewer.
            Captured in Höfer’s photograph is the message of worship.  The artwork is religious and leaves a religious, spiritual feeling.  But the grandeur of the artwork receives more focus than the other religious aspects.  The lines of the photographs—created by the walls, ceiling, and floor—point to the central statue of Christ on the cross.  But, unlike the illiterate public of the past, modern people know about Christ and other religious stories.  The artwork does not inform in today’s world; it simply relates the viewer to the time of the artists and their skill. The rich details, humanistic portrayals, and Roman and Greek influences emphasize beauty and idealism.
            Greek influence is definitely prevalent in the Parthenon architectural columns on the back wall.  They also serve as frames for other works of art but they are art themselves.  The tall columns emphasize the power and dominance of Greek culture.  It is Greek culture that all of Western civilization is based.  Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Medieval, and Baroque periods all learned from Greek philosophy, literature, and art.  Ancient Greece formed the foundation for which all of the following civilizations were built upon.  The three separate columns could represent the trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost.  The sculpture in the center of columns also appears to emerging from within the columns in agreement with emerging from Greece. 
            The modern items in the room like the lights and chairs do not distract from the richness of the room but add to its message.  There are two different lighting fixtures in the room.  One set of fixtures are in the Gothic tradition.  They are caged luminescence shapes.  They look like lanterns and aid the viewer’s eye to the room’s details.  They seem to blend into the background and become part of the architecture.  However, the other set of light fixtures are more modern.  They are bowls of up-cast light that can be viewed as the dishes that once contained the Olympic fire, an event dating back to Ancient Greece.  These lights also aid the eye upward towards the detailed and ornate ceiling design.  The light on the back wall plays a huge role in highlighting the dramatic artwork behind it, giving it more motion and interest.  The viewer can’t help but be drawn to it.  The person depicted on the wall is reaching for the heavens.  It evokes a strong religious feeling.  The lights help reunite different times of Western history—Greek and Gothic—yet they work together to create a lighting aesthetic that draws one’s eyes upward to the art and heaven, emphasizing the artist’s intent.
            The chairs stand out the most in this historical room.  Though the red of the chairs echoes the red paint on the walls, the style of the chairs is what makes them distracting.  The chairs are simple movie director chairs.  They lack decoration and do not have a connection to the past.  So what do these chairs say about the room or the people who visit it?  Why place chairs there at all?  The museum did not place plushy, comfortable, period-aged chairs in this room for a reason.  The art is meant to be looked at closely and appreciatively.  One is not able to look at all the works around them correctly from sitting in a chair.  Different lighting and angles make a difference on how one perceives a piece of art.  Often it is necessary to take in the larger picture. 
Upon closer inspection of the chairs, you will find a backpack and even shadowed figures with crossed legs and books upon their knees.  These ghost-like people are sitting in this room full of wondrous artwork, design, and architecture.  They sit down to ponder the majesty of it all.  But, director’s chairs are not the most comfortable furniture to sit on for extended periods of time. The director’s chairs push the visitors into motion by their lack of comfort. These chairs are often used by movie directors, who make decisions based on their “vision” for the movie they are creating.  Like these directors, the viewers of the hall, who sit in these chairs, form their own decisions and opinions of the artwork based on their personal tastes.  The chairs, the one element that has least to do with the historical context of the room, are the one item that is pushing the viewer into the room, into the past.  This room is not a place to come, relax, and read a good book.  This is a museum, a monument to an incredible past, a past that has shaped our present civilization.  Should not the visitor come to the museum to connect with the past and to gain something from the experience?
            A little off to the left of the center of the photograph there is this ghost-like entity, perhaps representing a group of people who were once in that area looking at the wall but that have moved on.  But, maybe the entity represents the spirits of all who have worked so hard to create art, sculpture, architecture, and a civil society.  The effects they had are still living on and touching the lives of modern day people.  It could be related to the spirit of Elijah.  It turns the hearts of the people to their forefathers, the founders of Western Civilization. 
            Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco Venezia by Candida Höfer is an excellent portrayal of the grand past.  Though her use of lines and light she creates a vibrant feel to the room.  Aspects within it—modern lights and chairs—add to the movement.  The uncomfortable chairs make the visitors rise to their feet and look around and the light makes the eye travel heavenward.  The people, who are vaguely viewed in the photo, are misty and ghost-like.  The room, though old and historic, lives and breathes never leaving a person the same.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Penrod Arts Fair 2011 - Indianapolis

Yesterday I had the great fortune of attending the Penrod Arts Fair at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA).  It was my first time at both an Arts Fair and the IMA.  I went with my mother-in-law, her friend, and her friend's daughter who I met for the first time, though I felt I already knew her because I had stared at her face for hours drawing her picture.

Attending an art fair was a great experience for me, despite my frugality, absence of personal style, and general dislike of "arts & crafts" type objects.

There were people of all ages from newborn to aged great-grandmother in attendance.  It was a very fun atmosphere.  No one was in a rush, people were polite to one another, courteous, and friendly.  It had a very nice community feel.

The park/grounds that the festivals are held at are beautiful!  There are so many trees, walking paths, and flowers/gardens.  It turned into a gorgeous day despite the rain and cooler temperatures of the previous week.  The sun peeped out from the clouds for a little bit and warmed it up just enough. 
As we strolled through the different "colored" sections, ate yummy food, listened to a family barbershop, saw dance routines, heard rock bands, and received flyers and freebies, we saw many things I had never seen before.  I was impressed with the skills and talents of these artists and artisans.  I am personally drawn to glass objects, shiny things, fine woodwork, modern stainless steel decor, and anything of high quality.  While most things did not interest me since I don't wear much jewelry, I don't garden, and I don't have a budget for home accessories/decor, I nevertheless gave a good look at most of the items on display, mostly due to the company I was with:  they do wear jewelry, shawls, garden, and have a budget for home accessories/decor.  Some booths and objects were very similar to each other. I felt like the jewelry on display in one booth resembled the previous booth's jewelry to some degree.  But, some had one-of-a-kind booths and items, like the booth with Nightmare Before Christmas-like dolls for sale, and the one with hand-made rugs.

One of my very favorite artists I saw was Michael Weber, a watercolor artist.  I think he has immaculate skill at watercolor!  I wanted a painting!  He made prints out of several of his images at a much more affordable price, but for some reason I still didn't pick one up, but I kept checking out his booth.  I am not much of a watercolor artist, but love finding works of art that are of a high quality and his fit that bill.

The art fair reminded me a lot of etsy.com. a site I have a shop on, and a site I haven't fully explored yet, but get several emails from them which are chocked full of hand-made jewelry, clothing, accessories, decor, and more.  I liked the art fair.  It made my creative juices flow and helped me understand a little more of the business side of selling art, though I do feel like much of my art doesn't quite fit in at this type of event.  My art is more "fine art."

What art fairs have you attended?  Do you like these types of events?  Do you like arts and crafts?  Do you like etsy?
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