Friday, January 13, 2012

Fundraising Ideas Take Shape

I have two specific causes I like to support with our local schools - physical activity and music. Being a painter, I wanted to find a way to have my artwork help in some small way fund programs related to these subjects. A couple years ago I painted two paintings specific to a running program at Adams Elementary in Corvallis called, "Adams in Motion", or AIM, and was thrilled to sell the originals (and a few prints & cards) and give the proceeds to this program. This time I'm hoping to create more general paintings themed along running and music that can appeal to a broader audience and make more print sales possible too, providing funding over a longer period of time. In order to create these paintings, however, I need some HELP!

These paintings will be evolving much as the 2011 Corvallis Fall Festival painting, "The Ride Home", where I will have images imbedded into a tree using the technique of image transfer. I've decided to use a slightly different and publicly interactive process for capturing the images this time. I plan to take photos of shoes and band instruments provided by my fans (or fans of Corvallis schools) and include a written first name, location, and possible quote from the person providing the photo. Instead of tracing the photos like I did for The Ride Home, I'll be using Photoshop to manipulate them into a black & white image and then type the text along with it (as shown with my shoe above).

Here's where YOU come in - I need your HELP! I'm hoping to acquire 30-40 images for each of these paintings. If you have a passion for RUNNING, HIKING, WALKING, MUSIC, PUBLIC SCHOOLS (40% of ALL sales including the original art will go to programs in the Corvallis School District), or just would like to be a part of ORIGINAL ART - PLEASE Email Me your image with the information to include in the text of the image or post it to my Facebook page.

And as always - THANK YOU for all your support!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

We're only 7 days in, but I'm thoroughly enjoying 2012 thus far and looking forward to creating in the new year! Towards the end of 2011 I had all these plans of posting a wrap-up review of the year, but now that 2012 is upon us and the ideas for new work keep coming, I'm pressing forward. With that in mind, here's what's coming for what I expect to be a productive and positive year ahead!

1) Tubas - yes, you heard me - a tuba painting is in the works! Why, you may ask? Well, we recently became the proud owners of a tuba for my awesome 7th grade band student. He's in his second year of tuba, and we are so happy for this musically inclined kid to have found an instrument that he likes to play. I was a piano player many years ago (and still have the same said piano in our house) and have recently tinkered with guitar playing, so having another musician in the house is such a treat. I'm hoping to have a series of paintings related to various band instruments, starting with our Tuba. I also plan to donate part of the proceeds to our local school music programs. Can't wait to get started!

2) A Running Tree! Last summer as I was traveling for shows I had the opportunity to take the kids with me on an extended trip and go out to the John Day Fossil Beds. We had such a great time,and during our trip found this great big dead-ish looking tree along the main hwy filled with used tennis shoes. Since my son had on his running shoes from the last cross-country season which we were soon to replace for the upcoming season, he decided to add his shoe to the tree. Fun! And since I like to support the local running programs as much as possible, I thought I would commemorate this experience in a painted tree of shoes. (I'm thinking this could lead to bicycles too, as inspired by the bicycle decorated Christmas tree in China I saw online over the holidays.) Again, I plan to donate part of the proceeds to local running programs.

3) More blocks! My "16 Birds", "17 Fish", and "51 Birds" series have been my biggest inspiration coming out of 2011. I have more thoughts coming to me every day on how to create similar series, including woodland animals, poppies, bugs (yes, bugs), butterflies, fruit, coffee cups, more birds, and back to my music and sports themes. I already have a new series prepped for 24 blocks and plan to order more blocks as soon as that one is finished. I'm hoping to have 1 new complete series for every show I attend in 2012 - not sure I can keep up that pace, but we'll see how it goes...

4) A Book of Birds - It's not what you think. I am going on a bird watch, but not out in the wild, but in my paintings. I'm planning to name and classify the birds I find and turn it into a complete book of bird art. This is one of my larger, may take several years, projects, but I'm excited about the concept (inspired by those inquiring Audobon Society folks from my Portland show). What Fun!

5) And those pesky Unfinished ideas that are still milling around in my head...
  • painted series of Prime Numbers - yes, to my winners of my prime number contest last year, I'm still working on it!
  • Rocks and Minerals series - I'm planning another trip to the Portland area rock and gem museum to sketch out some abstracted landscape ideas that I had from my first trip there last year from looking at multi-colored the rock slices - so cool!
  • Image Transfer - I plan to slowly continue a series of image transfer paintings to represent various cities that have some meaning for me. From 2011 I have Edmonds, WA and Corvallis, OR. I'm hoping to add Seattle and Portland to the list this year. I also may use this technique for some of my music and running themed pieces.
Finally - I know I said I wasn't looking back, but some ideas just have moved forward with me into 2012! And, I do want to learn a few things from last year...
  1. Galleries do work for me as a venue when I choose the right ones! Thanks to the good work of the Art Study in Seattle, WA and the Currents Gallery in McMinnville, OR, they have made me realize that I need to be more proactive getting them work and supporting them, and also expand my efforts to 1 or 2 more galleries. I'm already working on adding the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA to that list as they have been a huge supporter of mine over the years and helped me get my start.
  2. Let someone else do the framing! I have always enjoyed painting on paper all the way to the lovely deckled edge. These paintings definitely look best when float framed so that it shows off the entire image and paper. I have also always hated framing them. I have FINALLY come to the conclusion to leave this job to the professionals! There will be a LOT less cursing in my house if I stick to this rule (yea!) So, I'm happy to report I found the perfect local framer to help me out - he does a great job for a reasonable price and can even build my stretchers for me too! If you're in the Corvallis area and need someone to frame your work, let me know and I'll send you his way.
  3. Don't do more shows than I can support - I'll hoping to do a better job preparing in my off-season (Jan/Feb) with surplus inventory so that I can stock a fuller booth over my show season as well as weed out unproductive shows. I had too many shows this past year where I felt like my booth was sparse and missed selling opportunities because I didn't have enough options for my buyesr. Along these lines - I had many people who were looking for my note cards, but I never had enough time/funds to properly keep them stocked. Not in 2012 - I plan to have a full booth every show!
  4. Organize my Print-shop. I moved my print-shop area a couple times over the year and filled it with such clutter during other show-prep times that it was difficult to process and package my prints efficiently. For 2012 I have a whole new set-up and am planning to purchase some shelving next week to help keep in organized.
  5. Buy a new Printer! I plan to purchase a larger format printer during my off-season - so look for larger print as I hit the shows this year. I will then migrate my current printer to full time card production. Yea!
  6. Be more visible. I'm often asked why I'm not a member of various local art groups. I don't think I could have said it any better than when a fellow artist (and art show director) said, "Jennifer's not really a joiner." Yes, it's true. I'm a bit of a solitary person for the most part. This year, however, I'm going to find other ways to become more artistically social - step 1 - dropping in on the local weekly life drawing class! I'm sure this will inspire a whole other line of work to boot!
Well, it's looks like I'm off to an inspired year full of creating. Hooray! I hope 2012 brings you all much inspiration as well. Happy New Year!

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