There is still time to dress up your table for the Holidays. My Holiday designs work great as a plant or candle holder, tray, serving plate or centerpiece for hot dishes. The Poinsettia, Ornament, and Peppermint designs also make great gifts....including the traditional Fruitcake Table Saver. And this one you don't actually have to eat!
All items have been marked down for the holiday season and are being offered at my reduced "Show Prices", approximately 20% less than my regular internet prices. I am also offering Free Shipping on all orders of $75 or more.
See a few of the holiday designs below and the Products and Store sections for other holiday ideas.
Its hard to say when winter ends and "Spring" begins in Florida. I kept hearing people tell me that "winter" was over and that the flora and fauna were acting very "Spring-like".
Compared to "ice out" and 10 feet of snow melting in Maine it all seemed pretty subtle to me. The only sure sign that it is spring in Florida is when Spring Training starts and the "snowbirds" begin to go home.
The Spring Shows
This year I did quite a few craft shows in the Sarasota area (Siesta Key, Coquina, and Lido Beach), a few more in the Villages (Sumter and Brownwood), St. Pete Beach and Dunedin. The shows were good and not a single "rainout" in 3 months!
One of my favorite shows turned out to be in Brooksville, Florida. It was a well established fine art & craft show north of Tampa attended mostly by local folk. It had an "old Florida" feel to it. I felt fortunate to be there and to my surprise I won an Honorable Mention Award in the Crafts category. There's something about winning an award for your work that makes the ride home all the more enjoyable.
I wasn't expecting to sell many of my new loon items in the south but it turns out that most of the folks at the craft shows in Florida this time of year are the from the mid-west...states like Minnesota and Michigan where loons are common.
Most of the items I sell at craft shows use my original watercolor paintings. The trivets, placemats and coasters are all reproductions of my original artwork or photographs on wood. But when I talk to people at shows some are surprised that most of the items actually start with an original painting and they want to know more about how it is done. So here's a brief example of some of the steps I followed in a wine motif painting I did in Florida. (The printing of the final painting on to the wood trivets, etc. is a separate process).
I used a sunny patio to stage a still life using materials I had at hand or could purchase locally..... wine, glasses, a marble table, begonia plant, etc. After I set up a still life to get a better idea of the composition I wanted I worked on the color pallet, using blossoms from the begonia plant and fresh grapes to see their true colors. And I found a big ceramic pot with green mold on it.... just the colors I was looking for. After doing a sketch using photos of the still life I "blocked" off the areas that would be the whitest with art masking fluid. With watercolor painting you can't go back and add white over a darker color. These lighter areas are the last to be worked on with the whitest areas having little or no paint at all.
Here's a few photos of some of the steps in the process:
Exploring the West Coast of Florida
The Pinellas Bike Trail runs from St. Petersburg up to Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida and I tried to get out there as much as possible when I was not painting or doing shows. I had some great rides with family and with old and new friends. Exploring the beaches and trails in the Tampa Bay area, kayaking the inland waterways of Homasassa, finding new subjects to paint (like the baby great horned owl at Honeymoon Island) kept me busy and entertained. I also had a chance to get out to LA to see my son, catch a Dodgers game, bike on the beach trail, check out a few art museums and spend a very happy birthday with family and friends. Can't wait to go back!
The trip back to Maine
I packed up the Jeep the last week in April and headed back to Maine but I still had one more show on the way home....The Great American Pie Festival...in Celebration, FL, near Disney World. I was told to expect about 50,000 people coming to taste the biggest selection of pies on the planet! And of course to buy stuff from a few "select vendors" that sell food related items....like PIE TRIVETS! How could you go wrong with those odds? So I printed up a lot of my cherry, pumpkin, apple and lemon tart trivets and set out for Celebration, FL. The weather was great. The people were nice. But in the end I don't think I'll have to print up any more pie trivets for the shows this fall! I've got a few left on hand!
I finally made it back to my cabin and studio in Rangeley during the first week of May. There was still a little snow in the shady spots down by the lake but the tulips were up! I got the garden tilled, the grass mowed and tested out a kayak that I might get. And in a few days I will be headed to Meredith, NH for Memorial Day Weekend. It will be the first show of the summer! Already! Check out the rest of the Shows coming up this summer.
I've never really liked the term "Snowbird" but when I left my camp and studio in Rangleley, ME yesterday for Florida thats pretty much what I felt like. I had just fed the chickadees and the nuthatches, turned off the water and the power in the camp and shoveled out. I had a wonderful holiday season in Rangeley with family and friends.... but after 4 feet of snow I was ready to head south.
First stop...MA. I only got to Andover, MA yesterday... greeted warmly by friends...and by another foot of snow!
But I got out this morning, inching south listening to Pete Townshend's "Who I AM"... hoping to get to PA before dark. I made it OK and now it looks like it will be clear flying south on the Atlantic Flyway.
FYI, I've just finished up some new paintings to introduce in Florida!
Here's a few of the new designs and the Florida Show Schedule:
If you are on the west coast of Florida this winter check out these shows. Hope to see you there:
2013 Winter & Spring Shows
1/5-1/6 12th Annual The Villages Craft Festival (Spanish Springs Town Square)
1/12-1/13 6th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival (Venice, FL)
1/19-1/20 16th Annual Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival (Punta Gorda, FL)
1/26-1/27 19th Annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival (St. Pete Beach, FL)
2/3-2/4 19th Annual WinterFest at the Mansion (Sarasota, FL)
2/9-2/10 19th Annual Siesta Key Craft Festival (Sarasota, FL)
2/16-2/17 21st Annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival (Dunedin, FL)
2/23-2/24 4th Annual The Villages Craft Festival (Lake Sumter)
3/2-3/3 17th Annual Coquina Tides Arts & Crafts Show (Bradenton Beach, FL)
3/16-3/17 Lido Beach Springfest Arts & Crafts Show (Sarasota, FL)
3/23-3/24 11th Annual Downtown Sarasota Art & Craft Festival (Sarasota, FL)
3/30-3/31 17th Annual The Villages Craft Festival (Brownwood Paddock Square)
4/6-4/7 10th Annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival (St. Pete Beach, FL)
4/13-4/14 35th Annual Siesta Fiesta (Sarasota, FL)
As summers go, this has been a good one. I've finally moved into my camp in Rangeley and am starting to feel settled in. My goal was to create a home and a painting studio with plenty of light and some extra storage space that would make the comings and goings to the art & craft shows a little easier. Its starting to come together and it feels good!
The Summer Shows
Its been crazy trying to get the house and studio finished and do summer shows all over New England. Everything is just a lot further away when you start out this far up in Maine! And one of my biggest concerns has been whether I will hit a moose on the drive back to Rangeley!
Common Ground Fair, Unity Maine
The Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine was certainly one of the highlights of the summer shows. There is so much to learn about living a more organic and natural lifestyle and the Common Ground Fair helps to keep you informed and up to date. The show was also a feast for the eyes and the spirit and made me feel right at home. I'm hoping to go back again next summer....and bring more Sunflower Trivets!
I finally got the garden in, sang in the community chorus, had a chance to do a little reading by the lake, do some fishing, play golf, photograph a moose across the street from the camp and spend some good quality time with family and friends.
All in all its been a good summer.
Its time now to take the plants off the wood stove, stoke the fire and get to work! And now that the studio is ready I hope to get back to a growing list of paintings for the winter market in Florida and the spring in Maine. I plan to be working on coconut palms, herons, tropical fish, & loons. Can't wait to get started. Dj
Just got home from Baltimore and the Buyers Market of American Crafts. Thanks to all the galleries and stores who made it to the Baltimore show this week. Hope to see you again at the next BMAC show.
Something about rainy weekends & rainy shows. Most of our "fair-weather friends" do stay home but the folks who really want to be there just come out anyway. I've seen people have some great times in the pouring rain at rock shows, from Woodstock to the present, and at craft & art fairs. So I'm grateful for the folks who came out to a local craft show in Wakefield, MA on Saturday. I met some nice people, got a few free books from the local library table, and made a few bucks. All in all a good day!
This page is where I put stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.... news, photos, an occassional idea, work in process, etc.