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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Milton Sidewalk Art Show & Sale

Along the Broadkill River - early in the day before the crowds arrived

John C. Murray, one of our artist/friends who is a printmaker. He was working on a copper plate while sitting at his booth. He uses only waterbased inks and non-toxic elements, techniques and chemistries in the production of his beautiful etchings and gives workshops and classes at Rehoboth Art League.

We set up our booth with Bob's photographs on one side and my watercolors on the other. I included my botanicals as well as the Italian Journal Paintings both originals and prints, framed and unframed.

Those pink cheeks were from the hot sun all day! Next time I think I better wear a big sun hat!

Yesterday was the first of the two shows we're participating in here in southern Delaware this summer. This one included about 30+ artists and was located in the quaint little Victorian town of Milton, Delaware. Milton is located on the Broadkill River, a short drive south of Milford, where we live. It has a charming historic downtown, settled originally in 1672, and like Milford and many of the small towns along the east coast, it has a proud history of shipbuilding. Reading their website, I just learned that they also were button makers. Apparently, large mother-of-pearl shells were once shipped to Milton from the South Pacific to be cut and polished and turned into fancy garment decorations that were shipped throughout the northeast. Interesting! There are several lovely Bed & Breakfasts, including the Governor's Bed & Breakfast, built in 1790, former home of David Hazzard, governor of Delaware from 1830-1833, with its charming front porch and Victorian furnishings. Bob and I stayed there on one of our earlier visits to the area and found it quite comfortable, affordable and lovely.

But I digress! I was sick with a virus for the past two weeks which made it quite a challenge to prepare for this show and Bob did the lion's share of the work. I did manage to help with some of the framing -- fortunately we had done most of the matting before we left for our trip to Milwaukee and Richmond so that left all the framing and preparing the Certificates of Authenticity that I include with all of my giclée prints, and just making sure we had everything we needed.

This was only the second time we have set up outdoors for an art show and we are learning as we go. The day was extremely hot and humid, in the 90s by the afternoon, and as you can see from the photos there was not a lot of shade outside the tent (and we tried to stay out of the shoppers way, sitting on our fold up chairs by the side of the river or standing outside. There was a nice breeze off the river but still, it was just pretty hot. And the weather up until now has been absolutely beautiful, comfortable enough to have the windows open and not need the a/c at all. (and it's predicted to be more like that this coming week!) Sitting on our enclosed porch in the evenings has been so lovely. So to have this extremely hot day for the show (with the threat of rain in the afternoon to boot) was not exactly the ideal but not much we could do but put on sun screen and drink plenty of water. The photos up and down the brick paths were taken early in the day when there weren't too many people but by midday it was pretty full of shoppers and lookers (mostly lookers!).

We did sell a few pieces but it wasn't a raging success. A lot of people looked, we met and talked with many others who were interested in our work and were very complimentary. We handed out a bunch of business cards and hopefully planted some seeds that may pay off in the future. Who knows!

By the end of the day we were completely wiped out! After taking cool showers we ordered Chinese Delivery and flopped in front of the TV, leaving everything in the car until today when we'll need to straighten out the tent and put things back in order. By the end of the day yesterday big storm clouds started to build and the wind picked up making it a challenge to fold up the tent nice and neatly so we stuffed it into the car in a hurry to avoid getting caught in the rain!

Next week is the big show at St. Peter's in Lewes where well over 100 fine artists and fine craftspeople from all over the mid-Atlantic region will be showing their work. We've heard good things about this show and they advertise it pretty heavily. It is a juried show, which means we had to submit work and be accepted to be able to participate so there is an expectation of high quality work. It is during the 4th of July weekend when many people come to the beaches so it is usually well attended. Whether anyone will be interested in our particular work is anybody's guess but we are going to give it a shot and see what happens. And with the current economy it's probably not the best time to be trying to sell artwork - not exactly a necessity for most folks I'm afraid.

Up & Coming and Ongoing

We're putting some work in the Mispillion and Rehoboth Art League Member Shows this summer also. Both have permanent galleries where the work will be on display and for sale throughout the rest of the summer. I'm going to enter work in the Delaware Watercolor Society Fall Juried Fine Art Exhibition and hope I get accepted. This show (I am a member) is held in Wilmington, with a reception on the 5th of September and the work will be on display until 1 October. This is a market we have not yet been exposed to so it could be interesting. The Mispillion Art League will be holding their Fall Exhibition in October, so there is something going on just about every month. My Journal Paintings and Prints are still on display at Angelucci Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass Studio & Artists Gallery where they continue to sell my work.

Summer is filled with art fairs and we will be checking out a few for possible participation next year. One is the Brandywine Arts Festival in Wilmington on the first weekend in September. It's a two day event and we plan to go up there to check it out this year and talk to some of the participants. Maybe next year we'll be ready to commit to a two day event!

One of the things we are also looking forward to is a visit from my sister and nieces mid-July. I haven't seen them since October and they have never been to Delaware so we are all excited to see each other again. My brother and his wife and my cousin will come down to visit while they are here too so it should be a lively, fun, family time.

Hope you're having a good summer! Thanks to everyone who came out to the Milton show in spite of the heat. We appreciate all of you.


1 comment:

BaileyZimmerman said...

I was just wondering how you survived the weekend...and here you are with a wonderful post!
I wish there were more sales for you & Bob....I guess the economy is playing a role.
Isn't it amazing how the heat can be so exhausting?
Those years in Phoenix never helped me adjust to heat....I still hate it!! lol

Have a great week!