Yesterday was my first showing at the Madisonville Art Market. The weather was terrific all day, and the unobstructed view of the river was peaceful and worth the trip all by itself. Before the show started, I spent the morning watching a lone pelican making passes along the river, dive-bombing for fish, gulping them down, and taking to the air again (I think he had moved on by the time the market started).
The show got off to a slow start with only a handful of people strolling along the waterfront. My booth was the last booth but I frequently joked that it was, in fact, the first booth (a couple of people even thought this jest was humorous and gave a chuckle for my efforts). Before long, the parade of art lovers grew to a constant stream - never too much to handle, but satisfyingly steady - and most of the crowd made it all the way down to my end, despite the empty twenty foot (?) space between me and the "second" booth.
The photo above shows my meager setup - I put the American flag right up front to draw in the large contingent of Americans. In the afternoon, the breeze picked up a little - just enough, in fact, to pick a fight with most of my paintings, pushing them around a little and making a general disturbance of itself. One of the 11x14" paintings of my son, Mason, suffered a small gash when it was blown over by one of the larger gusts of wind - don't worry, I'll patch it up . . . shouldn't be a problem.
Long story short: I sold a couple of paintings, gave a LOT of business cards away, received a sizable number of compliments on my work, and met quite a few people interested in having a portrait or pet portrait done by me in the near future. What I was most impressed with was the high percentage of people who stopped by my booth and took the time to talk a bit about the art - that doesn't happen too often at these art markets, in my experience - the people of Madisonville must be above average :-)
I was also honored to get some praise from a few of my fellow artists yesterday - one was amazed with my sense of design and loose brushwork (I was, in turn, amazed with his tight brushwork - but that's how it goes, I guess), another gave me his thoughts on which of my styles I should focus on in the future (a question I had posed to him), he suggested that happy medium in which most of my paintings tend to dwell: halfway between realism and the abstract. "Make sure your paintings have movement," he went on to say, pointing to my New Orleans Street Car painting, "like that one." That made me happy because that was a direction I was already headed.
Anyway, this was a great show for me; a good confirmation of the direction I am headed. If I can only get myself on a more consistent work schedule, week by week, but this is a problem that has plagued me for some time now. Thanks to all those who came out yesterday in support of the arts. I am grateful for you.
That's all for now. Please leave me a comment, especially if you were in Madisonville yesterday!