Saturday, February 7

Around The World In 30 Days with Rischa Heape - Mount Dora Art Festival

If you're a regular reader of this site or any of my social media sites you know about my 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge in January. 

And you probably already know that I was offered an exhibit at Painting Outside the Lines Gallery in Mount Dora during the Art Festival and Art Stroll. That exhibit has now been set up and I've already made sales. Yay! I'm so happy!

But before an exhibit a lot of work has to be done behind the scenes.

I believe people think of an artist as someone who is free spirited, someone who spends their time covered in paint, twirling around in their studios with a paint brush in their hands and flowers in their hair with not a worry in the world except maybe World Peace.

Well, I suppose that could be true for some. For most of us, though, the bulk of our time is not spent painting and contemplating the meaning of life. There is a lot that goes into being an artist that non artists might not know about. And why would they? They have their own jobs! This show, for example, had many factors to consider before the exhibit was set up. And I have to be honest, I enjoyed every part of it. Not just the painting. But I'm an odd duck. Some artists don't enjoy the organizing and non artsy things.

Speaking of those non artsy things, here's how it went down for me. And this isn't the right way for everyone, so don't think of this as a tutorial. Think of it as a view into my life the last couple of weeks since the painting fun ended.

First I had to scan the images into my computer. For the larger paintings I photograph them outside. If it's raining or too bright I have to wait for the right time to do that. But for these small paintings I was able to scan them, which is a lot simpler. After scanning I do any cropping, editing, resizing, and save multiple places. I have a Prints folder where I save the full sized image as a .tif for use when I want to make a print to sell. Then a full sized  .jpg image is saved to a JPG Prints folder for use on sites like FineArtAmerica. Then I also resize to a smaller .jpg and add my watermark for uploading to social media and my website. After I have scanned and done all of that I can take my paintings outside to seal. I used a Krylon Gallery spray sealer for these small paintings. Sometimes I follow that with a paint on seal that is either matte, gloss, or a combination.

Waiting on the sealer to dry. Don't breathe too heavy!

Once the sealer is dry, which takes about 24 hours, I can then flip them over and measure for the coated wire hangers. I measure, add hardware, then add the wire. That is extremely hard on hands, by the way. Especially when you have to do it 30 times. Thankfully I didn't need to do this with about 4 of the paintings since they were on panels. So not quite 30.

Then all of the paintings, that have already been numbered, get names added, priced, signed, etc...

Oh, but wait! There are a few problems that always pop up! This go around I had an issue with the oil paintings drying in time for the show. I can't very well flip a painting on its face to add hanging hardware, or in the case of the panels sticky hangers, if it isn't dry! Oh no! What to do? Stick it on the heater or bake it in the oven. And since I'm not brave enough to cook my oil paintings I opted for putting it on the heater for 24 hours. Good thing it was slightly chilly! That's a rare blessing in Florida.

That painting never did dry. I added the hangers very carefully at the last possible minute. Luckily it was already sold, so no one will be taking home or touching a wet painting.

While I'm waiting on paintings to dry and waiting on my 50 greeting cards to arrive I created some prints. Those also need a little while to dry. So while THOSE are drying I went ahead and prepared the sleeves for the prints and greeting cards. Yep, all 50 of them! I also created some special 2 for 1 smaller prints of the fishing lures since those were popular and I knew one was already sold. Once the prints were dry I put them in the sleeves with my card and a little thank you note that I punched from scrapbook paper and stamped with a "created by" stamp and signed. I didn't do that with the greeting cards. My hands were still tired from the wire hangers, so punching out, stamping, and signing 50 tiny thank you notes wasn't an option this time. I did it for the prints. That was enough for me this time. The greeting cards did finally arrive yesterday, which was the day after I took the paintings and all to the gallery. So Joel was nice enough to run the greeting cards and more bags to the gallery for me.

The bags are from Hobby Lobby. I stamp my information on the front and add a postcard and business card inside for when a painting, greeting card, or print sells.

And let's not forget creating and printing an inventory and prices list for the gallery and one for yourself.

I'm sure I'm leaving a lot of the process out, but once all the little things have come together you get your stuff together, including extra cards and information, and head to the gallery to set up.

At the gallery Joel, Bev, and I put together the panels and started hanging. I love how it all turned out! And I can relax! Today is actually the first day I have relaxed this year! Yesterday would have been the first day, but we cleaned the wall in the master bedroom to get it ready for painting. The bedroom is actually very large and has heavy furniture, so that was a big job. Anyway, today is a day off. Tomorrow will be another long work day as I'll be manning the gallery with the help of another staff member and Joel while Bev sells at the VIP entrance. It will be fun, but it will also be a long day on my feet.

So this has been a small peek into what goes into an exhibit. I've left a few little things off, but not much. You can probably figure that I numbered the paintings as I went along with the day by day painting. And you can also figure that I went back and looked at each painting at the end of January to fix up the sides and add any little details I forgot. I actually realized that I forgot a shadow on the first fishing lure painting. Do you see what I'm talking about? Thank goodness I noticed it before I started scanning and sealing, right?


I hope to see some of you tomorrow! Come by and say hi! I won't make you buy anything. I promise. But it would be very cool if you did, too, of course.


Diva Kreszl said...

Loved reading the details of your entire process, lots of work! I am certain that all this prep will lead to a very successful show for you! Glad to hear you are having fun!

Rischa said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comments, Diva! :-)