Sunday, October 11, 2009

Art Festival, pen & watercolor sketch, Jan Blencowe

copyright 2009 ,Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA

Art Festival, pen and watercolor sketch, 4x6

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This was the week end of the Art Center of Killingworth's Autumn Art Trail and Festival! I met so many great people, passed out tons of cards, got new sign ups for my mailing list*, but unfortunately no sales. Sales were light across the whole festival with only 2 or 3 original paintings sold. Most people were opting for note cards, prints, and handcrafted items like hats and scarfs. This is most likely a sign of the tough economic times many of us are facing.

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Here I am smiling and thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to meet new people. However, there were many artists who were not smiling. The wind was fierce on both days and many beautiful artworks were destroyed. The artist next to me had her whole display of watercolors, framed under glass blown over. Many of her frames were damaged and the glass in 25-30 of her paintings was smashed. On the other side of me a glass artist lost a beautiful plate destroyed when the wind blew it off its display rack. The jewelry artist's display blew over, one of the potters had a ceramic vase blown over and broken to bits. One of my racks was blown over damaging two brand new frames. Sigh. You never know what Mother Nature will whip up!

You can see the wind here tossing my banner around and blowing my table cloth. In fact you can see two paintings on the table which I took down because I was afraid they would be blown off the screens. My tent is pretty secure, you can see those white PVC tubes attached to the tent legs, they are filled with rocks and weigh about 5lbs. each. I also used cable ties to attach the racks to the frame of the tent and today I also used cable ties to secure my paintings to the racks along with hooks!

I was thrilled today to meet an "internet friend" for the first time in person. Carol Lavoie, is an astrologer, animal lover and artist. I so enjoyed meeting her and sharing her bright, positive spirit in conversation. She made a very insightful comment about my paintings, she said they were gestalt art. For those unfamiliar with the term, here's the definition, Gestalt: a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts. For a great explanation of Gestalt Principles shown visually, click here

Here's a bit more about Gestalt Psychology from Wickipedia....

Gestalt psychology or gestaltism (German: Gestalt - "form" or "whole") of the Berlin School is a theory of mind and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies, or that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In psychology, gestaltism is often opposed to structuralism and Wundt. Often, the phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" is used when explaining Gestalt theory.

What a fascinating insight Carol offered to me! I think it's a perfect description of my work!

I was sharing with Carol my new artist's statement, which I had printed up for my display table and also on the back of gorgeous full color fliers I had with one of my paintings on it and all my usual contact info. to give out to people. (* Art Marketing alert: artists take note, you should have things like this at all times to generously hand out. Go over to and get some at very reasonable prices)

I had such a difficult time crafting my artist statement that I actually had to get Ariane Goodwin's book Writing the Artists' Statement to help me. It occured to me that I never shared the end result here, so Ta-Da, here's my new definitive artists' statement:

The elusive mystery of light is my favorite subject. Sunlight, ordinary and yet extraordinary, shapes my paintings. The evocative half-light of sunset, twilight, and dawn transport the viewer to realms beyond the visible. Whether painted on location or in the studio these landscapes go beyond mere representation and impression and delve into the deeper streams and spiritual pulse that sustains all things.

The canvas is both a window and a mirror for me. Through the window of the canvas I create a poetic and elegant vision of nature. Luminosity and veils of translucent color invite quiet contemplation. Each painting is also a mirror reflecting joy and celebration, a visual sonnet of beauty and grace, a journey for the soul, a landscape illuminating the longing of the heart.

I focus on soft edges, rich textures and evocative light that reach in to create peace of mind and heart. Through the harmonization of color, shape and tone paradise is not lost but remembered, hoped for, realized on the canvas and resurrected in our mind.


dawnblair said...

My heart goes out to the artists who had work damaged or destroyed due to wind. Several of my canvases got destroyed last year when wind came up at an art fair I was at. I was at the same fair this year and you could tell who'd been there last year because every time a breeze stirred, we switched to protection mode while the newbies stared at us. During the last 15 minutes of the show, just like the year before, a storm moved in and we were scrambling to put away. And the newbies thought we'd been joking! Yeap, you never know what Mother Nature has in store.

wilderartist said...

You are a brave and dedicated artist to have such a big smile in that cold wind. I loved you sketch of the art festival. BTW your new artist statement sounds great. I love what you are doing in your work and your marketing efforts. I know it is all paying off for you. Best Wishes! Judy

Nancy Medina said...

Jan, you made it a positive experience! It sounds like you know how to handle outdoor shows, hubby and I tie Home Depot orange bags filled with cinder blocks to the legs of the tent and that helps too. I hate hearing that art got damaged, what a shame!

Suzanne McLean said...

So sorry to hear so many artists' works were damaged. How utterly heartbreaking. My first Artisan Market (coming up in two weeks) is thankfully indoors.

Thank you for sharing your new Artist Statement. Very poetic, like your paintings!

Gretchen Kelly said...

You look great Jan! and love your Artist statement. I will have to take a look at that book. Keep up the great work and positive attitude. You are an inspiration to many Artists.

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi Everyone,

I suspect that most artists who have done outdoor shows have some war stories to share!