While I was going to school I often went to art shows with my friend Frances on the weekends.
She was a really good watercolorist and often won awards. I didn't win awards but did sell my work. I decided at that young age it was more important to sell than to win awards!
|Me in my skinny days!|
We did shows all over - the short list - Adrian, Saugatuck, Bay City, Midland, Traverse City, Charlevoix, Tawas City, Marshall, Battle Creek, Toledo, and Petkosky and many more.
We had a great time, made some money, critiqued each others work and got to travel.
You can learn a lot from the people who walk though looking at your work (we still learn from the people who walk through Carolina Creations). It's amazing what people say when they don't think you are listening, or maybe just don't care if you are or not. You can't be thin skinned, you need to take what they say as a way to learn what people like or don't like. From that experience we have learned to have only professional grade work in our gallery - we don't want to hear "oh I can do that!"
At one show, where I was showing a lot of pencil drawings, a young man said how much he liked them and wondered if I had ever used a Rapidiograph (a drafting fountain pen). I didn't know what one was but bought one right away, and still use one 40+ years later - again - thank you nameless young man!!
I exhibited on the Art Train - which at that time was a real train - I see on their website they have retired the train and move around on trucks. Here's a link. ArtTrain I must have been on it during one of the first years. That was probably my first exposure to exhibiting in a professional gallery space.
Learning that presentation matters.
Thank you Frances - we had a lot of good times.
On November 3, 2013, as I was writing these posts and thinking of her, I heard that Frances had died. She was 94.
- Jan Francoeur