Party Time Notes
It’s party time tomorrow. This has been a very busy week. Two classes at the studio, lots of busy work and my to do list has been endless. I love a studio party. I never know if anyone will come or how many, but I always have fun as long as at least one person comes. I consider the parties to be my thanks to students and collectors who do so much to support my career. They are a huge amount of work. Lots of cooking a few days before and a total gut of the space the day before. My studio looks so much bigger tonight without all the tables and I put the chairs in an oval right in the middle of the room. I want free space for visitors to stroll and see paintings. I use my three easels to place paintings on the shelf and the bottom legs, two per easel. I’m a country painter, and I live in the woods. My studio is old with concrete floors. There are no frills at my parties. I have little time to prepare, so a good dusting and sweep out is as far as I get. I cover the work bench with brown craft paper to make the food table. Paper plates, canned drinks, bottled water. They come for the food and conversation, not high roller style. The studio is full of art, and I will have my fun art puzzles, cards, and art pins available too.
I never expect parties to produce big sales, though I have had that good fortune. I think parties are more about fun and adventure. Folks come out and walk the trail, sometimes they bring friends or spouses, so I enjoy meeting new friends. Sending out post card invitations reminds people that I am still around. Any time you can get people to look at your paintings is a winning idea. I have found that my affluent friends love it out in the country. They don’t mind that I live in an old place with no landscaping and a swamp behind my studio. I know many painters who are afraid to have home studio parties because they don’t live in mcmansions. They shouldn’t worry. True friends and supporters don’t much care about how you live, they are interested in you.
I have me three parties each year and that is just about right. After tomorrow, I’ll start thinking about the next one in May. My cake party is always the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It is my most popular party. Who doesn’t love homemade cake?
More to come…..
Traveling to Vero Beach this week for a painting residency. I leave tomorrow. Today I’m packing and getting my food ready to take. I always take easy to make food, like tuna, mac and cheese, fresh fruit and PB and J. I eat out for breakfast every morning and then at my temporary home for the rest of the day. I don’t like to spend much time cooking, so easy to prepare food is great for these ventures.
I’ll be exploring some of the places I liked so much the last time I had the residency and will spend some time on route 60 this time, stopping along the way to take reference photos at the groves and some of the ranches that are visible from the highway. I’ll also spend a fair amount of time on A1A exploring and going back to Pelican Island and up to Sebastian’s Inlet.
Mostly I want to rest. I have to leave town to rest. I can never stop working when I’m home. Too much to do and keep up with here with teaching one week a month and two studios to manage.
I won’t be taking my computer, only my Ipad, so I’ll likely post here about my journey sporadically.
When I return, I’ll be ready to send out the invites for my Chili Party on February 7th. I love studio parties, always fun with interesting people who come. I have three annual parties, Chili, Hot Dog, and Cake. My cake party is always the most popular. People often tell me that they are sick of wine and cheese, hummus, etc, fare at parties. I always serve real food. I stopped serving alcohol at my parties about 10 years ago. It was the smartest thing I ever did. It got rid of the people who only come for free booze and alleviated my liability for someone having too much to drink and driving away. This year I will have the party at my Country Studio instead of Paddiwhack. I want to encourage friends to come to the country for my parties in 2016.
Notes From My Town Studio
The cake was a great party! I had about a 7% attendance from my postal mail out and my Internet newsletter. From my research, about 5% is the average. I know that is sad but it is what it is being in the kind of society we live in. Many people are jaded and have so many activities and opportunities that they feel a studio party is no big deal. I remember in the not too distant past when they really were something to celebrate and attend. I won’t complain. My sales were decent and people seemed to enjoy the party greatly. I met some nice people I hadn’t known before, so I am pleased. The attendance was spread out over the hours so that was good. It allowed me to spend time with people instead of just saying thanks for coming. The Wind Song Duo did a terrific job with the live entertainment and I always enjoy their music so much. I am very grateful to my assistant Carolyn, who works tirelessly on all of my events and my landlord Chuck for bringing a cake and joining in. I have the best friends and collectors in the world!!