Saturday, May 30, 2015

Diving Back in!

I Seriously Just Quit My Job!!!

Why!?!? Because life is short, and I have a dream. For years now, I have wanted to be able to make a living as an artist. ( In art school they never told us that this may be an issue...) Since 2006 I have been committed to the pursuit of this dream. I have had some wonderful experiences and successes during that time.  I have owned an amazing art gallery...
( The economic downturn, however, was too much to keep it going.)

Sold my work at artist shanties...

And last summer made enough money to survive by selling hand painted souvenir-type things to tourists on Cape Cod...

I called my little venture "CAPE NATIVE"
( I am a Native Cape Codder.)

I painted Nautical Signal Flags on small canvasses. People could spell their kids names, their last names, their monograms... Or whatever. I had one Irish gentleman that decided to decorate his house in swear words, and loved these because he thought no one would know. ( Don't tell him that I told you...)

I made more money doing the latter than I did at my real job! Unfortunately, I was still  just barely surviving. If I had had more time to create, I would have been able to sell more. I was pretty much SOLD OUT of product by noon each day that I was able to go out and sell. If I had been able to create and or sell more on the days that I had been "working" I could have prospered. This past winter I took my spare time and created more product. The whole act of creating actually leads to more  Ideas. Apparently, creativity creates creativity.
( Kind of like rabbits...)

I came up with an idea for a product that I can create very quickly, and has a very high profit margin. The only drawback is that in doing this there is also this scary, awful thing called overhead. I would need capital to acquire the proper tools to be able to make this a profitable business. If I can get thus business up and running in time for summer. I will have a product that will both make me a decent yearly income, and allow me time to paint  ARTWORK through out the off-season rather than crafts.( Below is one of my paintings. you could get a hand-signed and numbered print if you choose to help!)

Why $5000.00 ?

I need to purchase a stock of canvas bags in several size and color choices. I need to purchase the embroidered signal flag patches in large enough quantity to be ready for any order at all times so that I can produce them on demand  right there in front of the customer. ( I may get 15 people or more with the same letters in there monograms in  any given day.) I also need some basic equipment to produce and sell the bags; the obligatory 10' x 10' white tent (many sales require this, and it gives my the ability to sell in any weather), a butane powered iron ( to be able to work from locations without a power supply), two heavy duty sowing awls   (strong enough to sew through canvas and patches ) One other expense are the fees that  the shows charge to be a part of them. These fees are due before the selling season starts.

If you have taken the time to read this far, I really appreciate it! Here is a photo of the product. Its is a beach bag or pocket book, depending on size, with a signal flag monogram.

This one says "ACL" that's my Mom!

You can read about my progress at:


This is actually my campaign on 
At least check it out...
Maybe, if you'd like, you could
share it with your friends.
That'd be cool!

Or you could just go buy something from:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Outside My Comfort Zone

Painting For A Show

Generally speaking, an artist will paint first, when he has enough to form a show, then he would look into galleries or venues in which to show it. The artist finds a voice, works on it, practices, figures out where its going to lead him  and then grooms that mix of talent and vision into a cohesive body of work. For a few months now I've been painting, creating but mostly grooming ideas. Between getting my inventory ready for next summers busy season, working, and dealing with life in general (which just seems to take up so damn much of my time...) I hadn't really just played with the paint and let loose on a canvas. It's that opportunity to explore and create which is what I really enjoy about art and is why I want to be an artist in the first place. Sometimes, when we get caught up in the ebb and flow of life, our focus leans toward one or even a few aspects, and we lose sight of what we are doing or why we are doing it. Whether its those little fires we seem to keep having to put out, or our own temporary loss of our vision or our chosen path, there is an unseen force that always has a way of nudging us back to center. 

In my life it is important to have a certain amount of quiet time, a few minutes away from the studio, the job, the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. For me this is usually an afternoon escape to the local pub. If there is any chance for that aforementioned "unseen force" to find me, it will be on a comfy barstool in a usual spot. Since I'm not in England or Ireland and there aren't many year round options in town, I have found a little place called Not Your Average Joe's. It's a chain founded locally, It's comfortable, has good food and a great staff. One day while sitting on my favorite stool in my usual spot, that force actually did find me. The bar tender mentioned that they were going to have an Art Show. The place had been newly renovated and they had big blank walls everywhere. I told her that I thought that was a great idea and that these big freshly painted walls would be perfect. "Good!" she said,"I'm glad you feel that way because your the only artist we know! So will you do it?"

I actually hesitated. I had nothing finished. I had no cohesive body of work. There was fear inside me that had me questioning wether or not I could pull this off. How am I going to come up with enough work? What kind of work will I show? Where am I going to get the money for supplies? Can I paint enough paintings in time? All kinds of questions. All kinds of doubts. How could I possibly say,"yes."

Then she said it... She knew my work. She owned one. It is very "Cape Coddy". My painting of The Red Sailboat. "We were thinking of something a little more on the Modern end of things though... would you ever?"

"Yes!!!"was the next thing out of my mouth. It literally leapt forth, out of my mouth, off the tongue, through the teeth. No time to bite on the word. No thinking first. Somehow through all those doubts that were welling up inside, through all that muddled negative thought, from somewhere deep down inside, in a spot that I didn't realize was even there came not only a "yes", but pretty much an "Oh Hell Yes!!!" Excitement. Fear. An "Oh my God what have I just done?"kind of moment.

As we talked about it our vision for the show was very similar. and that kind of put me a little more at ease. I had two months to just paint. To paint the way I've really always wanted to. To let loose on canvas, and to let whatever happens happen. To experiment. It was winter on Cape Cod. (what would become a record breaking, cold, snowy winter...) What else was I going to do? So I painted. I experimented. I threw paint at canvas. I made mistakes. I made discoveries. I made way more paintings than I really needed. I became an artist again. I had always wanted to be able to do that. Just paint! And I did. I'm not sure if its any good. Abstracts are harder to do than they look.  I put together a one man show. It was hard to get moving on it, but once I did it was even harder to stop.

The night of the show finally came, and with it so did eight inches of snow. I hadn't had an opening since I owned my own gallery. This was different. It was not only an opening.. It was my opening, my work. Despite the snow people came! The restaurant had very few customers except for those there to see me. It felt good. The restaurant made their numbers which they wouldn't have done with out those that came out to see me, and they appreciated it. As did I. And I've been invited back to do another!

Here are some pictures of the show:

I think the place looked pretty good! I sold a couple works, but that really wasn't what it was about for me. It was the first time that I'd taken an idea from conception to fruition as an artist, strictly as an artist, for the sole purpose of art, not as a gallery owner or a curator. Although I didn't make enough that night to "Make a living as An Artist", it did help in making me an artist again. It helped to remind me why I'm doing this. Every once in a while it's good to have that. My juices are once agin flowing. My ambition rekindled! 

I only sold a couple works so if you'd like to see individual pictures of them you can check them out at my new online store here:

(Click it... it's a link to my site)

Or Visit: