Monday, December 15, 2008

It Ain't Easy!

Being an artist is probably the hardest job I've ever had. Well no, scratch that. Being a mom is the hardest job. But this artist business sure runs a close second. This is a hard working job that is not only a physical drain, but an emotional one too. When I am setting up a table full of art, along with the wood and paint goes a part of myself. No matter how frivolous my art may seem to the passerby, it was done from the heart and usually with a story somewhere in the back of mind. I paint a little bit of my own self into each painting and it's not something that I can ever take back. Most of the time the feedback I get from strangers is positive. Compliments and giggles are the favorite emotions evoked from potential customers. But every so often I get an invisible crackling smack across the face from some insensitive people who think that because my work is for public sale, then that makes it fair game for public insult. It used to upset me to the point of tears when I would get a cruel comment or rude reaction from the public. I had a woman once come to my table and tell me that I should not be allowed to sell at the farmer's market and that she would never buy anything from my table. The reason for her anger was that I had decoupaged a plaque using the image of Frida Kahlo's "Broken Column" and the woman thought it was inappropriate to display nudity in public. If she had bothered to get past her own ignorant assumptions, she would have known that Kahlo's painting has nothing to do with lewdness or nudity. I tried in vain to explain this, but of course this woman could only see with her eyes. I don't mind when somebody doesn't understand the work I choose to use in my own artwork, but to blindly make accusations and not even bother asking "why" is beyond my understanding.
And then there was this great day when I heard "I've always passed your table up because I thought they (my artwork) were cheap Mexican imports." Hm. Obviously she hadn't shopped in Mexico lately because she'd find that their "cheap" products aren't so cheap anymore. Another time I was setting up for the celebration of Diez y Seis de Septiembre (the 16th of September is Mexican Independence Day). There was a couple walking by and looking at the decorated plaza then glancing down at my table as the woman asked the man "what is all this stuff?" to which he replied "I dunno...some Mexican imported shit." Wait. Huh? Did I suddenly turn to stone? Because was he speaking like I...didn't exist? On another day as I was talking with a fellow artist in front of her booth, there was a group of tourists who walked up to her table and the know the type...the obnoxious type of man who thinks it's cute to hand feed a shark from his fishing boat...this man walks up to my friends table and bellows out..."hey...hey...look here...pick out the ugliest thing you can find on this table! hahaha!" Wait. Huh? Did we suddenly become invisible as he chose to not only loudly insult my friends artwork but to also make fun of it right in her face as if she had no feelings at all? And then there was the lovely weekend in Casa Grande Arizona where I made the bad decision of trying to sell at the Bluegrass Jamboree Festival. I figured hey I love Bluegrass music so why not try and make a few bucks there too! Supposedly this was a venue open only to artists of handmade crafts and goods. End result? I sold $40 bucks of merchandise and the vendors next to me (really nice folks from South Dakota who sold Made in China (yeah I saw the stickers) resin figurines of things like singing frogs, fishing bears and dogs in tutus) completely sold out. Lesson learned. Never sell at anything with the name Bluegrass or Jamboree in it.
I could probably write a book on the negative experiences I've had selling my own artwork, but truth is the positive far outweigh the negative. And although it can be hard not letting that one ugly splat on the wall get me down, I find that I still go home everyday and look forward to putting another piece of my heart down for posterity. Man...gotta love this life! jeje

Friday, December 12, 2008

Next Show: Fiesta Arts Faire 2009 San Antonio Texas

About 125 artist vendor spots and open to the whole country and I made it! I was so excited to find out that I have been accepted to this well attended juried show! I don't have much energy to start working this month. Things have been difficult on the personal front with my son getting himself into big trouble. It's pretty much been a rollercoaster ride the past week. I try and keep on the upside with the old "things could be worse" and it's true...they could always be worse. I'm lucky that I have the support of my loving husband and family and then as if I couldn't get luckier, well I've got some great friends! Enough of me. Let's talk art!
I'm looking forward to receiving a lot of new unifinished wood pieces from Mr. Ernie Bean of Las Cruces this weekend. He is not only the greatest woodworker I've ever met, but he's also my good friend. If any artists out there need some custom made retablos, nichos, plaques, framing, whatever...he's the man for the job. He's the only person I trust with custom orders and get this...his prices are unbelievably low! I always feel guilty about it too. Hit me up if you wanna know more!
I'm working on some Christmas presents for friends. My latest fun mirror goes to a friend who babysat our bird while we were up in Santa Fe. I love Nightmare Before Christmas and so does she. So it was a blast to be able to paint something Nightmarish for her! Check it out:

Then there's another project I'm working for but he's not quite done. A calavera groom. Been having a hard time with this one. Sometimes I just can't get the exact image I want and I have to walk away and come back to it later. Well I'm hoping the image will hit me and I'll be able to get it done this weekend. In fact, I have's a commission job!
I've been pumping out mirrors for some extra cash for Christmas too. Although my mind has been pretty distracted and my workflow is quite a bit slower than it normally is. Ah well.
Enough for now. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Call For Artists! Hispanic Contemporary Market in Santa Fe July 25th & 26th, 2009

Call to all hispanic New Mexican Artists...especially those in the southern part of New Mexico! The jurying process is coming up for this popular well attended show. Entries are being accepted on January 31st 2009 at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, exhibit hall C from 9 am to 12 noon. Take three of your best pieces and drop them off, pick them up between 3 pm and 5 pm. Notification of acceptance will be mailed on February 16, 2009.

This is a great show that brings in thousands and thousands of art buyers & collectors. It runs at the same time as the Spanish Colonial Market which helps bring us even more potential buyers. We really need southern New Mexico representation at this event. Last year there were only four artists from this area. It's well worth the time and money invested to vend at this market, not to mention the potential for important contacts. C'mon!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last Minute Things

We're headed up to Santa Fe on Friday and feels like I still have a million things to do. Not to mention the fact that I can't seem to stop painting! Still have to pack up the art, myself, color my hair, clean the house, wash clothes, decorate the tree to surprise my little one when she comes home on Sunday...and whatever else I can think of! Wish me luck. We need a good profit from this show or else we're gonna be eating arroz, frijoles and top ramen for the next 3 months! jeje
Quick preview of the fun I've been having painting on mirrors:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sometimes things hit the heart and sometimes you've just gotta paint...or create...or do whatever it is you need to do to release the pain.
I was making a logo girl for my daughter's artwork. Something we can make little cards of and put her jewelry on. I had the logo girl all painted up but was having a really hard time with her face. I painted her face three times but took it off because it just wasn't coming out right. As I sat there looking at my blank faced chica, I realized who the face wanted to be.
Sol was a beautiful woman. Inside and out. I knew her as a little girl and watched her grow into a young adult. She babysat my daughter many times and as my daughter grew older, she and Sol became friends. Sol was killed in a car accident in 2006. I think about her a lot and I'm sure my daughter thinks about her even more.
So I painted Sol's face on her and she fit. Perfectly. I love it when things are as they should be. It happens so rarely and makes me only more appreciative when they are.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

Here it is. My workspace. My disaster. My escape. I can watch movies. Listen to music. Put on my little heater or my little evaporative cooler. Lately with major hot flashes it's the cooler that gets the most use. Yeah so maybe I'm spoiled...but it has taken me almost four years to build up this little slice of mess piece at a time.
On the walls are most of the paintings I'm taking to Santa Fe next weekend. With any luck, that wall will be nearly empty when I return. And I'll start all over. I'm hoping that I'll get accepted to the San Antonio art show. My SA friends tell me that it's a good one and after reading about it, I agree. But if I'm not accepted, there is another show I'll apply for in Austin. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Items Listed in my Etsy Shop

At last finally! I have new items listed in my etsy shop. If you have a few, take a look!

Original Art Mirrors & Other Stuff

These are my latest project geared towards lower end priced original art. With the economy and everything else, I figured it's best to go into the art market with lower priced items. Unlike the summer market when I focused on larger pieces, this time I'm working on more items priced under $100.00. Although people are still spending money, they're spending it more carefully, so with that said hopefully these mirrors will do well.
This first group are part of my Calavera Couture. The styles are my own spin on Dior spring fashions. I had so much fun painting them. And of course I threw in a little Audrey just because she seemed to fit right in!

My Sirena mirrors always do well. When they sell out I always get mad at myself for not making more, but I just can't mass produce like that. It bores me to work on the same subject for too long.
The Geisha was an idea I had in mind and had originally planned to do about three of them. But time is short and I've only managed to finish one so far.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the Works...

Painting to pay the mortgage! These are currently in the works for Santa Fe. With any luck they'll be done by this weekend. Then it's on to the Geishas!

Yeay! I have a Follower!

Thanks to my good friend and wonderful artist Carolyn Flores! Now I have a follower and somebody else besides myself who actually reads my blogs. jeje

The Branigan Cultural Center here in Las Cruces is having an exhibit called "Tattoos as A Personal Form of Expression." I think it's great. There are lots of tat parlors here in town and anymore, tattooing has become the norm. I'm a huge fan of tattoo art and have met some wonderful people in the business. Anyways, I loaned them three of my Kill Bill badass broads original acrylics and I'm proud to say...they have sold! All three of them! I had originally done these chics for the summer Hispanic Contemporary in Santa Fe and I was really surprised to see how quickly they sold. And how much attention they garnered! Most people seemed to know the movie, and like myself were huge fans of both I and II. So I figured I'd do a couple of the main calavera form of course...and they sold immediately. I re-did three of them and this is the first time the new ones have been on display and now they're gone again. Good news yes. But a mixed blessing. Years ago I had an artist friend tell me an old vendor story. I never really understood it...but darn if I don't now!

An old indian woman was sitting in front of her home one day selling her handmade painted pottery. As she sat there, a man walked up to her and complimented her on the beautiful work she had done. He told her that he was impressed by her fine work and that he wanted to buy everything she had. The woman frowned and looked him then asked "But if you buy everything, what will I have to sell?"

So now my Kill Bill calaveras are gone and I can't take them to Santa Fe. Yeah. I understand it.

Anyway here they are.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two New Ones for Santa Fe

It is cold and windy! I don't care for winter much. But it's here and it's a nice change from warm breezy sunny days. jaja. Not.
Two new pieces. Been moving kinda slow lately. Burnout? Maybe. Let's see how much I can get finished in the next two and a half weeks.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day of the Dead 2008 in Mesilla, NM

I am a volunteer in The Calavera Coalition. A wonderful group of women who are dedicated to preserving the ancient celebration of El Dia de Los Muertos. The purpose of this event is to bring together people from all walks of life to honor the lives of their loved ones who have passed on. The plaza turns into a feast for the eyes as people build altars to their family members, pets and even causes that they are passionate about. We bring in artists and crafters to sell their wares and do not allow any kind of pre-manufactured items. We have local entertainment to give the event a more festive air. This is not a carnival by any means. This is a celebration of life.

This year I was the vendor coordinator for Mesilla's Day of the Dead. What a job! I'm used to just showing up, getting my booth assignment and setting all my junque up. But this time I was the one in charge and I've gotta admit it wore me out. But it was also a load of fun and I got to meet some wonderful people. Not to mention see some of my favorites again.

This is Alex & his lovely wife Lori. They are both incredible artists. Alex is also a tattoo artist and does beautiful work. It was good to see them again. It's hard to believe they were getting through this weekend with little to no sleep. You can tell they're young because if I had gotten no sleep you'd better believe I'd be mistaken for La Llorona!

This pretty lady is Carolyn. She drove all the way from Los Lunas which is up by Albuquerque. I had the privilege of meeting her when we both vended at the Hispanic Contemporary Market in Santa Fe. I fell in love with her beautiful passionate artwork. Carolyn darn near sold out this weekend! And with that she is able to make it to the Winter Market in Santa Fe. Yeah!

This is Christina who drove down with Carolyn from Los Lunas. She was too cute and made these fun embellished totes and reversible bags that were quite a hit this weekend. By the close of Sunday, her sales went so well that her tent was almost empty.

That's Casey there on the right. What a pistol! I liked her immediately and I believe we have a date to go out shooting watermelons. jeje
Her earrings and jewelry were a rockin' hit! She is a fabulous artist in her own right and I now own a pair of zapatista earrings complete with pistolas. Ahuuuuaaa!

Joie is an incredibly talented artist. She is a polymer clay DIVA! No kidding. The polymer clay art that woman creates are unlike any other polymer clay artwork I've ever seen. Her work never ceases to take my breath away. I am so happy to say that she had a very successful weekend and just about sold out! Yepyep!

This is my friend Maya. She's a joy to converse with and is the best storyteller I've ever known! She came up with some of the most original Muertos jewelry I have ever seen. Adorable calaveras with antler rings, skull ribbon necklaces, and a variety of other colorful pretties to adorn the body. It was so good to have her at this event!
This is Michele and she came all the way from Pinos Altos. Along with a variety of other jobs, she is an artist extraordinaire! Do not go to her table unless you have an open wallet and budget. You will find some of the most original artwork and craftwork ever and I am so proud to say that every Dia de Los Muertos...she is OURS!

We had many more artists and performers but unless I turn this blog into a book, I just won't have time for more. It really was a wonderful weekend and I'm already thinking about how to improve it for next year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is Always Good! Go President Obama! YES!

Currently working on four new originals for Santa Fe at the end of this month. Two elaborate Dolorosa (Lady of Sorrows) retablos and two vintage-style "Visit Mexico" travel poster paintings...of course in calavera style. Pics to be posted soon.
I'm thinking that lower-priced items for this market will be my strategy. For summer market most of my paintings, nichos & retablos were larger and ranged in the $300 to $500 range. But this time $100-$200 will be more appropriate. Maybe. Never done this market before. I know it won't bring in the 30,000+ crowds that summer market did, but it will bring in the Christmas crowd.
Also just took a bunch of mirrors that were left over from Dia de Los Muertos over to the Corbett Center where part of the huge Mariachi Conference will be held this weekend. I don't really know that anything will sell since most people are attending to of course...listen to music! Not to buy art. Pero quien sabe. Can't hurt and it's free. Thanks for asking Priscilla!
It's really windy and dusty today. Extreme weather. One of the perks of desert living. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And don't forget to...


Next Stop...Santa Fe!

Just finished up two big shows. Albuquerque was Oct. 4th and 5th. That was the San Felipe Santero Market and though I'm no Santera...I made some great sales!
Dia de Los Muertos in the historic plaza of Mesilla was a blast. Great atmosphere and great sales too. The weather was divine. Who could ask for anything more?

I'm currently working like a madwoman for new pieces to take to Santa Fe's Hispanic Contemporary Winter Market at El Museo Cultural. After that I've promised myself that I will rest for the month of December. Yeah. Right. jeje

I'm looking to enter into a big art festival in San Antonio Texas. Big juried show so wish me luck! Gotta get that application in by the 15 of this month. Hurry hurry hurry!