Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Snow of '09

Since my last post, I've been fighting a bit of artists' block. The co-op (not surprisingly) fell through, because artists are generally flighty and disorganized. It was a little bit of a letdown, but I didn't have my hopes very high in the first place.

Between then and now, I've been fighting off feelings of being completely uninspired. Everything that I thought had the potential to be interesting under a microscope fell through. Frost is uninteresting ice hexes. Sulfite crystals that form on wine corks look like boring old amethyst. My last hope rested in snow.

Snow is unbelievably challenging to photograph. The subjects are only there for a few seconds, the distance from the lens is constantly changing as they melt, and each snowflake is generally attached to bits of other flakes, if not several other whole ones. All of this makes it extremely difficult to capture a whole snowflake, all by itself, in focus.

Today was the first flake-forming snow of the year at our house, which meant throwing on gear and getting outside as soon as I woke up. I took 128 shots, and was really only happy with one flake, but it was enough to restore my inspiration. My goal of having a whole portfolio of decent snow shots might actually become a reality. Here's a heavily cropped, low-res image of that lovely little flake.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The museum sale went... okay. I sold two pieces. It definitely wasn't my best show, but I talked to some other artists, and they were disappointed with their sales, too. I'm glad it wasn't just me.

I found a note that I had overlooked on my last payment receipt from the gallery asking me for more stuff. (whoops!) It's been almost a month since I received that. I want to see what the plans for this new co-op are before I get back with her, though, because under my current gallery contract I wouldn't be able to do both.

Nothing new to report; hopefully I'll have something interesting to post after the co-op meeting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Things are Looking Up!

Sales picked up during the summer at the gallery. I sold 5 pieces, which was good.

I'm also in another sale at Dennos, which starts later today and ends Sunday. This one is much more exclusive, and I've already sold a piece! I went in yesterday morning to set up my table, and there were a few museum visitors milling about, looking at the inuit art collection and pre-Columbian American gold exhibit. A couple made their way over to my table to see my work, and after some admiration of the snow pieces, the lady decided she had to have the "Perfect Snowflake" print. They bought it on the spot, and I didn't even have to give Dennos any commission, because the sale hadn't started yet! (I did replace the Perfect Snowflake print before the end of the day though, so that everything I had on my table was true to the inventory sheet I'd turned in.) It was very exciting.

To add to the excitement, another artist saw the exchange, came over to look at my work, and invited me to be a part of an artist co-op that's starting up. They've got a show/retail space on Front Street (tourist gold!) and I'm going to attend their meeting on Tuesday to see if it's something I'd like to be involved with. It sounds kind of promising. My current gallery is on Front Street, but they take a commission of 50%. It would be nice to be in a more beneficial situation.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The museum sale went really well! I sold five pieces out of ten submitted, which is better than average. Also, I was able to donate 4 more pieces to various silent auctions in the area, and, while they didn't sell for very much, at least my work is out there for people to see.

According to the folks at the gallery, people aren't quite sure what they're looking at when they see my work, despite the informational tags. Everybody thinks it's cool and amazing when they see the piece and find out what it is, but then nobody buys the work. I've found the same to be true with my website, despite the site creators making me a featured artist for free. It's disheartening.

I'm beginning to think that the best way for me to make money at this is to do art fairs; but the expense to do that is huge. When I can talk to people and explain my methods and the backstory to the piece, they usually make the purchase, but I don't want to have to sell a minimum of ten pieces in one day to just cover the booth expense.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My first museum art sale...

Dennos Museum is hosting a small works art exhibit and sale in May, and my photomicrography prints are totally in! It will be a good chance to introduce some new work to the public, maybe some color images and more abstract stuff than the series at the gallery. Of course, it will also be a good chance to create some publicity for the series on sale, too. Yay for being a shameless art-whore!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


One of our local news stations has a nightly bit called the "weather hotshot," which features a photograph of the weather, taken by a viewer. Last Saturday, the coolest meteorologist of them all, (who also happens to be a personal friend,) featured one of my photomicrographs, below, of a snowflake! It was very exciting!

Unfortunately, it happened during a weekend when the rest of my family was downstate, but my sister was able to record it for all to see.

It's good to have awesome friends in television.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Retail Ready at Last!

For the past four weeks, I'd been worrying about my official "retail ready" gallery deadline, which happens to be tomorrow. I'd never sold work before this series, so I had a lot to do, and a lot of mistakes to make. Whenever I made progress, it didn't seem tangible, and there were many setbacks. However, sitting here looking at the sheer number of pieces that I made during that time, I'm experiencing an unprecedented sense of accomplishment. There are two framed 16x20's, two framed 11x14's, six framed 8x10's, eight matted 11x14's, and eight matted 5x7's. That's a total of 26 pieces that had to be printed, cut, mounted, signed, and sometimes framed. In addition, I had to design description cards from scratch for each image, and attach those to the finished pieces.

It was a lot of work, but I learned so much about photo printing and mounting. The finished pieces look really great.

I hope I get to do this again someday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Backstory...

The posts I originally made when this blog started didn't really give a history of how the ball got rolling for me. Here's some backstory. (Note: this was written in October 2009, but I backdated it so that it would show up at the beginning of the blog.)

In December of 2008, I got a microscope with the intent of using it for rockhounding, which is one of my other hobbies. However, it was the middle of one of the harshest winters we've had in a long time, and there were few rocks to hound. I ended up turning my shiny new microscope toward things that were nearby. Soon, the Secrets of a Modern Kitchen series was born. Here's the image that started it all, which I call "Table Salt on Cork".

Secrets of a Modern Kitchen dealt with simple kitchen ingredients as subjects, including salt, sugar, oil & water, condensation, and more. Later, after I tired of kitchen subjects, (it was a looong winter,) I turned the microscope on the snowflakes outside. Snow is incredibly challenging to photograph, and I'm still not quite pleased with those images. (However, they do sell well.)

After receiving much encouragement from friends and family, I decided to shop local galleries to see if they were interested. Art and Soul Gallery picked up my kitchen series right away, much to the surprise of my now-husband. His mother is an artist, so he knew how hard it could be to get a gallery contract. Luckily, we live in a community that strongly supports local and emerging artists, so I was able to find a gallery who would give me a chance.

That should be sufficient backstory to get a reader started on this blog, which is really nothing more than the chronicle of an emerging artist. I hope you enjoy your visit!