|My First Booth|
Soon we started reminiscing about the shows we did in horrible weather, van problems and other stories from "the road". I miss the special breed of artists I met doing the shows, but I also know I am not ready to go back out there.
|In the rain|
Two years ago I decided to take a year off from "the circuit". Last year I went to only one art festival and it looks like that's what I am doing this year as well. It still feels a little strange to be home most weekends in the summer. That was my life for so many years and sometimes I feel like my memories are turning a bit nostalgic and the reasons for taking a break are not quite as crystal clear as they once were.
|In the rain #2|
So much has changed in the last few years. Without even mentioning the Internet, making a living selling at art festivals was already becoming a questionable pursuit. One reason for this is a saturation of the market. Here in California, you have a choice of several shows to attend on any given weekend in the summer. Art festivals no longer have the air of being a special event. The focus also started shifting away from the art and more toward wine, music and kids bouncy houses.
|Lake Tahoe (got very very windy)|
Then there is the Internet......If you are not one to risk a sunburn or a run in with an inebriated "wine taster", why not look for art in the comfort of your own home? While I still believe most people are reluctant to make purchases of original art online, there are many who are very happy picking up a high quality print from one of hundreds of websites offering just that sort of service (with a money back guarantee!)
So where does that leave me? Missing my friends and grateful that I was able to meet so many people that appreciated what we were offering out there. What I am not missing is obsessively checking Weather.com every 15 minutes to see if it's going to rain or be 115 degrees outside, (like I could do anything about it anyway). I also don't miss getting up at 3:30 am for dark and cold early morning set ups. (Looks like my reasons for the sabbatical are becoming clear again.... no need to continue.)
When my friend was leaving my studio after our visit he called out "hope to see you on the streets soon". I quickly found myself explaining to other visitors with quizzical looks on their faces what he was referring to.
|On the street.....|