Monday, 9 December 2013

Pet portraits and Christmas Fairs.

'Scrappy' - custom portrait in ink and gouache approx 7 x 8 inches

So, after posting and creating every day for the month of November, I decided to take a wee break for a week or so. Not that I wasn't being creative but it was more about printing and labelling and pricing stock for the Caithness Horizons Christmas Fair which was on Saturday 7 December. It took me the best part of a week to get everything ready.

The fair took place over two different floors and various different rooms of the building - which is a sort of tourist information/museum/art gallery/cafe/shop. My stall was in the art gallery bit - hence the beautiful landscape painting above my head in the photo.  I got asked twice how much it was and had to say (through gritted teeth) that unfortunately I couldn't take credit for it as it wasn't mine!

To be honest, it was a bit of a let down. It seems that it wasn't very well advertised other than on Facebook and really, the demographic likely to frequent such fairs may not, in all fairness, be very au fait with social media.

It was only after one of the other stall holders complained that someone went and put a sign outside the building to let folk know the fair was on inside!  Even then it was lunch time before someone thought to put up another sign to let the same folk know that there were more stall upstairs (where I was). There was the usual ebb and flow of people but, by all accounts, not nearly as many as there were downstairs. 

My wee stall 
Anyway, I sold a few greetings cards (one to a woman who, got to admire her honesty, stated it was so she could copy the zentangle style Christmas tree on it and use it for her own cards!) and one of my original gouache dogs on the brown card (half of which I'll give to the rescue centre the dogs come from) so after deducting the price of hiring the table, I didn't exactly make enough to retire on. Still, every cloud has a silver lining and one of my sister's old school friends saw the photo of my stall on Facebook and has commissioned me to do a doodimal portrait of one of her dogs!

The portrait illustrating this post is another pet portrait I've been working on this week which I got via my Etsy shop of a wee cutie called Scrappy. I really enjoy doing the custom animal portraits and am looking forward to starting the next one - a wire haired dachshund this time. 

Although this is an early posting, I'll be linking to Paint Party Friday come Friday as I missed last week and I'll do my best to do the rounds and see what everyone else has been up to in art blogland this week. 

29 comments:

  1. If I was there I would buy your multicoloured turtle I think he is wonderful.
    Merle.....................

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  2. I'm sorry there wasn't a better turn out but it was their loss, such quality works, beautiful creations, next time, it will be better, Scrappy is a beauty!!!! You did Scrappy proud and then some, its amazing!!

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  3. Aw cute Jack, looks like my neighbor's Carly. Lovely table. xox

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  4. I love your portrait and I am sorry you were disappointed in the fair, but it is amazing the connections you can make by just turning up! I cant believe that woman said that to you! Its one thing to think it, but to say that to the artist?!? Love your commission - your client must be super happy x

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  5. What a really wonderful selection and display Nic!! Sorry to hear things didn't sell as well as they DEF should have. It certainly would have helped to have signs around much earlier! I too can't believe the woman actually told you what she was planning to do, but, I too have come across some similar remarks. Congrats on your new commission, and I think your portrait of scrappy is stunning! Hmmm, let's see if that woman can copy that :):)

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  6. Wow what an amazing portrait. Sorry there's not as much sale at the fair. Your work is incredible. It will be better in the next one.

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  7. Scrappy is gorgeous! I love how you painted him. Sorry about the fair although I think the layout of your table looks great and I already see a bunch of things I would have purchased.

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  8. I am sorry it wasn't busy... Your stall looks SO beautiful! I wish I could have come...
    It sounds like you still had more success than I did in the summer - My stall got rained off within ten minutes, lol!
    Your dog is adorable! Really good news about the commission too :0)

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  9. Scrappy is beautiful, his family must be delighted! Your stall looks so enticing, a shame about the advertising especially as you had put in so much effort getting everything ready. I do like the giant tortoise, was that a post I missed!!

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  10. I love your Scrappy dog...those eyes warm the soul! God, you're good!

    Sorry you didn't make a killing at the fair but we live and learn. Advertising is everything...well, everything next to the artwork itself. I really believe you would've sold lots of your work if you'd been on the first floor or as you mentioned, a sign was posted to let folks know you were upstairs. Luckily, you were seen on Facebook. I do love this photo of you and I do love Facebook for the commission pieces it's brought me.

    Warm wishes from Miami!

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  11. This dogportrait is gorgeous! Fur, eyes, everything! I just love the dog.

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  12. Scrappy is beautiful. Sorry about the fair being so disorganised, your table looks good though.

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  13. Love Scrappy's portrait, really beautiful and sensitive. Too bad about the fair, I hope better advertising next time! Just have to wonder about the person who buys artist's work to copy... and even tells about it to you (rolls eyes), I guess she saw nothing wrong about it (rolls eyes again)!

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  14. Hi NIc, Scrappy is beautiful. I too am sorry about the fair. I hope that the next one you attend is better. I am happy that you are doing so many pet portraits. Happy for you but also for the people who receive such a beautiful piece of art. People never cease to amaze me. I really can't imagine copying someone's work much less telling them my plans. I hope you have a wonderful week.

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  15. I love Scrappy. Your work is outstanding.

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  16. I too love the dog painting and your cards are fabulous. I find that more people going to shows don't have the morality to know you DON'T copy others art. Shows she has no creative brain in her head. Just a copier. Shame on her.
    As for you, a true artists in all aspects.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  17. Love the portrait. Your stall looks great. Sorry it didn't pan out the way you wanted. Have a great day and Happy holidays.

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  18. Ahhh, Nic, I figured it out! I'm back!:-) Scrappy is GORGEOUS!!! His eyes are SO alive... simply stunning. I also LOVED seeing you with your art - a perfect picture:-)

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  19. Scrappy looks awesome...and love the little photo of you at your booth... it's sure a lot of work to set it all up.Glad you found a commission out of the deal!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  20. You look so cute next to your art, thanks for sharing!
    I can't believe people go and say they will copy something... or worse, go and do it! :o(
    Your dog portrait is awesome ♥

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  21. Wow, that dog portrait is so so beautiful! Love the colours! And I can totally relate on the disappointment with the market. I've had that happen too in the past and now I only go to markets that do really good marketing. But even then you can never know how it's going to be. Can't believe what that woman said to you. Some people have no shame ... Or worse, they don't even realize that what they're doing is wrong ..... Congrats on the commission! At least some good things came out of it!

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  22. Really wonderful pet portrait! He is SO full of life! Your table looks great, too! You know, they say that copying is the highest form of praise :)

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  23. Love the pet portrait. What a regal pose! Your stall looks fabulous and interesting. It's too bad sales weren't so great. :)

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  24. Everything on your stall looks so enticing - I love the dachshund and the big tortoise. It's so disappointing when stall holders have paid for their table only to find the fair is not advertised or sign-posted. In the past I've been there, many years ago, and had the same experience, and when I've unexpectedly found myself upstairs found not every visitor was prepared to climb the stairs. Still, as you say, there is always something good to come out of things.
    I hope you and yours have a happy and peaceful Christmas, and wish you a good year in 2014 in every way.

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  25. Beautiful portrait, Nicola. I love the reflection in the dog'e eye!

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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