Monday, November 23, 2009

Made in Montana

I'd like to introduce you to two of my friends who run a pottery studio in Montana and travel to many of the same art festivals around the country as I do. They're Tom and Marcie from Mountain Brook Studios.

These folks are not only two of the most talented potters I know, they're great people. If you are looking for that special gift for someone, you won't go wrong shopping here.

Made in Montana - Mountain Brook Studio from Carmen Ebert on Vimeo.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The good, the bad and the terrible

My latest trip to the two shows I did in California was well, interesting. Sales at Half Moon Bay's Pumpkin festival were on par with last years which made m feel good because many artists I talked to were glad their sales were only down by 30-40%. I can assure you that if you ever read or hear from me that my sales were ONLY down 30-40% that will be the last season I go out on the circuit.

My experiences in Danville were much more mixed. Through out Saturday I complained (silently to myself) that this market just wasn't for me. Although Danville is one of the richest ZIP codes in the country, they got that way my not spending their money. This festival is a place for the public to "be seen" not to attend to see and buy art at. I called my wife after closing Saturday night and begged her to not send me back, but being the ever so optimistic person she is, reminded me that I still had Sunday to make up for the slow sales on Saturday.

On Sunday with only a few hours left in the show, I had a couple of decent sales and low and behold after counting up what I did, I was actually up a few hundred dollars over last year. I'm sticking with my "this is the wrong market for my art" theory and most likely will give this show a rest for a few years.

The one thing that a traveling artist fears the most, even over crappy sales is having a mechanical breakdown while on the road and on this trip, I had two. On my way down to the shows I had my THIRD set of axle bearings fail on my trailer in the last 4 months. Turns out that the backyard tow truck driving, want to be mechanic that repaired them the last time I broke down on the road, over tighten the axle nut thus causing the grease to heat up, melt and burn up the bearings. So much for my good deal from this good ol' boy.

I stopped at a rest area just outside of Weed California and noticed the awkward angle my wheel was leaning and after a few choice words, went into "let's get this thing fixed" mode and called for a tow. When the driver unloaded my trailer from his flatbed truck at the repair shop he informed me that I owed him $360.00 for a THIRTEEN MILE tow. When I question him about the price he informed me that "your in California and we charge $180.00 and hour". When I pointed out that from start to finish it was only about an hour and a half he said there was a 2 hour minimum to tow from the area I broke down. Please remind me never to move back to California OK?

The axle repair went smooth and quick and I was back on my way in a few hours. Oh yeah, when I presented my insurance card for the tow bill the driver said the company rejected the charge because it only covered the tow vehicle and NOT the trailer. This is after I specifically asked my agent if my trailer was covered. Presently, my agent is still hiding from me. I also bought a membership to AAA RV Plus services.

My return trip home went smooth for the entire time until I got to about 50 miles from home. I had to accelerate through a yellow light (I know I should have done the opposite) and noticed the RPMs on my tach rev up which is not what's suppose to happen. This was the first sign that my transmission was going out so I limped it back to Sandpoint where my transmission service center informed me that I needed to have it rebuilt which, was only going to cost $1500.00 and not the $3000.00 plus a repair out of town would have been. Just part of being a traveling artist I told myself and 2 days later picked up my truck with a newly rebuilt tranny. At least I don't have to worry about that happening again for awhile, I hope.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Off to California

First things first, happy birthday Josh my son, I remember the day you were born 33 years ago just like it was yesterday. Peace.

Tomorrow I start my annual migration south. Well at least my October migration south. They'll be another major one to AZ. in late November and early December but this ones just in time to miss a pretty big winter (SNOW) storm heading our way that my wife will have to deal with one her own. Lucky I married such a strong and pioneering type womean or my life as a traveling artist could be.

For the next two weekends I'll be in (hopefully) sunny California doing shows in Half Moon Bay and Danville. As whats becoming a tradition around here, I've posted a Google map for each location.

Half Moon Bay booth number is 133C

View Larger Map

Danville booth number is 215C

View Larger Map

Talk to you from the road using my new MiFi wireless router device.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This blew me away

The life of an artist is always interesting. I dare say never boring. Trying to be as creative as possible while at the same time producing art that people will buy in order to allow you to support yourself and family can be difficult.

Awards given away at shows for things like "Best of Category" or even better yet "Best of Show" are great but I wouldn't know, I've NEVER received one. I've done over 200 shows, maybe even getting closer to 300 and in all this time, zero, nada, the big goose egg. I've never won. It used to bother me because I feel my work is worthy of this praise. But as years have passed I without these honers bestowed on me I become rather complacent and usually not even giving it a thought.

That is until yesterday when I received this e-mail from The Festival of the Arts in Tempe AZ.

Hello, Dennis. After reviewing thousands of images that artists have submitted to the Tempe Festivals of the Arts, we’ve selected one artist whose work we believe embodies the spirit of the Festival and whom we want to invite to become our official 2010 Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts “Featured Artist.” You are that artist, and we sincerely hope that you will agree to join us in this honor.

There's more to the e-mail but you get the picture. This news completely took me by surprise and blew me away. Featured artist, no way. I've done this show for many years and it's always a top producing venue for me. I always walk by and check out the featured artist's work and maybe deep down inside, wish it was me and NOW IT IS.

I'm deeply humbled by this honor, thank you Kate Hastings.

Think you've been busy huh?

I've been super busy lately. What's new huh?

The coming of winter in North Idaho means doing things like getting all of my hay in for the year to feed our horses. Because we heat our home and yurt studio exclusively with wood stoves, firewood is also a top priority. I cut and stack about 12 cords each year and usually have 1 or 2 left over the next spring but I'd rather be in that position than freezing in a late April snow storm.

The last shows I've participated in were, Swiss Days in Midway, Utah and even though we had a few rain showers I had an on par with previous years sales show and Art in the Park in Boise, ID. The weather was great, folks turned out and I beat my all time sales for this 3 day show.

Up next is my annual trip to Salmon Days in Issaquah, WA this coming weekend. The show is always held on the first weekend of October during the salmon's return to Issaquah Creek to complete their life cycle by spawning in the same waters they were born in. Crazy big and always entertaining show where even if it rains (it ALWAYS does) people come out to support it. Not what I would call a fine arts venue but does tend to have something for everyone.

My booth is located on the corner of Front and Sunset (#400) right in front of the library. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Monday, August 31, 2009

First extend fall trip

I take off in the morning for a two week trip that will have me doing shows in Midway, UT (Swiss Days) and then on to Boise, ID for Art in the Park. The great thing about this annual trip is that between these two great shows, I get to hang out with my son, daughter in law and 2 grand kids that live in Salt Lake City. Can't wait to see them all.

As promised, here is a Google map to my show in Boise, ID. My booth number for this show is #106. I posted a map to the Midway show awhile ago.

View Larger Map

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trying something new

I thought this might be interesting. I'll be posting a Google Map of my art festival show locations. Here is my next one. Swiss Days in Midway, UT. on Friday September 4th and Sat. the 5th.

View Larger Map

Finally, new art.

I've had a small break between shows lately (2 weeks, big deal but I'll take and savor it) So I've had a chance to create a few new pieces. Take a look.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Artists Make Money

A great article from NPR on how artists take different paths to making money with their art.

NPR article here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Utah Arts Festival 2009

Salt Lake City is an amazing city to different people for very different reasons. It is a Mecca for members of the LDS church with the head quarters right there downtown. I love the urban setting that backs up to one of the coolest mountain ranges in the lower 48 states. It also helps that my kids and grand kids live close to there also. I never need an excuse to drop in on them for a visit but when I can combine seeing them during the same time one of my favorite art festivals is going on, that combination can't be beat.

I've done this festival before but have always had something to complain about, namely the extreme weather and the long show hours. The money is always good there for me but having to deal with the brutal heat, high winds and mountain thunder storms seem to have tempered my enthusiasm for the event.

This year things were different. My booth location was under a canopy of glorious trees and was north facing. I didn't have direct sun hit my booth AT ALL. I was on the grass instead of the pavement. The meandering path I was situated on was almost at the crossroads to the whole show plus it was narrow enough to force everyone to slow down and "take a look see" into my booth and at my art.

As I stated before the hours are long, very long in fact. We set up of Wed. afternoon and the show goes from Thursday through Sunday starting at noon and lasting until 11:00 PM all four days. The fact that I was so busy the entire time selling art I hardly noticed how long the show actually was. That is until I crashed after the show ended each day.

We did get a storm (pretty sever in fact) come through Friday evening and 2 unfortunate artists lost their booths due to high winds but because of my location I hardly felt it. The rain put a damper of those who were walking around but after an hour or so of the storm, it passed and folks came back out. That is a true testament to how well the community supports this show.

The crowd and artist alike were treated to world-class music all four days and nights. The artist amenities were fantastic, the promoter as well as the staff was the best I've dealt with in years, and I hope they bring these wonderful volunteers back again next year.

The folks in Salt Lake City love my fractal art and I truly hope to return next year. I don't divulge what my total sales are here on my blog but I will tell you I had my largest show EVER. I love Utah Arts Festival.

Cool fractal CG movie from 1980

Vol Libre from Loren Carpenter on Vimeo.

Link and back story can be found here

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What a trip

Earlier this week, I returned home from an epic road trip that took me from Seattle, then Salt Lake City and lastly Whitefish, MT. the gateway to Glacier National Park.

My first stop in Seattle was for the famous Solstice celebration Fremont district street fair. Not only do thousands of Seattlites come out to support this festival, (actually over 100,000) many of them do it NAKED. Each year the festival puts on a parade and asks the participants to dress in a earth friendly theme, so many riders just paint leaves, flowers or other cool patterns on their skin and call it good. This year's weather was spectacular allowing the state of under dress to happen without fear of freezing to death. I'm sure a little bit of adult beverages also helped calm the nerves and bolster the courage of these hardy souls.

Sales for my fractals are always great in Seattle and this festival was certainly no exception. Fremont District, I'll see you again next year, some of you more than others :-)

After breaking down Sunday night I traveled a hundred miles east over the I 90 pass to the town of Cle Elum where I spent the night and took off Monday morning for Utah.

Artists Make Money By Forgoing Traditional Galleries

A path not always taken by artists trying to make a living by selling their art but worth a listen anyway.

NPR article

Monday, June 8, 2009

A business decision

I've tried to accommodate anyone who wants to buy a piece of my art by offering many different sizes in order to fit within the budget they have for themselves. Offering small sized prints as well as a complete line of greeting cards insured that anyone wanting some of my art would be able to afford it.

The problem with this way of thinking is that, as I added new images to my mix as I created them, my limited space I set up in at the art festivals I sell at couldn't hold every thing I wanted to show. Now I could have stopped introducing new fractals but that would require me to stop creating them and as an artist, that would be an unacceptable option. Artists need to make art, period. If I stop making art, I stop being an artist and might as well get a job working for someone else, WRONG.

After contemplating what to do with my image size mix I've decided to do the following. Even though I've expounded the virtues of selling your art through a greeting card line (which I have successfully done for years making tens of thousands of dollars doing so) I will be discontinuing them. I've also decided to stop selling my 5"x 7" framed prints too. I was afraid that my total dollar sales would drop significantly based on looking over my records for these sizes for the past few years. But in order to keep a fresh look with new images I needed to cut out something and these were chosen.

I've not written about the out come of this decision yet even though I started this experiment nearly 3 months ago because I wanted some hard data to report and not just speculation on my part. So what happened?

My sales are up across the board from every show I did last year with the exception of one show that was rained out this year. I've had a handful of past customers ask about where my greeting cards were but not one person has inquired about the lack of my 5" x 7" prints. Everyone that inquired about the cards, with the exception of one customer purchased art from me. In most cases they bought the smallest size that I now offer (8"x 10" clip framed prints) and seemed happy doing.

The conclusion I take from this is I am now able to fill the space vacated by discontinuing greeting cards and the 5" x 7" prints with newly created art. This keeps me making art, gives my booth a fresh look and apparently has increased my sales. If you are an artist selling small sized prints or greeting cards, I'm not necessarily advising you to ditch your game plan, I'm just reporting what is working for me.

PS An artist friend of mine who owns the retail store Tye Dye Everything in Moscow, ID has become the new owner of thousands of my greeting cards I am no longer selling. If you are interested in still buying my cards you can purchased them here at Arlene's website Tye Dye Everything

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey Bro

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I'll be spending my weekend traveling, NOT to an art festival but to visit my brother who will be in Sun Valley Idaho for business. He lives in my old home town of Santa Cruz, CA. which sadly to say, I don't get back to as much as I would like too.

He will be meeting a interior designer as well as the home owner of I'm sure a very swank home in this famous ski town. Mark, my brother, owns Brady Mountain Cabinets which handles high end cabinetry and other wooden projects in up scale homes in places like Pebble Beach, Carmel and Monteray CA. His client in Idaho (still a secret so far at least) is some famous movie star which Mark has done other work for in Pebble Beach but hasn't been introduced to yet. He has only worked with the designer and builder but this time the owner/movie star will be there to explain what he wants. Hopefully a photo opp will happen.

Because I had an off weekend from my show schedule, one of only 3 between now and Labor Day, I gingerly asked my wife if I could fly down to Boise to meet up with my brother. Macalea, our daughter has returned home from college so my wife will at least have her company which will be nice. A mother daughter hang time weekend.

After flying down Friday, Mark and I will get a chance to take in some of the local Boise food and music scene before heading to Sun Valley on Saturday. Even though I've been doing the Art in the Park art festival in Boise for years, I've yet been able to find the energy to go out and "play" after the long days spent selling my art so this time down there will be a real treat.

After I return I need to get ready for a 3 week tour of festivals that will take me from Seattle, then off to the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City the very next weekend, two days hanging out with my son and his family that live close to that festival then off to Whitefish MT. the gateway to Glacier National Park for another show on 4th of July weekend. Man just typing that made me tired I can only imagine what the real deal will do to me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spokane ArtFest 2009

Afters years of begging and pleading with the promoters of the Spokane ArtFest to place my booth in a north facing, under the shade of the trees location, my perseverance finally paid off. I couldn't have asked for a better location for last weekends annual art festival that is located in the Brown's Addition of west Spokane WA.

First isle from the main entrance and smack dab under two wonderful oak trees made for the most pleasant and profitable show I've ever done in Spokane. For the first time in as long as I can remember, this 3 day event was blessed with warm sunny weather. Not a rain cloud to be seen. This made the patrons, as well as us artists very happy.

I can't tell whether it was because I've developed such a strong and loyal following in this region or because I introduced so many new fractal images that I haven't shown here before, or possibly a combination of the two but I had a record sales this year. Framed as well as matted prints flew out of my booth faster than I could keep my walls and bins stocked.

This in addition to the great artist amenities make for a very pleasant weekend. I hope that next year's jurors invite me back to this great show.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A perfect Friday mind trip

Don't ask me, I just found this.

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 6 of 6

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 5 of 6

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 4 of 6

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 3 of 6

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 2 of 6

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity Part 1

Every time I set up my fractal art display at festivals I have many people mention to me about a PBS special they saw on fractals. The name of this documentary is "The Colors of Infinity." I've owned the DVD for many years and have watched it dozens of times but if you'd like to be immersed in the world of fractals, here is the 6 part YouTube series.

I'm a geek

I used to sort of hide the fact that I was a geek at heart, now I proudly tell everyone I meet. So have these fellow geeks.

University Street Fair- Seattle

This year's U District show went off without a hitch. Great sunny weather and re-assignments of spaces found the artist only on University Ave and not tucked away from the action on one of the many side streets. These streets were regulated to food vendors and commercial & non-profit organizations.

This is the 7th year I've done this show and I more than doubled the best year I had in the past. Good weather, better space, moon, sun & star alignment, I don't know why but this year rocked.

The promoters finally listened to us artists and made the changes necessary to bring this show back from the buy/sell graveyard it was in the past few years.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Expanded Solfeggio 1110hz pairs via K.I.S.S. laser unit

Don't ask, just watch and listen. Very fractally.

For Kaden

The coolest thing in the whole world according to my grandson Kaden, are elephants. This song along with the corresponding video is for him.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nature's fractals

One of the coolest explanations of the Fibonacci sequence I've run across. Here is an article I found over at Environmental Graffiti.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This Twitter thing

I think I might try an experiment. Last year I wrote about how much of a time drain the Internet can be if you don't set a few parameters for it. Checking your e-mail 10 or more times an hour, allowing yourself to be swept away from your task at hand by digging too deep into extraneous side subjects in Wikipedia or just surfing too much can effectively steal hours of your day.

I love blogging but often times find it difficult to post interesting and informative updates because I'm on the road doing art festivals much of my year. I tried a few times to update this blog via my smart phone when a reliable WiFi connection wasn't available but that sucked and I quickly abandoned that idea. I could however make quick posts another way very easily.

I might have a partial solution to this dilemma. Twitter. For the 2 people who might read this that doesn't know what Twitter is all about go here first and then return to finish reading my post.

I was wondering about just how I've patterned my use of the Internet for the past decade (or more) and thought it might be interesting to see if there was a way for me to centralize my online time by using Twitter as my only link to the Net. A jumping off point of sorts. I would gradually wean myself from e-mail, my RSS reader, my habit of checking out all of my favorites websites on a daily basis and concentrate on building a base of like minded, interesting contacts on Twitter that would "feed me" all of the information I currently get in the fragmented way I'm currently using the Net. The way that took me years to develop these habits I've become accustomed too.

Let me explain further. Instead of opening up Mailplane (a Google e-mail application) to fire off a lengthy e-mail to someone, I would just send a 140 character @ message to them via Twitter. Maybe it would just be to direct them to an interesting article I want them to see.

Instead of using my Google RSS reader to "push" me information it thinks I need to see, I would rely on my Twitter contacts to tells me what they think is important for me to take the time to check out. Same goes with FriendFeed. If I construct a reliable and trusted group of friends on Twitter, opinions I trust, to send me to info they think it's important for me to see, I wouldn't waste as much time as I currently do following up on my out dated daily routine.

Likewise with me sending out useful links back to them. Or better yet, re tweeting great content that I get turned onto. Sounds a bit like I'd be leeching info off others without giving much in return, but I assure you, that is not my intent. I'll do my share.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, if I do go ahead with this plan, it's just an experiment to see if I can more efficiently use my on line time better.

If you already have a Twitter account and want to help with this experiment go here to "follow me" on Twitter and we'll both see how this idea works out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A reunion of old friends

Last weekend the 35th annual Moscow Ren Fair was held in East City Park under less than desirable conditions but none the less, didn't dampen the spirit of this venerable event. Because North Idaho can present every weather conditions imaginable this time of year, artists and fair goers alike have to be prepared for anything. For the past 2 years this art festival was blessed with beautiful, sunny skies and warm weather, so if you happened to only attend on either of those years you might have expected more of the same, but sunny weather is more of an anomaly here at this time of year.

What is normal for this event is usually cold and rainy conditions. It isn't uncommon to even have to put up with a snow flurry or two during the weekend.

The show opened under bright blue skies but by afternoon a slight drizzle started to dampen the park but not the attitude of those attending. As usual, the music for this year's fair was superb as well as eclectic. The tunes lightened everyone's mood and kept most attendees still in the park even through the rain. Although I heard some artists complaining about the lack of buying energy (most likely because of the rain) it wasn't the case with me.

My booth is set up close to the music stage which draws and keeps people closely exposed to my art at all times. My sales were as strong as ever even through the rainy weather.

Even though I've become used to doing much larger venues where hundreds of thousands of people walk past my booth on a given weekend, I think I'll always make room in my schedule for the Ren Fair. It's like a reunion of old friends, it feels good.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

There's change in the wind

During this year’s Spring 4th Ave show in Tucson AZ. the most talked about theme amongst artists centered around if the economy was already hurting their sales. Most said yes, sales were down from 2008 and because 2008 trended down from 2007 this was starting to worry them.

Some of the more optimistic ones (myself included) recognized that sales in certain price points were off but if you adjusted your product mix to include more affordable sizes than you stocked before, the total dollar amount for each shows weren’t that bad. Those artists who chose do “dig in” and not adjust with the market were the one’s complaining the loudest.

4th Ave was no different. Arizona has been hard hit by the down turn in the economy so as artists we needed to recognize this and give the public what they want. Most art festival attendees want to leave the show with a piece of art they love AND can afford. Just because certain artists have been known in the past as higher end, selling mostly originals, this doesn’t necessarily mean they can only offer this mix today. If all you’re after is a crowd coming into your booth and admiring your art yet leaving empty handed, keep doing it the way you’ve always did, but don’t complain.

If on the other hand you want to make your living selling your art, give the public what they want and be happy. Cycles change, you can always go back to offering higher ends works when people’s financial situations change, but if you still want to be in business to when this happens, adjust.

Stepping off soapbox now.

Mandala 52

Mandala 52

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mandala 51

Mandala 51


I've decided it's time to reveal a project I've had in the conceptual and developmental stage for the past 2 years. TravelingArtists.TV

As many of you know, I make my living traveling through out the United States showing and selling my art at some of the most prestigious art festivals around. I drive to nearly 30 fairs around the country and log sometimes 40,000 miles on my truck and trailer each year. This extensive itinerary not only allows me to make a living with my art but it also puts me in touch with many of the best artists in the world. It takes a special personality to be a traveling artist and this shows in our art as well as the way we communicate with our buyers.

Art festivals are our stage and our performances are held under our white canopies where we display our art and engage our customers. This direct contact between me, the artist and the attending patrons of the festival often times is all it takes to validate why they should buy from me. Not only do they walk away with a piece of my art but they leave with my story, one they can remember every time they look at it hanging on their wall.

There are thousands of "Me's" out there and my new blog TravelingArtists.TV with bring you their stories through lens of my video camera. I'm in the process of editing the dozens of videos I've already taken and hope to be able to interview many more of the interesting characters I come into contact with at every festival I do. I intend to cross post these videos both here on my personal blog as well as on my new, yet un-launched TravelingArtists.TV as soon as my new blog platform is complete.

Well, now the cat's out of the bag. I hope you enjoy theses artist's stories as much as I have capturing them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Clearing the confusion

It has brought to my attention from 2 different readers that even though they enjoyed seeing my art on my blog, there didn't seem to be away to purchase it. For those of you who stumbled upon my work through my blog and NOT through my website, this is for you.

Even though I thought that it was obvious that everyone would know that the links below each image here on my blog transported the reader to my online gallery where all of my work can be purchased, it plainly isn't the case. For that, I'm sorry about the confusion.

I just made the assumption that my readers found my blog after clicking through to it from and not vice a versa. Boy was I wrong. After examining the data, I found out that most of you found out about me through either a mention from another blogger or through a blog type search engine.

So, if you are interested in purchasing any of my fractals or mandalas, please feel free to click through to my store via the links provide here. Thanks.

Mandala 50

Well I just can keep away from creating mandalas. I started a new series while traveling on the road the past 4 weeks doing shows in AZ. & TX. I was able to finish and render them once I returned home.


Mandala 50

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Street art

For those artists who struggle to get gallery representation, this is a must read article that recently appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bringing art to the streets, now we're talking.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Should have been posted on 3-15-09

I just logged a little bit under 500 miles of driving today. I pulled into where I will be spending my first night of this road trip. I stopped in Ontario OR, which although I’ve stay here before, it was always on my return trip from Art in the Park in Boise. This is a fairly quiet rest area along High Way 84 heading east towards Utah.

The reason I’m here and not in Idaho Falls which is the route I normally take is because after monitoring the weather for the past few days on NOAA I decided that getting ahead of the storm was futile and pulling a trailer over two mountain passes on an expected snow floor heading east on I 90 towards Butte MT. where I would then turn south was not a good idea. It also might have a little to do with the last time I was on this road I hit a mule deer and nearly totaled my truck (that’s another story read the post a few entries back) so a change of plans was a good choice.

I decided to drive west into Washington, then south down 395 into Pasco WA. then through into Oregon towards Boise. That adds about 100 miles to this leg of the trip but well worth not having to stress over the weather. As it was I drove a few hours through snow but shortly before noon it turned to rain.

I don’t have WiFi access tonight so this will be a post dated post once I get a connection. So, time for a beer and some catching up on a few podcasts I haven’t got around to listening on my Ipod Touch.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fractal Cupcakes

A friend of mine turned me on to this cool site, check it out if you're into fractals.

Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My next big adventure

Well it's nearly time to say goodbye to the animals, kiss my wife one last time (for a month anyway) and hitch up my trailer for what will be the longest road trip of my art career. I leave this coming Sunday for shows in AZ. and the great state of Texas. That's at least what my history teacher in high school called it with his Texan accent revealing just what part of the country he came from.

If I don't make too many wrong turns, Google maps tell me I'm about to drive 4847 miles and about 72 hours behind the wheel of my truck. That total time of course doesn't take into consideration pit stops, over nights in highway rest stops and time at the festivals themselves. Just 72 hours of nose to the wheel, hard core driving.

I'm bummed and excited all at once over my show itinerary. Because I was excepted into the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston TX this year, I had to turn down an invitation to one of my favorite shows in Tempe AZ. Unfortunately they land on the same weekend so I'll be casting my luck towards TX. for a change. Good luck to my fellow traveling artist at The Festival of the Arts in Tempe.

First show on this trip is the 4th Ave Merchants Association show in Tucson. Can't wait for this one, it's a blast. Then it 1084 miles straight through the middle of Texas to the east side of the state. This leg should take 2 days. I'll be setting up for Bayou on Thursday, doing the show Friday, Saturday and Sunday then heading about 50 miles north to Woodlands TX for the Waterway Arts Festival the following weekend. This is a 2 day affair then I'll be heading home. I can't decide if I want to drive north through Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana then Idaho (which is the fastest way home) or circle back through Mesa AZ and Salt Lake City UT. to visit the grand kids.

That will add a week to my trip but I get to play grandpa for a few days. Just writing that helped me make up my mind. Kids, here I come. I'll try and find WiFi point along the trip to keep my updates fresh.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Show report- Custer's in Spokane, WA 2009

Well, it's over. It's in the books. My first show for the 2009 season is done. A glowing success I might add. It never fails, even after doing shows for nearly a decade full time, I still tend to get a tad nervous before a show, especially the first one of the season. I think this year's nerves were brought on more from the "doom & gloomers" spouting the end of the financial world as we know it had more to do with my uneasiness than if my booth looked right.

If normal people would just turn off the talking heads on CNN and stop reading the "pull your money out of the banks and stick it in a can buried in your back yard" BS we would all be a lot better off.

Let me be the first one to say this. ARTISTS, don't worry about the financial meltdown. Worry about how to make your art better and how to market it more efficiently than you ever did before. Sit in the back of your booth reading a book and waiting for someone to come in and hand you a pile of money for your art and you deserve to fail. Get out there and engage your customers. Tell them a story about yourself and your art. Explain how you made it and what inspired you. People but you and your story equally as much as they buy your art. Sit back and chill and you'll fail in this market. Step up and engage and you'll prosper.

Art buyers are still out there if your art is worth buying.

Usual crowd, lower end craft buyers mostly but those looking for something different in the way of 2D art found me.

Here are a few photos of my new print display system I'm using. Setting myself apart from the typical 2D artists was my goal this year. (if being maybe the only fractal artist on the circuit isn't enough to be different) I didn't want to use my old plastic bins any longer but I didn't want the cookie cutter look of Pro Panels print bins either. I've tried rolling bins before but can't fit enough of them in my cargo trailer. So I used copper and mahogany wood displays that I made over my winter break. I received many complements on how nice the booth looked.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Working couple amass stupendous art collection, circulate it across the US

Found this inspiring piece on BoingBoing today.

There's hope in rock n' roll

With the meltdown in the economy and the doom and gloomers saying no one has any money to spend on the arts, there is a museum in Maine that that is proving that rock n' roll is here to save the day. You can read about it here or visit the website of the venue below.

Portland Museum of Art

Revised 2009 Show Schedule

I just revised and added to my 2009 show schedule which can be found in the right hand column.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Panoramic series Take 27

Pano 27

Alas, I come to a temporary end to my Panoramic fractal series. These most recent uploads represent the published panoramic works I completed over my "winter break" which I'm sad to say is nearing it's end. I head back out on the road in 3 weeks to destinations both near, very little near I'm afraid :-( and far and it's time to get a printin' and framin'.

I'm looking forward to visiting art festivals in states that I've never been to before (ie, Texas for the Bayou show in Houston) and I'm really looking forward to bring back detailed reports on the shows to you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Very fractally paper art

Jen Stark is one of the most cutting (no pun intended) edge artists I've ever seen. I hope to one day see her work in person. For more of her paper art, check out her website.

Panoramic series Take 25

Pano 25

Just one word....

A good friend of mine and fellow artist, John Ashley has just created a very poignant short video clip that I'd like to share with you. A very talented photographer whose works can be viewed here on his website John Ashley Fine Art Photography. Thanks for sharing John.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Panoramic series Take 21

Happy Birthday my sweet Linda.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Panoramic series Take 17

Pano 17

I was at an art festival last year and was set up next to a very interesting photographer that specialized in panoramic prints. The unique thing about his works were that 90% of them were vertical. After talking with him about why he chose this format over the more common horizontal panoramas, his answer really made sense. He told me his secret in why he sold so well was that his vertical panoramas fit in more people homes where the more common wide format ones wouldn't. After thinking more about what he said, it made total sense.

If you admire panoramic art, be it photography, painting, fractals or some other type of art, you may not have enough room in your home to hang a really wide piece. If you collect art at all, wall space is a premium. But if you think about it, nearly everyone has a narrow unused space where a vertical piece could hang. Between doors, that narrow space in on the hallway wall, or between already existing art pieces. Brilliant!!

Sometimes the most obvious is clouded by old habits.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Panoramic series Take 16

Pano 16


After much consideration I've decided to handle how I sell my 12"x 36" pano prints differently than my normal art festival offerings. 90% of my print sales are framed using the "clip frame" method I talked about in a previous post. This offers a ready to hang piece of art at a very affordable price. After doing about 15 festivals selling my 12"x 36" prints this way, I experienced about a 50% glass breakage on this particular size during transportation to an from the shows. Once hung, the fragile nature of these long, narrow frames disappears. Its the constant moving that breaks the glass.

So starting this year, I will be carrying metal framed panoramas to shows as well as un-framed prints only that will be delivered in crush proof mailing tubes. This will allow customers their choice of buying finished works (as long as they like my taste in frames) or purchasing un-mounted prints that they can have framed exactly like they want at their local frame shop.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Panoramic series Take 13

Pano 13

I've been trying to figure out how I would sell my 12"x 36" panoramic prints online for the past month. Even though I've shown the first half of my series, I haven't added them to my store for people to order because of the outrageous cost of crating and shipping this sized glass framed print. I came to the conclusion that because it would actually be cheaper for my customers to have the printed framed themselves instead of me having to charge for over sized shipping, I will reduce what I sell them for and ship them to my buyers in a crush proof mailing tube.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mandala 46

Mandala 46

I thought that I had already uploaded this image previously but after trying to find it to show how it works together with Mandala 45 I couldn't find it. So here it is in all of it's dark glory.

Mandala 45

Mandala 45

A very dark but unusual design. I can't remember exactly when I created this but I can only imagine the mood I was in that day. It sold relatively well during 2008 but it seemed to only sell as a combo to another image I did that was also done in dark tones.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A music video for Jonathan Coulton's song Mandelbrot Set

One of my favorite performers is Jonathan Coulton. His quirky, techno musical genius is lost on many listeners but being a quirky, digital factalist myself, I totally dig him. I found out about him by googling the word "Mandelbrot Set" and noticed that one of his more popular songs is actually titled "The Mandelbrot Set." Check out summerkitchenstudios YouTube video on this very entertaining song.

Mandala 44

Mandala 44

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mandala 43

Mandala 43

Happy anniversary sweet Linda.

My road-trip mix tape

Sugar Magnolia by Grateful Dead

All Dead songs are appropriate for the road.

Maggie May by Rod Stewart

Named my best traveling buddy (yellow lab) after this song

No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley

Cuz its Bob man.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mandala 42

Mandala 42

Much more traditional.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mandala 41

Mandala 41

I guess I should explain something to you. I started creating my mandala series as a way to offer art to both myself as well as my customers a visual "centering point" that could be used for meditation. Along the way, some of my mandala (symmetrically shaped, square designs) pieces strayed away from the typical kaleidoscopic shapes more traditionally associated with this form of art. I am not trying to suggest these non symmetrical designs are Mandalas, but only offer a way for me to categorize these square pieces.

A more precise definition of a Mandala is as follows. (from Wikipedia)

Mandala (Sanskrit maṇḍala "essence" + "having" or "containing", also translates as "circle-circumference" or "completion", both derived from the Tibetan term dkyil khor) is a concentric diagram having spiritual and ritual significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism. The term is of Hindu origin and appears in the Rig Veda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in other Indian religions, particularly Buddhism. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, mandalas have been developed into sandpainting. They are also a key part of anuttarayoga tantra meditation practices.

In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts; as a spiritual teaching tool; for establishing a sacred space; and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. According to David Fontana, its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.

In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009