This past weekend I was able to be at a fine craft show from the perspective of patron instead of exhibitor. It wasn’t your average show either, it was the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show. This is one competitive show with some top names and talent from around the country (both coasts, and north and south). Held the the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philly, the show features about 150 artists working in wood, glass, fiber, metal, paper, leather, clay, and mixed media. My partner and I took our time going through the show, talking with artists as we went.
It was an exciting event with some spectacular work, a great venue, and some engaging artists. I was especially excited to see names like Mary Jackson (basketry), and Cliff Lee (Ceramics), celebrities! But I also discovered several artists I was unfamiliar with. Standouts for me were Joana Mattson (felted wool), Pavel Novak (glass), Melodie Grace (Raku pottery), and Gordon Browning (wood).
Not all the work raised to the level I expected for such a show, but overall I was satisfied with the quality of work I experienced. It was great to be the audience at a show, asking questions, evaluating work that interested me. Some of the artists were very engaging. But, unfortunately, others were disengaged, on their phones, not greeting visitors. It was good for me as a full time artist to see others at work in such a fine setting. Every time I go to a show like this it is full of lessons and confirmation of personal beliefs.
This weekend, Friday-Sunday, I will be exhibiting and offering for sale, my fine art photography as part of the Sugarloaf tour. This highly anticipated show just outside of Philly is at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456.
One of the pieces I will have with me is this night sky landscape which I made in Acadia National Park. It has become one of my popular selections and inspired me to do additional night landscapes. The framed dimensions are 16×20 and it is ready to hang, UV-protective, Reflection-control glass included, for $214.
I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be exhibiting with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
There will be new work! I have been creating images with a couple unique themes. I am excited about both new bodies of work. The first set of imagery is being done with a variety of antique lenses and plays with light and color as reflected off of the flowers that grow in meadows near my studio. The second set of imagery is being done with macro lenses and deals with light refraction off of water drops on plant leaves and petals. In future posts I will be speaking about these new bodies of work in more detail.
The image below is part of the first new body of work and was made with an antique Meyer Optik Gorlitz 135mm f3.5 lens (Exakta mount) that I purchased on eBay from an overseas seller. The lens, when used correctly, can render background elements with a very soft, etherial feeling. The out-of-focus highlights expand into spherical shapes that I find very pleasing. I used the lens on a Fuji XT-10 camera body with an adaptor that allows it to be used on the camera. Exposure is done in manual mode as is focusing, but the Fuji has a wonderful electronic viewfinder which allows me to precisely select the area I want to be sharp.
I’m busy with last preparations for my first fall show of the year which is also at a new venue for me – Wheaton Village in Millville, NJ. The Festival of Fine Craft at Wheaton Village has a great history and excellent reputation. I am excited about being a part of the show this year. Wheaton Village Fine Craft Show
I had a very special order from my website http://www.paulgrecianphoto.com recently. A customer who purchased a framed piece titled Warrior III, ordered a framed Winter Wonder.
When I emailed Sam to thank him for the order, he replied that it was for his three year old who saw it in my booth when he made the first purchase this past June.
Art is a wonderful gift regardless of the age of the recipient, but I don’t often have sales for children so young. It’s especially rewarding because the child was able to share the experience of their father buying my work in my booth. It’s a wonderful message for a young person to see their dad value artwork so much. It encourages a lifetime of art enjoyment.
The selected image has already been received by this time and may be hanging on the wall of the room the three year old calls their own. That visual for me is pretty great.
A career in the arts happens in many ways. My own route was from animal behaviorist with a career in the sciences to a full time artist working in the medium of photography.
The corporate-to-artist journey for me was gradual and unique. As I meet artists working in a variety of mediums, I am always interested in what path they took to their current lives.
In the August-September issue of Professional Artist magazine, I write about three full time artists who left corporate careers to pursue the arts as their vocation. Each artist arrived at their new careers in their own way and with various backgrounds, but there were similarities as well. The three artists I interviewed are all accomplished professionals, serious both about their art and the business of being an artist. I also think the work they create is truly extraordinary. Professional Artist magazine is on newsstands now.
I’ll be in Rockville, Maryland this weekend participating in the A-RTS Rockville Arts Festival for the first time. It will also be my first show in the state of Maryland. Like many outdoor shows, there is a lot of physical labor involved and as this show has a Saturday morning set-up, it will be a bit of a grind. I’ve done these types of shows before though and they are part of my motivation to stay in some form of physical fitness. A regular routine consisting of yoga and light weight training is usually enough to keep me from getting hurt and from falling asleep during the show (lots of coffee doesn’t hurt).
The image of the hanging orchids below was made at Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite locations to work with flowers. This time of year though there are flowers growing everywhere and they all call out to me. I carried a Sony RX10 on this trip which was a pleasure to use and allowed me to work with a light weight, very versatile camera.
The image is available as an 11×14 archival print matted to 16×20 for $89 by emailing me at email@example.com.