The first edition of the Shady Grove Farm Open Studio Show was exciting and rewarding for both Linda and myself. On Saturday and Sunday, and in rain and shine, we shared new work, conversation, and experiences in our studios.
Our show of June 9-10 was an opportunity to expose both previous and new buyers to our most important inspiration — Shady Grove Farm. Our farm serves both as the place where we create and prepare our work for buyers from around the country and even around the world. Many of my recent pictures have been created in the meadows and gardens on the farm. In addition, my Barn Cat Series is now going on its third year and has been very well received.
I think it is always interesting to see where artists work and to experience a location that is especially important to driving their creative imagination. Linda and I were able to offer that experience with this first studio and show and now can begin to plan our next! We’re already excited about it. Until then, we have the busiest six month show circuit period we’ve ever scheduled. So, it’s back to the studios for us.
Linda and I are very excited to invite you to our first Annual Studio Show! Our old farm house will be turned into an exhibit space. We will have a variety of original works for sale including prints both framed and unframed.
A visit to our farm will also give you a sense of the inspiration we derive from the 7+ acres we live on and the surrounding countryside. And of course you will be able to see our crazy alpacas which source some of the wool Linda uses in her original felted artworks. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP is not necessary but appreciated! Please call or email for directions. Check our websites for additional information.
Shady Grove Farm – 1st Annual Studio Art Show
2423 State Route 42, Millville, PA 17846 / 215-880-3732
Once in a while a visitor will enter my booth at a show and ask me if my prints are originals. The question is a good one. I’m surprised I don’t get asked about it more. I make images with the goal of making high-end, archival, pigment-based inkjet prints (also called giclees). These types of prints are purchased from the best galleries and collected by the most prestigious art museums.
An original giclee print is one which is either made by the artist or under their direct supervision/authorization. Giclees are made either to be unique (edition of one), part of a “limited edition” (limited to a specified number), or as an “open edition” (limited only by when the artist decides to no longer release prints). Regardless of the edition size, all prints made by, or with an artist’s authorization, are considered to be originals. I prefer that an artist’s original prints be signed, numbered and have accompanying certificates of authenticity. This provides the collector with the desired provenance to assure that they are purchasing original artwork and not a reproduction or fake.
When a collector purchases my prints, they are most likely dealing directly with me through my gallery on-line, or in person at a show. The certificate of authenticity which provides title, medium, dimensions, and my signature guarantees that a print is an original and may be purchased with confidence. I also recommend that buyers keep the receipts of a purchase with the artwork in case of future resale or donation of a piece.
All of my paper-based giclee prints are made in my studio by me using archival pigment-based inks on a high end Epson Professional printer. I am personally responsible for quality control and authorization to release any print to the public. I also do all of the print mounting, matting and framing which is done to conservation standards with acid-free materials and UV-Protective glass. Importantly, I also make sure that the presentation choices I make as far as mounting and matting are reversible so that owners may re-mount and mat a print if need be.
What an image is about is not the same as what an image is of. The content of an image, that is, the objects in the image, and what that image means, are not the same. In the image I made titled Three’s Company, the content consists of three cardinals (two males and one female), on a miniature crab apple tree during a heavy winter snow. What the image is about is much more however.
Cardinals are a beloved bird which for many people have a strong spiritual connotation. Cardinals are associated with the spirits of loved ones who have passed. Some of this belief revolves around the behavior of male cardinals being attracted to their own reflection and so appearing to tap on windows. But cardinals are also associated with many sports teams, are the state bird of six states, and generally represent all that comes with the metaphor of “birdness”.
In some ways Three’s Company is about cardinals, their behavior of mating for life, their pleasing song. These characteristics of cardinals though can make this image about relationships, commitment, and joyfulness. But this image is also about the beauty of the colors of red and white when brought together, the sublime feelings of a heavy winter snow storm, the struggle for survival all wildlife faces during the winter. The arrangement of the birds into a triangular form is relevant as well. Triangles are one of the most dynamic shapes in art, creating strong visual movement within the image. And of course the romantic triangle is a strong emotional theme. All of these meanings contribute to the overall feeling of the image. So while Three’s Company is a picture of cardinals in a snow storm, the connection this image makes with my audience goes well beyond it’s content.
At a recent art festival in Virginia, I met Judy. She entered my booth and was drawn to a canvas giclee that I had made of an image of grasses. The image is part of a series I began last summer using antique lenses adapted to new cameras. It is a very etherial series and one that speaks to my aesthetic. Judy was also drawn to a framed print from the same series which hung on my display walls. It was a picture of a meadow of daisies (titled appropriately — Daisy Meadow) rendered softly against late-day light and also made with one of my antique lenses. Daisy Meadow was the piece she wanted and she wanted it as a large canvas.
I took her order and as soon as I returned to my studio, began working on the new canvas image. I hadn’t had this piece done on canvas before but thought it would work well. In fact, I think this new series I’m doing lends itself exceptionally well to larger canvas giclees. Still, I was very pleased when she wrote to me after receiving her artwork. She told me, “it is absolutely the most beautiful picture!!!! I love it!.” In a follow up email, Judy speaks to the piece having “so much depth.” The picture is “soft and inviting,” she added.
I always listen to the people who purchase my work, they are my best source of feedback. From them I get insight into my work and even the business of selling art. It is the interaction with collectors that makes being a full time artist most fulfilling.
Daisy Meadow can be purchased as an art print or canvas giclee directly from my on-line gallery – here
Everyday personal experiences with nature are the foundation to our larger appreciation of the world we live in. Recently a collector of my work named Sandy, shared a story of her affection for the common American Robin. She was interested in a piece that would celebrate her experience of caring for a Robin until it could fly away. I selected two pictures from my collection of images and offered her my first printing of either one.
Happily, Sandy selected a piece in a walnut frame that I will be shipping to her. Her choice was the image I titled Easy Pickins depicting an American Robin on a fruit laden tree. The price for the framed print which includes a nicely finished dust-cover on the back with a pocket for the Certificate of Authenticity, is $129.00. Visit my website for a full selection of available works by clicking HERE.
I always appreciate a collector sharing a story with me about an experience with nature. Recently, a customer told me about her experience with a common bird — the American Robin. I have always been fond of Robins as a sign of Spring; I also think they are an attractive bird, and very much enjoy their melodious song.
Having had purchased my bird work before, this customer asked me about my experience with Robins. That request motivated me to reconnect with some previous images of mine. As a result, I am introducing two new prints. The first piece is titled Fruitful and is of a Robin sitting on a richly fruitful branch. The second piece is titled Easy Pickins which is of a Robin framed by the branches of a fruit covered tree. Click on the names above to see them on my website.
In both images, the Robin is the clear
visual element of interest. Both images are also about the bounty of nature which birds rely on to meet their needs. The Robin is not an exotic bird, it is however, one with which we all have some memory and relationship during the year. These types of relationships, the everyday experiences with nature, are our most important.