Well, I did my last art festival a couple weekends ago. Don't worry I am still creating and selling art. I'll be selling online, at galleries, and still looking for places to exhibit my art but not outside under a tent. It's been a good run of 19 years. There are many reasons for me to stop but the main reason is I just can't do it anymore. I have a bad case of tennis elbow which makes lifting heavy things difficult. My right knee is starting to bother me enough to have it checked out at the doctor. The elbow will get better but the knee will get worse and after watching my husband go through a knee replacement I would like to put that off as long as possible. Doing art festivals is hard work. Once the display is up it's wonderful. Having someone give me money for something I have created is just about the best feeling in the world.
And the ribbons. What you see in the picture is my inspiration wall in my studio. When I've gone out and taken 100 pictures and none of them are working I go in my studio and look at this wall and it tells me that I am capable of creating good work..
The blue ribbon on the right is from the Ponce Inlet Art Festival in Florida. It was my first blue ribbon and I don't think I stopped smiling for a day. That big one is really special. It is from the Disney Festival of the Masters. To even apply to the Festival of the Masters an artist must have won a first, second, or third place in another juried art festival and not everybody gets accepted. To win an award there was a high honor. Plus Mickey Mouse was giving out the awards.
The two white ribbons (third place)are from Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the Arts. It was my first real show. The previous show had been the Deltona Springfest. It was me, a face painter, a couple other artists, the lady across from me selling beer scented candles for Father's Day gifts (and doing a brisk business too), and the Thomas Kincaide store that was closing down and selling out their inventory - cheap. I was pretty much ready to quit right then and there until the Mayor of Deltona came and bought two pictures to hang in City Hall. They may even be still there.
The red plaque is a second place awrd from Virginia Fall Foliage Festival this year. My last show. It was a nice way to end. The other blue ribbon is also from Virginia Fall Foliage Festival. This was always the last show of the year for me and now it is the last show ever.
The two flags are from Artisphere, my favorite show. The people from Greenville, SC really come out and support us. Being able to do it twice is an honor too since there are over 1100 applications every year for 135 artist spots.
I will remember the people best though. So many good friends and so many have retired or cut back too. People that I saw on the road maybe once or twice a year but still good friends. I call what we do at art festivals coopetition. We help each other. We celebrate each others' successes, comfort each others' failures, and laugh at the craziness we go through.
I was going to put some stories here but I'm afraid I might leave someone important out so those will wait for the book.
There are links on the home page (SerenityScenes.com) for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Also check me out on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/alison1731/. I'm still here making art.