I started my Saturday morning FINALLY making use of some of the packing supplies I've been hoarding since we moved (old sheets, towels, pieces of fabric, bubble wrap, paper wrap, huge plastic bags, the vinyl tablecloth from this post) and making a few Art Bags. I created them for transportation but they can (and will) be used for storage as well. Now that I'm doing 4 (or 5? I forget) art festivals this summer, I know my paintings and frames are going to take a beating in transport. And I hate that. I'm not going to buy a chinsy frame in case it might get damaged in transport, but when you spend a lot of money on a nice frame, you're constantly fretting over the fact that every time you go drive over a bump in the road, it might get hurt! Yikes!
Previously, I would wrap my art in bubble wrap and then some sort of fabric, but when packing up at the end of a show, you just want to hurry up and get everything taken down and loaded up and head home. And when it's raining you're trying to do it even faster. Bubble wrap just gets thrown around, a blanket or towel wrapped sloppily around the painting and then maybe an exposed corner sticking out by the time you've got them all loaded into the car. Not good.
For my transporting bags, I cut a section of vinyl tablecloth that would fit around the whole painting with enough room for a flap to hang down over the top, to protect it from rain and water. On the inside is a pocket of sorts, with padding in the front to protect the painting or glass. I sewed up the sides by hand because I wanted to roll them up and then use a very large stitch around the seams to try and keep it closed. I was able to make 3 small bags from one tablecloth and some shoe laces are currently keeping them shut. In the future I might add velco, but I am currently investigating other more ecofriendly options.
Next to my art bag in the picture above, is one of my small tulip tree studies. I finally got those all framed up, too. (Now they just need to have their bags made!)
I also finished up the green grapes in my 2nd grapes painting and on Sunday I gave the purple ones a 2nd coat. They'll need a few more, and I didn't finish that painting last week like I wanted, but I did get those other things out of the way that aren't a big deal but were definitely time consuming and on my "to do" list.
Since I probably won't continue to offer small prints (5"x7") as standard sizes at art shows (but will create them upon custom request), I printed, matted, and framed some small prints, too. I've got a lot of 5" x 7" frames around that are just sitting there empty, begging to be filled with some art. I framed one small one in a bright blue picture frame and was happy with the result, so I might paint some of the other frames I've got laying around here in bright colors and put a print in them. It will be great to bring them to shows this summer and see people's reactions to them- buying something already framed is obviously one less step for anyone to have to do, so people might like that! (I would!)
Since I'm almost done with my grapes painting, it's time to figure out what's next. And.... I currently have no idea. Or too many ideas? Tropical flowers are my favorite things to paint, but I like to highlight local things too. I've got a canvas that is 24" x 36" and this picture of passion flowers is just the right proportions for it. I'm not sure if this will be what I paint next, as I'm getting a little tired of looking at green and purple.
And lastly, I finally listed a print of the first grapes into my Etsy store.... Took long enough!
Let's hope that my next blog post is a picture of the finished 2nd grapes painting!!