It's been about a million years...

I’ve always been pretty good about starting things and then never really finishing them. I get distracted. Busy. Bored. Overwhelmed. A bunch of other things too. I like to have a lot going on. I like to be busy and spread too thin. The thing I am learning though, is that you have to find a balance. If you don’t, then you risk the burn out. The burnout is what always makes me move on to something new.

Ok. Im getting to it…I have SUCKED at keeping you updated on my little art business, so if you are interested in staying in the know, then here is what I have been up to:

Signing a piece for the gallery (I am the worst and always bring my work in totally unprepared to hang)

Signing a piece for the gallery (I am the worst and always bring my work in totally unprepared to hang)

~ Managing Art & Light Gallery here in Greenville with the best Gallery Owner and artists I know. I’m not there every day, but I never fully unplug. Managing a gallery is a 24/7 gig. Emails, website and social media are constant.

~ Painting when I can and surely not enough! I haven’t been updating my work here, because since mid-summer, I have been showing with the gallery. Head to Art & Light’s website or their instagram if you want to know my current inventory

~ Wrangling our two labs single-mom style. Bennett has been traveling pretty much all year for work, so my days are pretty much gallery and home with them. Luckily, my studio is in my house.

So there you have it… My little update. I promise to try and be better and to update more frequently, but if I slack off again, have no fear, you can always keep up with me via social media and the gallery ;)

So How Did My First Festival Go?

For the last three months, my days away from the gallery were full of painting for my first ever outdoor festival. Here are the things I knew:

1) Waxhaw, NC is a small town

2) This was an "art-themed" event

3) A judge would be assessing all artists works

4) I would see lots of family and friends

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Apart from these four things, the whole event was something new for me to try and give me a goal to paint toward. The two pop-up events I have had were quite successful and loads of fun, so I wanted to see what a multiple-day event would be like. Going home to Waxhaw felt like a safe and easy first festival experience and with the encouragement of family, I made the decision to work toward it. I prepped more than 40 new pieces and notecards, built display walls, purchased a tent that could help withstand any bad weather and designed the booth layout for maximum interest.

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As you can see here, I pulled out my past experiences merchandising for Anthropologie and gallery curating to make my booth feel homey and welcoming all while displaying my work in an easy to digest way. Should I choose to enter another festival, I feel pretty confident in my display and am so grateful for that handy husband of mine and all of his help.

Display aside, I learned that this particular festival isn't for me. The majority of folks milling about were there to have something to do and not to see what vendors were offering. I saw very few patrons even stopping in to booths at all. I was lucky enough to have a few GREAT friends, new and old, come to support me. The other deciding factor on my not returning next year is the way in which the artists booths were judged. There was only one judge. Not a panel to provide balance, but one older man. Though this judge was a "seasoned" art connoisseur, it was very clear the moment he stepped into my booth he had written my work off. No questions about my process, what drives me, nothing. Just a quick glance and my florals and off he went. With so many styles of art, a panel would provide multiple view-points instead of one.

All of that said, this weekend was a great learning experience. I will have a better idea of what to look for in other events I may participate in. I am now prepared with walls, props and a tent for the next one. Most importantly, I will know to research events and align myself with those that fit with my style and have a dedicated and excited patronage - not a Spring Fling labeled an "Art Festival."

A HUGE thank you to all of you that came out to support me, it means more than you know! IF you weren't able to make it, have no fear! I have quite a few new pieces up on the site, so don't miss them. 

Click HERE for minis

Click HERE for medium and large

 

XOXO,

Bracken

A Good Photographer Makes You Feel Famous.....

Are you like me? Somedays you feel like you got it right. Your hair, makeup, outfit, attitude - all on point. Other days, none of that seems right.

Having a photographer take photos of you is such a funny thing and totally depends on the above. I don't have my image captured often and most of the time when I do I feel like I don't look like myself or that my RBF is coming out. If you don't know what RBF is, google it. 

It has been a while since I had good photos taken of my process to share with you, so I decided it was about time. I somehow managed to rope in my friend  Rebekah Thompson to come and spend a morning with me in the studio. It was one of those days where I wasn't so sure of myself, but I just got to work and Becky chatted away with me about my process, life and anything else you can imagine. She is such a great, calming presence. The atmosphere she created, in my own studio, made it such that I relaxed and just had fun.

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Here is where I say, "A good photographer makes you feel famous." A good photographer will make the entire process seem super normal - like they have always been there snapping photos of you just doing what you do.

Below are a few images to give you a little behind the scenes of a day in my studio. You can also catch them popping up here and there on my Instagram or Facebook. Thanks for being an incredible talent and documenting parts of my process Becky!

 

 

'Tis the Season...For BIG News!

I have been completely overwhelmed by all of your support throughout the last couple of months. My plate has been so full creating the perfect gifts for the ones you love and I couldn't be more grateful. So THANK YOU!

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Since March, I have been working at Anthropologie part-time and filling in over at Art & Light Gallery in addition to painting. The Anthropologie here in Greenville is filled with some of the best people I know. Those gals have been so supportive this past year in letting me heal and working with me when I needed to stop and cry for a minute. I am forever grateful for each and every one of those girls and their big hearts. Though I am not really leaving entirely, I will still miss having three dedicated days to see them all.

This brings me to my big news...One of the most wonderful women I know has asked me to come and help her out on a more permanent basis over at Art & Light Gallery! Teresa Roche is such an inspiration to me and the gallery space that she has created in West Greenville's Village is brilliant. It is truly one of the happiest places I know and I couldn't be more excited to get back into gallery management underneath her. Working with artists and collectors has always been a passion of mine and I am honored to get to work at the best gallery in Greenville. 

Starting mid-January, you will be able to find me at Art & Light. I can't wait to see you there!

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