Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why I don't have Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals

I don't often put my work on sale because I can't afford to.  Instead of spending my time setting up sales, promoting those sales, and hoping this will somehow bring thousands of dollars my way, I try to just make work that I like and maybe someone else will see its value.

This is my nightmare:
Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

Unlike Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and all those other convenient chain retailers, I don't have a board of directors, stock market presence, or a plan to expand to eighty new locations over the next five years.  

Also, I don't pay my over-seas workers pennies a day to make plastic junk that will fall apart in no time.  I have no employees. 

I keep my overhead low by using cast-offs and salvaged materials.  The components I do buy, I try my hardest to keep them sourced in America--my clock mechanisms are American made and cost a bit more, but I feel that's worth it.  My aluminum is American-sourced and purchased in my hometown, so my family can pick it up and we can meet in the middle for regular visits only 30 minutes from my home.  We'd be doing this anyway, so we're not adding any extra shipping costs to the metal.

I work out of my home, so my commute is by foot, about ten feet from my bed, and I save on heating by having a cat on my lap (right now!).  This offsets my long road trips to out of town shows, so I feel at least a little less guilty filling up my tank.

So what I'm saying is, I can't afford to have enormous discounts on my work, even with all my own efforts to cost-cut and be frugal day to day.

I have too many ideas in my head to give away the things I make with my hands.  I'm happy to clear out older work and experiments/sketch pieces during my normal shows, and, yes, my show schedule is heavier as we near the winter holidays, so these coincide. But I'm not into all the hype.  


My final showing of the year is this weekend.  I'm in the company of four other wonderful artists and am excited to meet more Kansas City area art lovers.  So here's my plug for in-person, art-buying opportunity from me, the artist who makes the things you will see.

3rd Annual Holiday Art Sale at Meya Studio
3345 Baltimore Ave., KCMO

Discounted transitional pieces, oldies but goodies, new desk clocks, all the wall clocks you could ever want, plus ceramics, glass jewelry, fine art paintings, and funky paper cuts and mixed media.

Also, hot rum and cider, beef stew, brownies, wine, and OMG JUST COME ON BY!

Here's us last year as we were wrapping up:
Amy Meya, Allan Winkler, Laura Nugent, and Desiree Warren
It was an average 15 degrees all weekend, so we were cold...but this year it will be much warmer!

If you want to buy online, my Etsy store will be open and updated as much as possible.  I've been working on loads of desk clocks that are not only perfect for gifting, but easy to ship and pretty economical! 

Happy Cold Time of the Year, Art Lovers!

Monday, September 15, 2014


Once upon a time, pictures of oneself were called "Self-Portraits."  Nowadays they're called "Selfies."  I have a hard time with these, at least the blatantly Millennial version of looking at the camera, instantly sharing it with my closest 500 friends, and hoping no one notices the spots and sun damage the Kansas sun/genetics has caused, and giving me the banal compliments that are to automatically come along (or so one hopes).  

But there is something about straightforward, eyes-directly-at-the-camera, brash in-your-face images that I admire.  I'm not quite that daring.  Not wanting to be the subject of my own self-portrait is kind of weird, but it is the truth, nonetheless.  I make sure to add interest in the backgrounds, looking off or adding a weird face because, well, I think that's more interesting.  I don't want anyone to think I'm serious, for crying out loud.

They're really more portraits of my work, but I know that sometimes it starts to seem as though these things I make are produced by disembodied hands when I direct people to my online presence, so I thought I'd put my face here for proof that a human lady-person is attached to those hands.

Also, I get bored at shows sometimes and taking creeper shots of patrons isn't okay.'s a few from the last year and a half.

Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, 2013, during rain.  Probably FREEZING RAIN.

Loaded up and heading to Des Moines, 2013.

OKC Festival of the Arts, 2014.

Loring Park, Minneapolis, 2014, Day One.

Loring Park, Minneapolis, 2014, Day Two.
ArtSplash, Sioux City, Iowa, 2014.
Covering up a zit with that finger.

Handmade & Vintage Market, Leawood, Kansas,
 last weekend, Day One.

Handmade & Vintage Market, Leawood, Kansas,
last weekend, 
Day Two.
It's clear that I have many pairs of glasses.  Very important.

Here are artists who use themselves in their art:
Cindy Sherman (one of my all-time favorites): Untitled Film Stills.  THESE ARE NOT SELF-PORTAITS!!
Nina Katchadourian: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style
Elizabeth Layton: although these are drawings, they leave me speechless.  She is an inspiration.
Ricky Gervais: not really his medium...but these are ridiculous and I love a person who doesn't take himself seriously.  Scroll through his Twitter feed.  Lots of him and some palette-cleansing kitty photos, too!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Showed It: Sioux City

I showed for the first time at ArtSplash in Sioux City, Iowa.  Aside from the show being book-ended by rain during set up and tear down, we had lovely weather.  
Post-show sky after I'd dried off and was searching for dinner.

The show coordinators really know how to take care of their exhibiting artists, including a dinner at the Sioux City Art Center the Friday night before the show.  
Yaaaawwnn, right?  Oh, wait, that's Jackson Pollock's Mural from 1943!
Over nineteen feet of art-world busting greatness.

Get it where you can.

Due to it being Labor Day weekend, the downtown was a bit sleepy, but I enjoyed walking around after the show closed.  I didn't see one speck of graffiti, but there was plenty of art on display due to the SCAC sponsored Sculpt Siouxland public exhibition.

I don't think the clothes were part of the original design.
(They were gone on the next time I saw this.)

And because it was Labor Day, I wasn't able to visit this place on my way out of town because it was closed for the holiday, which made me very sad.

I'll coordinate my meals better next time, because this looks great.

So anyway, here's a bit of my booth.

I added several more hearts to my inventory and sold
some of my favorite clocks.

I enjoyed Sioux City, and now I can say that I've spent time in the middle, east, and west of the great state of Iowa, which is more than I can say for my home state of Kansas or my current state of Missouri.

UP NEXT: I'll be in Leawood, Kansas, Sept. 13 and 14 for a new event, The Handmade and Vintage Market.  I'm excited to stay home and meet some new Kansas City area folks!  Better get to making...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Made It: Loring Park Preview

Loring Park Art Festival is this weekend!  I've been working on new and bigger clocks and here's a preview:

6 x 30 Aluminum with rainbow drops

12 x 12 Red with White Orzo Burst

12 x 12 Two-faced Orzo Burst

12 x 24 Sanded Aluminum with Anatomical Heart

12 x 24 Aluminum and Red Ombre with "Shasta" design

12 x 36 Sanded Aluminum with Multi-layered dots
12 x 36 Aluminum with Red Ovals

12 x 36 Aluminum and Pinks Stacked with
Black Orzo Bursts
IF I don't sell these in the beautiful city of Minneapolis, I'll be sure to add them to Eighty Acres Art Etsy shop.  For the weekend I'm going to deactivate most of my listings except for the table top clocks (since those aren't sold in my booth).  

Residents of this lovely city, stop by my booth--->number 71, just like last year.  I'd love to see you!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Made It: New Small Mixed Media Pieces

I'm trying to get back to my mixed media roots.  Here are some of those tries.
matboard, tea bag paper, vinyl, old house paint

matboard, tea bag paper, vinyl, acrylic paint, old house paint

matboard, tea bag paper, colored pencil, 1970s catalog images

matboard, tea bag paper, old house paint, pencil,
image from vintage "Prevention" magazine (flowers), vinyl,
image from old book

matboard, vintage book page, acrylic paint, vinyl

matboard, images from antique "Mother Goose" book,
tea stain, acrylic paint
These are all 5 x 7 inches.  I'm looking forward to doing more and really enjoy playing with the tea bag papers and paint (samples I got when we were trying to decide on a house color several years ago).

Soon I will have a separate studio space from my house that will be primarily for fine art (as opposed to clocks, magnets, etc.) and I hope to push this body of work to great lengths.  Until then, my vinyl studio is mixed with found ephemera and vintage relics, so I'm tripping over stuff a lot.  I'm like a goldfish--I will fill the space I have.  Watch out!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Completely Random Things

I've been neglectful, so here's some random stuff!

Been listening to a lot of The Beatles lately.
This illustration is ridiculous.  Poor Ringo.
Experimenting more.
Salvaged wood, acrylic paint, fabric paper, vinyl, gel medium

5 x 7 matboard, used tea bag paper, paint, vinyl
Dreaming about a larger studio so I can more fully realize all my artistic endeavors.
This would be an adorable little backyard studio if it was
in my price range and my backyard was bigger...
Not a lot of room here in the heart of the city.
Prepping for the Loring Park show in lovely Minneapolis.
From last year's show in this amazing park next to the Walker Art Center.

Making lots of table top clocks.

I love making these.  I'm going to try to have a huge back stock for the holidays.

Eating a lot of ice cream, especially when I'm on the road.
Sweet glorious bowl of heaven from Des Moines's (Pleasant Hill to be more accurate) Over the Top.
Go there.  Go there now.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Made It: More Experiments

I've been on a tear playing with new materials and throwing caution to the wind!

Let's start with the skeletons (all sizes are 5 x 7 inches unless otherwise noted):
matboard, tea-stained old book page, acrylic paint, vinyl

matboard, found sheet music, acrylic paint, vinyl

I painted over the vinyl and tried to scrape it better on the thick black vinyl.

matboard, painted found sheet music, vinyl

squiggle time

matboard, painted found book page, vinyl

matboard, found seed catalog page, paint, vinyl

8 x 10--salvaged wood, acrylic paint, vinyl
I actually have a tentative title for this one:
"Fill My Hollow Bones"

9 x 11.5--salvaged wood, acrylic paint, fabric paper, vinyl, gel medium

Gotta finish those edges!
matboard, found book page, vinyl, acrylic paint

matboard, painted found book page, vinyl, acrylic paint

 I painted over the top of this and then scraped it off, sgraffito style

matboard, layers of found, painted, and/or made papers, vinyl, paint
matboard, found painted hymnal page, vinyl

matboard, found and painted collaged paper, vinyl, acrylic paint

domestic goddesses:
matboard, music pages, paint, vinyl

 I have so many ideas, and I'm just not going to settle for one image style.  I love the weird, macabre skeleton and heart images, because everyone brings something different to those, depending on their history and feelings about health, guts, death, life, color, whathaveyou.  And the retro images just make me happy.  More of a Pop Art feel comes from those, and having some levity in a line of work isn't a bad thing.

I have a one day show this weekend in Lee's Summit, MO, during a bike race--Tour of Kansas City-- so I'm pumping out lots of stickers and other fun cycling-related paraphernalia.  Plus, it's the first day of summer, and I love spending the solstice outside all day.

Here's to the makers out there.  Keep plugging away!