July 5, 2010

Optimist or Pessimist?, Oil on Canvas 10" x 8"

A recent art festival in the Chicago area was progressing, well let’s just say, less than expected. Thin crowds, rain both days, and slow sales. I was fortunate however, to have my wife join me during Sunday.  Helen suggested some changes to the arrangement of my paintings which definitely improved the appearance of the display. During the trickle of spectators, I devoted some time to finalizing plans and strategies for the upcoming workshops which I would be teaching. I also had promising conversations with a few folks who were interested in my work. But few sales to show for the effort.

Sunday held a few nice surprises. First, a couple of my high school classmates stopped by to view my works and spend a few minutes visiting.  Early on Sunday afternoon,  I was surprised when I  noticed that friends of ours had traveled into the Chicago area from Rockford to see the festival and visit. They viewed my display, visited for a few minutes and indicated that they were going to tour the rest of the festival but promised that they would stop back before they left. I did not realize that they had better plans in store for us.

After touring the festival and making a few purchases from some of the other artisans, they returned to my booth. Our friends brought along a stash of crackers, cheese,  and fresh grapes. This festival took a dramatic turn for the better. Rosie introduced us to Neal and traffic to the booth seemed to increase as we enjoyed a party of sorts.

It soon became obvious that our friends not only came to visit, dine and add some entertainment but they planned to stay and play the role of Tom Linden Roadies.

At the completion of these art fairs, Helen and I can pack up the artwork, tear down the display and load everything into our van in about an hour (this  is typically a lot faster than the other artists at these fairs). Our friends were great assistants and helped us complete the task in less than 20 minutes. I could not keep up with their ability to whisk items safely from the booth and securely pack them into our van. The fair organizer was amazed at the fast and furious action at our tent. Outstanding friends, opportunistic gourmands  and great Roadies. Thanks crew.

Was this a good festival? Was this a bad festival? I guess it all depends upon whether you see the glass as half full or half empty.

Our Friends - Roadies for the Day.

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