Tracks in the Snow, 2008, Oil on Panel, 8x10
In 1995, Doug and I lived in northern Utah. Our nephew (we later adopted him) was living with us and our other son was just a baby. We had moved out there in 1993 so that Doug could work full time with a holography company that he had invested in years earlier. We had just moved into our second crappy rental house, we had been asked to move out of the first one because we were late with the rent a few times, um because Doug's company was doing badly and his pay was erratic. Soon after we moved into the second house, the company actually filed for bankruptcy and obviously we were in trouble. I was a stay at home mom and Doug's partner literally told Doug that he should make me get a job. You know, to help out. Never mind that that would require all kinds of extra expenses, like day care, transportation, clothing which would probably just about equal any kind of low paying job that was even available in the area we lived in. Plus, there was no chance that I would be handing my child over to day care, that was something we both felt very strongly about.
Doug applied for unemployment and my unpaid job was to make sure that we were living as frugally as possible. I cooked everything from scratch (cheaper than buying packaged foods, even with coupons), there were NO extras allowed, no movies, no eating out, no shopping, no extra driving, nothing. We managed to get the rent paid on time each month, and kept up as well as we could with the other bills. Even though this was a very stressful time, it was also a very happy time for us. Our baby was unbearably cute and fun and mostly we just looked at him all day which didn't cost anything! The financial difficulties brought Doug and I even closer. We kept our heads, assigned no blame, put together a plan and stuck to it. We worked as a team to handle our finances.
So in the spirit of team work, I have put up yet another blog. It's called The Fine Art Department and I'd like to post an image, a short description and link to artists who are selling their own work. The economy is tough and those of us who (try to) make a living selling our work have been greatly affected. Obviously, I hope that if one has limited funds, they will pay for food, insurance, mortgage, etc. first, however perhaps there are still a few folks who can squeeze out a couple of bucks to buy a piece of art to enjoy or to give as a gift. If artists aren't selling anything, they are also not buying anything either or paying their bills or the mortgage and the dominoes will keep falling. I realize that not every art buyer wants to buy my art (what?) so I'd like to offer some alternatives and hopefully somebody will make a few sales, even if it's not me.
So. If you have a website, an Etsy page, an Ebay store etc, where you directly sell your work, and would like to have your link included on The Fine Art Department, please email me. No sales will go through the The Fine Art Department, all sales must go through the individual artists sites. Please include a jpeg (72dpi), a short description and price info, and the link and I will load it onto the site. Then please post a link to the The Fine Art Department on your sidebar, preferably in a prominent position rather than in a blogroll. I was hoping to make it blink or something (at least through the holidays) on my sidebar but I need help with setting that up; I know that Chris knows how to do that, maybe he will give a tutorial. heh. Anyway, I get about 300-500 hits here each day, and I will also send this link out to all of my real life, art buying friends, and if all of you do the same, maybe we can get some good traffic. I am just a simple girl and confess to having little to no understanding of search engines and all of that so any other ideas would be great.
Let's try and work together to get through this lousy, stupid ass economy, 'k?
PS. Things eventually worked out for us back in 1995. Within a few days of the bankruptcy, Doug started getting job offers and other opportunities within the holography industry, so that was very encouraging. And within a few more months, one of their old clients decided to buy the company out of bankruptcy. Doug became a partner, was put in charge of the plant, got a signing bonus and we were soon able to get out of debt and buy our first house. Doug and I learned that we were a great team, and also that talking about money while in bed was a bad idea, two lessons that we still truly appreciate and which are coming in handy right now.
EDIT: I have been flooded with submissions for The Fine Art Department! I have decided to keep it relatively small (25-30 artists) and I already have 26. You can send me your info, but unfortunately I probably won't add it. Sorry.