Monday, September 20, 2010

The One Where I Try To Avoid the TV Cameras

Well, I had quite a weekend! The Harvest Festival was wonderful and VERY well attended. The Beekman Boys estimated that there were at least 5000 visitors to their little town in the last few days. I don't think they ALL came by my booth but I sure did have a lot of people stopping by.

So last week was totally crazy getting ready for the festival, but I managed to get almost everything finished. Julien (my son and assistant):
and I got up at the ungodly hour of 5am on a Saturday morning to get ready, finish loading up the car and get over to Sharon Springs by 7am. Set up actually went quite smoothly; he carried everything and I told him what to do. It was perfect. Heh.

I went with VERY simple for the booth. I had tried to figure out a way to build some sort of easel on the table so that I could hang all the small paintings on that, but it seemed too complicated and then time was running short so I put that idea aside. Anyway, I kept thinking that they always look so appealing in my flat file drawer:
so I thought that just laying all the paintings down flat on a table would be the best way to display them.
I had also planned to hang a few larger panels on the walls, but after we Julien put up the back wall, the organizers told us that no one was allowed to have walls up on their booths because they wanted the whole area to feel very open, which made perfect sense. So I just settled on putting one large painting on an easel at the front corner of the booth and a medium sized piece on a tabletop easel. I had an area where I put out a sign up sheet for my mailing list, a pile of postcards that I had printed up (image on one side, my contact and gallery representation info on the other) and my book that contains info about me such as my resume, statement, bio and a few articles that have been written about some of my shows.

Things were kind of quiet for the first few hours so we had time to settle in and go over writing up sales receipts and things like that. Soon though, things picked up and by early afternoon it was fairly hectic. It got even busier when The Beekman Boys (Josh and Brent) came through surrounded by cameras and a crowd of people who were watching the taping.

They stopped at several booths and talked to the vendors and while they were doing that I was totally panicking. Even though I certainly wanted my work to (possibly) be seen on their show, ultimately my natural self-conscious-ness won out and although I had spruced up my make up and hair just in case, I started to wish for them to NOT come to my booth. I even had an escape route all planned out! I was both relieved and disappointed (but mostly relieved) when they didn't come by my booth.....

But. At the end of the day, Julien and I had started to pack up the paintings (didn't want to leave them there overnight) and I looked up and there was Rosie O'Donnell standing in front of my table. I squeaked out her name in surprise, even though I had heard rumors that she was up for the event, I was still completely shocked to actually see her. And suddenly there was a camera on my face. Sigh. She and her girlfriend asked me about my process (they both paint and I could tell that based on their questions) and luckily I hadn't had enough time to get nervous so I managed to do ok, no stumbling over my words and I managed to stop myself from babbling. Unfortunately though, the camera eventually got me flustered and they left before I could remember to give them a card (I had given a card to every single other person who stopped by my booth). I had no idea how I did during the exchange, but Julien said I was fine and that as they walked away, Rosie said "they are beautiful". I didn't hear her say that because I was internally flipping out by that time!

Sunday was much quieter, it was overcast, but no rain at least. There were not as many visitors so I had more time to walk around and meet some of the other vendors. The people across from us were selling logs that grow mushrooms and I heard them explaining it so many times that I am now an expert at growing mushrooms too, heh. I learned more about growing garlic from my next door neighbors and I also discussed buying my next batch of meat chicks from them as well, as they have a small chicken hatchery. I met Austin who makes the absolute best chocolate that I have ever had in my entire life and I talked to him for quite awhile. I bought some beautiful yarn from a couple who raise sheep and I made some excellent trades with Suellen a glass artist

and a and Sierra, a fiber artist who makes boiled wool accessories like hats and purses.

And a few of my real life friends came by too so there was much chatting. It was also really nice to spent both days with my son, we had fun playing pool and some strange game involving archery on his iPod. And a big thank you to Karen who loaned me her tent, it was SO nice not to have to buy one.

Oh! I also met Doug and Garth, the owners of The American Hotel who were actually very happy to meet ME! They had 'won' one of my paintings in a fundraiser in Cooperstown about a year ago and someone had stopped by my booth on Saturday and told me that they were that couple, which I had not known. Doug and Garth logged a lot of time in front of the cameras on Saturday as they play a strong supporting role in the Beekman's tv show but I was happy to be able to chat with them while the cameras were NOT around and plus I can still recall our conversations quite clearly. Heh.

I sold eleven paintings in all (certain people bought THREE, thanks Brian!) and I am very pleased with that, it definitely covered my expenses. But more than that, it was a really fun and social weekend and I was able to be involved in an event that supports local farms and craftspeople and that also brought a lot of attention, enthusiasm and revenue to a charming upstate town. Josh and Brent have done a really wonderful thing for the area and I am very happy to have been a small part of it.

PS. I think I may have lost Rosie to the alpacas. It is tough to compete with alpacas who snuggle with each other, heh.


paula said...

thank you for sharing this more in depth. loved reading it tracy!

collage whirl said...

Your area sounds really cool, Tracy. I wouldn't mind doing a show like that!

Karen said...

Sounds like a good show! Nice to see you sold enough to cover your expenses! I am sure it had to be great to see and talk to so many people about your work! Wish I lived close enough to have gone!

Brent and Josh said...

Beautiful blog and beautiful art

Rita vindedzis said...

So happy to have discovered your blog. Love your paintings and sounds like you had a really great show.

Natalya Aikens said...

that sounds like so much fun!

Kim Hambric said...

I had to laugh at you hoping the first round of cameras did not come your way, and actually having an escape route. I can relate to that! So glad to hear it worked out so well & that you met other artists to trade with.

Tracy said...

Thanks Paula, glad you enjoyed it;)

Collage Whirl, well, we do have our moments up here, interspersed with mind numbing boredom and hard labor!

Karen, yes, it was so nice to get out once in awhile. I tend to hide a bit and it's easy to forget how much fun being social can be!

Thanks Brent and Josh, and hey, you guys sure do a great Harvest Festival!

Rita, glad you like the blog and thanks for visiting, and yes, good show!

It was great, Natalya, even avoiding the cameras was good fun;)

Kim, ha, another camera shy girl! It's like we are the only ones left anymore;)

patty a. said...

I am so glad the show went well for you. The variety and quality of artists sounded wonderful. Your paintings look great and I am glad you sold enough to cover your costs. Meeting Rosie was pretty cool. I know how you can get tongue tied around someone famous. I have met a few rock stars. I just calm myself, listen to what they have to say, and react slowly and with a smile. I can't wait to hear about what is next on your agenda!

Melody said...

Sounds like a great weekend Tracy.. and that Julien what a handsome boy indeed. I'll share the photo of him with Sierah and Holly as they were quite taken with him when we visited a few years ago

Jason and Kristin said...


Kath said...

Great Harvest Festival!!! We had a really fun time in Sharon Springs...bought 2 of your pieces which we absolutely love!!! We could have walked away with 6, at least, but we restrained ourselves! Beautiful work!!!!

Tracy said...

Patty, I think it was more the camera making me nervous and the thought of lots of people possibly seeing me! I had a million things I could have chatted to Rosie about;)

Melody, thanks and yes, Julien has gotten quite grown up and he was a great help this weekend.

Hi Kristin and Jason! You need to get on FB, Kristin! It's easy and fun!

Kath, are you one of the two women who walked up to the atm? So glad you enjoyed the festival, I thought it was a really good one too!

Christie Hogue said...

It always makes my day bright when I read about your recent activities. You have such a gifted way of telling it . . . I always end up laughing while I'm reading and my daughter in the other room keeps saying "Mom what are you laughing at?" You are very inspiring, Tracy.

Tracy said...

Oh, thank you so much for your sweet comment Christie! It is so nice to hear that I am even remotely inspiring;)