Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's nearly 1 am...I should be asleep, but my brain is in overload. It was a rather busy day at my 9-5 job. Sometimes being a social worker gives you all the "people" time you really need...and this being one of those days, I would have loved nothing more than coming home, going to the studio and doing some painting.

But tonight I was registered for another workshop at the Textile Center...this one on setting up an Etsy shop. For those of you who do not know, Etsy is an online site where artists, craftspeople can sell their handmade items. It's sort of Ebay for the art world (only better in my book). I am intending to "open up" my Etsy shop to sell my jewelry and hopefully, some day, paintings and other art/craft work.

It was a great workshop...with lots of much so that I'm having a hard time turning off the brain. My brain is working overtime thinking through the steps I need to take to get my Etsy shop started. Parts of me wants to get going on this right away, while the information is all fresh. The wiser part of me says hold up, wait till the art crawl is over. I'm not sure...but it will be happening soon.

So keep an eye here for the announcement of the grand opening of my Etsy shop, simply titled "created by risa".

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I just finished my Dick Blick canvas shopping. I love walking in there and buying 20 canvases. It's a little bit of a guess what sizes to get (and since I only had the car, none were gigantic)...but I got a nice assortment and will have plenty to keep me busy for months to come. The sale will be back in January, so I'll probably buy 20 more then.

I've been busy working at the studio and also making jewelry. I finished 3 more necklaces this weekend. I'll get some pictures taken soon to post.

Last Thursday night I took a workshop on "marketing/promoting yourself as an artist". It was good...I learned about a few new resources. Basically I found out that I am thinking about all this the right way and just need to keep plugging away. It amazes me that nearly as much time needs to be put into "marketing" your art as making it.

For now, my next goal is to get ready for the fall crawl--just 3 weeks away.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Only 5 weeks till the Fall Art Crawl.

More and more I realize that I will never have everything done for the art crawl that I want--because creating art is a fluid process. There is no clear starting and ending point in the creative process. Yes, for any particular piece there is a point where you start and a point when you finish the actual piece (although sometimes it's hard to decide when you're done). But the process of creating is not so clear cut. As you're painting (or whatever medium you're working in) ideas are swimming in your head; one painting leads to another which leads to another. The work I do on one piece often influences the next work I do.

And so it goes. I realize that when the art crawl happens, I will be showing the pieces I've finished...while new paintings are in the works. The feedback that I get during the crawl will have some impact on the work I go on to do. I am already thinking far the work I hope to have finished by the time of the spring art crawl.

That said, my brain is making a mental list of the things--besides painting-- that I need to work on before the crawl. I need to work on framing, making cards, finish some jewelry....Having a deadline always helps you get that stuff done.

So after a few days of r & r, I'm busy at the studio again. We left town for a few days to escape the Republican Convention happening just blocks away. It was very weird to see so many cops and Secret Service around. I'm happy things are back to normal--meaning quiet--in St. Paul.

We spent a few days in Red Wing, one of our favorite towns. We took a leisurely route home, stopping in Northfield. Somehow I've never made it to Northfield. But now that I've been there, I know I'll be back. It is a wonderful small town--with great artsy stores in the downtown area. I found a fabulous bead store that I could have spent all afternoon in. There were also several stores featuring arts and crafts of various artists and a small art gallery as well. It was the sort of day that fuels my creativity.

So back to the studio. Thursday I was in a bit of funk, just trying to re-adjust to "real life" versus "vacation life". I grabbed a painting that I had set aside quite some time ago and made some major changes...and finished it. It ended up looking quite different than I had initially imagined it, but I'm happy with it. That can pull you out of a funk in no time.

I also did some window shopping at Dick Blick's. Dick Blick's is my favorite art store. Right now (thru October 12) they have their fantastic Back to School sale--which includes tremendous savings on canvases. I didn't buy any, but I'm making my list and plan to return when I will buy at least 20 canvases (thus getting the maximum savings). I try to buy enough canvases to last me the year (this sale is typically repeated in January).

Tomorrow I'll be back to the studio and then Monday, I'll really return to "real life"--back to work I go.