Quick, don’t think to hard... What would you do with $500 or $600 in your pocket, a free weekend and the directive to spend every dime of it before sundown on Sunday night? How would you choose to spend your time? Where would you go? Who would you spend your time with. Don’t be practical, no answers of, ‘gotta make the next installment payment of the kids braces, or need the have the bathroom re-wired and install that fan.’


It’s a game I’ve been playing with myself after the last few art shows.


What the heck am I doin’ spending crazy time, energy and money on shows? I’ll be honest, MY paintings have not been selling this season. People love ‘em, the public really responds to my paintings, booth, my imagery, my colors, to me. But they don’t pull out their credit cards to take paintings home. I do love hanging out in my booth talking to the folks and getting to know all the artists around me---but that is SO not why I’m working like a mad dog to, well you all know.  2011 was my first year doing the shows, I sold dozens of paintings. I was thankful to break even, but I’m in the game to make $, this is not a hobby for me. I support my family, don’t have a partner to help kick in, it’s all up to me.


From this springs my new favorite game. What would I do with $500 in my pocket and a directive to spend every penny of it within 48 hours? I run an incredibly frugal household, have been a single parent most of my life, so my answers border on giddiness.


Thankfully, I only have a few more shows this season. Unless some miracle sales happen before the end of this season, I’ve made the decision to retire the painting gig for the next few summers. I’ll always paint. Planning to NOT apply to shows with my current series of paintings. Been fantasizing about a whole new direction, going to spend NEXT summer kicking back, visiting all of YOU at art shows, camping, painting, canoeing, gardening, taking weekend trips, spending time with family and friends but most of all NOT sitting at art shows NOT selling paintings.


Don’t hold me to it 100%, the siren call to apply can be very loud at times. I did win a purchase award at East Lansing this year-thank you East Lansing! I was thrilled! So is the jury fee was waved for the next several years? Or are both waived,the jury AND booth fee? I may go to East Lansing...


Fantasy weekend…my bags are packed. Anyone else in?

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  • I would take me & hubby back to our honeymoon spot, spend the weekend- JUST THE TWO OF US- relaxing, dining, hiking, playing tourist - it's the one and only time we've ever vacationed by ourselves.

  • Simple, I'd raft the Owyhee River in SE Oregon. Problem is I'd have to save up for a couple times and I'd have to wait until next spring. Oh yeah, and it's a 4-7 day trip. What else... buy a bike... nahh. Golf one of the Bandon, OR courses and stay at the resort :). Ruth's idea sounds good too.

  • I'd have no trouble spending $500 in 48 hours, I'd jump on the Victoria Clipper out of downtown Seattle and head to the Empress hotel in Victoria BC and indulge in a massage or spa package.  Relaxing, easy way to spend that kind of money that quickly!  And very tempting right now as my muscles are complaining to me that I've overdone it with yard work again.

    I'm sorry to hear your paintings aren't selling well.   We were across from a painter last weekend that I thought was having a good show, was thrilled to see a few originals sell on Saturday.  Found out Sunday just before load out that a couple of those were brought back, didn't fit, match, etc.  Grrr, I felt so bad for the artist.  We are actually, finally, trending up slightly this year with our shows, not a lot, but just enough to keep us going with a positive attitude as our summer show season is just ramping up into the "full speed ahead" mode between now and mid-September.

    Best of luck on your decisions ahead. 

  • A year off from the show scene could be refreshing.   There's only so many losses you can take on the chin!   Some time off to wait for people to recover financially a bit and start spending.  

    Those with heaps of available cash are still spending, but most of us are trying to sell to someone a bit lower on the ladder than that and most of them are limiting their purchases. Australia, relatively unscathed during the GFC and its effects, is still spending but it has still changed - people are more wary of spending on art or luxury products. 

    Perhaps spend the time off trying to sell your art in a different way - in galleries, on line?

    And as to your initial question - I'd probably spend it gems, but I am addicted to them!

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