Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Cajun Comes Home (from Cape Cod)

Notice the spelling. I did not make my own name tag!

Whew! This encausticating, southern girl is really happy to be home!
Things started out pretty good at the International Encaustic Conference, with nice weather, and meeting some cool artists from New Jersey right away. The accommodations were shabby-ish and dated, but my room appeared to be clean.
Things began to get a little shaky when I found a bug in my bed. After a tremendous amount of investigation I found out it was NOT a bed bug, but my excitement about being there definitely started to wane. (I later found out the French couple next door, had one in their bed as well.) I also had daily issues with my room key but I won't go there.
Friday dawned beautiful and sunny, and it was difficult to stay indoors when the weather was so beautiful. I spent waaay too much $$ in the vendors room. The first couple of events were redundant for me, but I met two delightful artist ladies from the area, who allowed me to hoove in on their lunch. That night I went to some amazing art showings in Province town and had dinner with a great group. Our food (and waiter) was amazing!

Saturday morning dawned cold, rainy, and gloomy. I watched a nice demo by Cari Hernandez and listened to the keynote speaker that evening.  My other adventure included an attempt at walking on the jetty curving around the cape. My venture was thwarted by strong winds and lack of ear protection. I endeavored to use a left over piece of plastic wrap (I found in my coat pocket from Friday's lunch) as ear plugs, but the wind still got in. I did however have a lovely dinner with my friends from New Jersey.
"Party in the Potty"

Sunday was another dreary day but there was no time to think about it because my display had to be ready for the Hotel Art Fair. I chose to put my paintings in the bathroom, because the light was best there. After covering the bathroom fixtures with a sheet, I placed my paintings to the best of my ability. I called it "Party in the Potty". (It was a very intimate show.) It went well and I sold six pieces. The two largest, one medium and three small. Many many people wanted to know how I achieved the finish. They also were interested in the inspiration behind the series, "Living Water". Some asked if I would be teaching a workshop in their area, including New York City! Ed Winkleman  liked my instillation, chatted a bit, and took one of my cards. His partner told me "congratulations".  The other artists had some amazingly beautiful work and creative installations as well. I really saw some gorgeous encaustic. That afternoon, I went to hear Miles Conrad speak about presenting to a gallery. He was very informative and I don't know whether to be encouraged or discouraged.  I am doing all the right things (according to the experts), people say they love my work, but I still don't have good gallery representation. That evening, I had a final dinner with friends and headed to the room to pack. 
By this time the event was getting to me. Lack of sleep, and spending so much time in an old, leaky, creaky, moldy, hotel was making me ill. My dust and mold allergies were in high gear. 
Monday morning was another dark, rainy, cold, day. I loaded up my car and hit the road. The long, drive into Boston was in torrential rain and gusty wind. Two flights and many hours later I was picked up 
at the airport by my amazing hubby.
Tuesday I was really ill (from the dust and mold allergies), so I stayed home, unpacked, and did laundry from the trip. The effects from my allergies are cumulative. Over the days they build up until I am
 knocked down. Hopefully I will be functioning better tomorrow.
So, my final words on the conference... Many of the demos and speakers were redundant for me (excluding Miles and Ed). Networking was good and I made some new, amazing friends. The amount of work to put the conference together must have been tremendous. 
This kind of event is deserving of a better venue. It is desperately needed.

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