We never ever have the luxury of completing a painting in a single sitting...or in a series of consecutive sittings. There are always orders to go out, lettering to paint, boards to be cut and primed. So we work on new paintings bit by bit. Sometimes tiny bit by tiny bit. And it's frustrating to see the finished product in your mind but you know it may be weeks until it's realized on the canvas. Every once in a while during the workday we'll go pick up the work-in-progress and say to one another " I can't wait 'til we finish this!"
Well, this is the latest in completed paintings. And I have to say that this one benefited from the bit by bit method. This was so very near completion and I kept staring at that striped back wall and thought something was lacking. And then I thought "well, we hang up paintings of Charlotte-esque dolls in our real world...wouldn't it make sense that Charlotte would hang up photographs of real people in her make believe world?"...a sort of flipside of our reality. So we then made itty bitty prints of a couple of vintage cabinet cards (I showed you a few posts ago) and handpainted some frames around them. Right then I knew the painting was complete. We named this one The Recital. And regardless of how seriously little Charlotte takes her piano playing, we're much more interested in the way she's decorated her little conservatory. So much in the painting is modeled from elements around our apartment. The chandelier, toy piano, our kitchen floor and walls...though we changed the scale so they'd all make sense in the vignette. I really love the way this new one adds to the collection. The Well Read Raven, Charlotte, and Cupcake Girls are all close up shots whereas this one pulls back so more of the little world is revealed.
If you're interested, we've now got it listed on Ebay and Etsy in two sizes: 11" x 14" and 5 1/2" x 7",
Oh, and I decide to snap a pic of the stuff that keeps us from doing new paintings all the time. This photo represents a typical shipping day of stuff. Which isn't a truckload but keep in mind that all of that lettering is hand painted. We had it all lined up on a bench waiting to be boxed up and shipped out when I noticed how predominantly pink the scene was. And it's my fault. I mean, there are a lot of pink fans out there, but I have to ease up a bit with it and go towards my aqua, turquoise, and pale green tastes. Maybe I'll awaken a bunch of would-be customers! : ) It's shocking how many people out there are NOT fans of the color pink. I'll read somebody's likes and dislikes in a swap and they'll say "send me anything except pink...I despise pink!" But that's what's awesome about swaps...a lot of times you gotta step out of your comfort zone. But I'm cool with all you pink haters out there because if you're a hater of a specific color then that means that you've probably got a definitive design identity. And that's always admirable.
And speaking of design identity...I recently have had a handful of design stealers cross my path. And I don't mean emulation or inspiration...I mean straight up photocopies of our stuff for sale! Every once in a while I'll do random searches for stuff (ebay). Not like a detective, just curious searching I guess. And a few times now I've found our stuff...actually printed off, glued to plaques, photocopied and framed, etc...
And I'm never ever mildly amused. I have to admit...I go nuts! And it's got nothing to do with feeling threatened or even slighted. It's more about integrity. I get really really mad when I think of somebody just pointing, clicking, and printing and saying "yup, this is mine now...and I'm gonna sell it." I mean, how crazy do you have to be?! What parts of your brain are in dysfunction?! What school taught you that?! It's just plain wacky.
Anybody that does something like that knows that it is just plain wrong but they go and do it anyway. And like I said, I don't necessarily feel threatened or robbed. I just feel crummy about humanity at that very moment...and then I get mad at the person who made me have to feel that way. My heart rate immediately shoots through the roof. Aaron has to talk me down and tell me it's nobig deal...some people are less than desirable and we can't let them ruin our day. Eventually I come down off my furious horse and we deal with the situation accordingly...and aim for a positive outcome.
And one more thing since it's on a sorta similar subject. The double edged sword of popularity. Recently Emily from The Black Apple was on Martha Stewart and I'm sure it was a thrill to do and a milestone business achievement for her. But it also opened her up to a much larger world than she's accustomed to. For thick skinned austere business types the experience would be a cakewalk. But Emily is like all of us tiny crafty gals. She's a sweetheart and comes from a real place of creative purity and honesty. There are no tricks up her sleeve. She does what she does because she loves it. The popularity just happens to follow. Anyway, after going on Martha she was inundated with comments on her blog...a lot of them sweet, encouraging and congratulatory. But then the nay sayers came out of the woodwork with their buzzsaw tongues looking to cut down the popular girl. Some of the comments were just so spiteful and jealous. Mostly people sitting at home saying "I could do what you do if I wanted to...it's no big deal....you're not original." And then a lot were saying that Emily shouldn't be so protective of her Copyrights...that all us little people should be allowed to make dolls just like hers if we want to. One even had the gall to say "you can afford to spread the wealth." This last comment was of course was prompted by Martha singing Emily's praises and marveling at her yearly sales numbers on etsy.
Well all of it just got me so sad. Because I know what it must've done to Emily. A totally cool experience like doing the Martha Stewart show had to be sullied by jealous jerks. And us crafty girls aren't like football players. We don't laugh in the face of nay sayers. We don't defy the odds and overcome massive adversity in the face of the media. We get sad and question our own motivations. We say "is this even worth it?....should I just get a day job and simply craft for myself?"
The world of handcrafts shouldnot have a negative fringe...but it does. They're out there and they're gonna find us wherever we go. We just gotta stand shoulder to shoulder and fend them off. We gotta flood the do gooders with so many positive comments that the negative jerks and their spiteful words are rendered impotent. Ok, that's it with my ranting.
I finished another project using some of my Hannah Grey Design Team stuff. The Charlotte, "Queen for a Day" plaque was the first thing I wanted to tackle, but this little 3-D paperboard house was singing to me from day one. I started my gathering right away and chipped away at this over the past week. The starting point was that darling vintage photo on the front...the happy couple in front of their first home. That's the theme...the little love nest. And what love nest is complete without a little kitchen housewifery...The domestically decadent chocolate cake to crown the house warming. Check out the pic of the house beforehand. It's such a simple little product but the possibilities areendless. This would make and amazing girls night project. Pretty much just paper and glue and a scant few three dimensional elements. No painting, no sanding, no glue guns. A little paper and scissor project. I loved doing this. I'd love to make a lil neighborhood!. Pop over to Hannah Grey and get crafty!! They come in a set of two!! ..for only 3.95!!! Fun huh?
Alrighty roo. Gotta go. Thanks for stopping by again. Warm as a bathtub here in Jersey. We might go out for a ride later on with the windows down. Or maybe we'll stay in and chip away at a new painting. ; )