Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No, I Don’t Do Festivals…

...but it's not because I am shy - I LOVE to speak! 
Dot Courson as a Lauren Rogers Museum of Art - ART TALK speaker to patrons.

Once someone local finds out for the first time that I'm an artist- they always say:

"Are you in the Gum Tree Festival in Tupelo?"

Then they may ask,
"Well then: Do you do the Double Decker in Oxford?!"

I get up my courage, shake my head and reply,
"No. Nope, I don't do festivals!

...Not that there’s anything wrong with it! It’s not them. Its ME! 

I tell them that I'm showing my work exclusively in  galleries. Southern Breeze Gallery in Ridgeland, MS - a wonderful owner who takes care of my work – hangs it beautifully, runs magazine ads, represents me online, and is always there to work hard to show my work to collectors. I’m also in Caron Gallery now and they are wonderful too! They are super nice folks! If you haven’t been –Go! It just keeps getting better!   
Susan, my daughter and Faith , my granddaughter's "Nature Club" at a Girl Scout function in her own tent where she sold jewelry this spring. 
But I’ve definitely thought about doing festivals. Once, I even went and took photos of tents in festivals that I thought I could use for my art. 

I must have “festival envy”...

On perfect days it seems fun. And I definitely could reach a lot of people who could get to know me and become more familiar with my art and I could possibly be better known as an artist “around my hometown” and in the region too. Also, I'm a fairly outgoing person.  I love meeting and talking to people, especially about art.  I take Cane my little art dog, and visit festivals and usually buy pottery or jewelry and unframed paintings at times.  Cane loves festival hot dogs! I love meeting the artists. Artists love artists!
I think Cane had gone exploring at this time....
Sometimes I do wonder if festivals are not better for artisans and potters and crafts and those who paint small and make prints to sell? They are brave souls who endure the elements- heat, cold, rain, noise and smells- and show there!  
But it’s the weather elements involved in art festivals and I shy away from situations where heat stroke is a real possibility, or my work could get damaged. 

I tend to “kid glove” my work... 

Also, I paint a lot on linen and don't want to leave it outside - exposed to the elements! Also, tents – that's another thing:  How could I hang my larger “over the sofa” and “over the mantel” paintings?  I’m just not a tent person!  

So I don't do festivals to sell my work, I do festivals for FUN! In good weather….

  • Are you an artist that does festivals? 
  • What is your experience? Where do you like to buy your art?

BTW-Southern Breeze Gallery was named THE BEST ART GALLERY IN MISSISSIPPI by Mississippi Magazine last year by reader survey!  They run ads to market my work and at my shows she always has scrumptious horde'vours,  horsd'vours...appetizers ...and serves wine in long stem glasses. I get to dress up "delta casual" - and visit with collectors and my supportive art friends who show up at my shows to take a look at my latest work and visit while I'm in town.
An art sale at a Solo Show.
BTW- I Made the record for highest sale price EVER for that gallery!

I will have a show in Southern Breeze Gallery in October of this year!
 Hope you come!

During this years Tupelo Gumtree Festival,  I was on the next block outside Caron Gallery in Tupelo  painting a plein air street scene.. My pholosophy: I'm a partner with my galleries!


  1. OOh, yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I wrestle with the should I or shouldn't I do the paint-outs and festivals. When I look at the painters that are doing what I eventually want to be doing they aren't on the festival/paint-out scene and as far as I know never have been. I'm not sure I want to take my career "on the road" so to speak. Don't know.

  2. Yeah- it just looks fun doesn't it! Somehow there is a certain charm to the idea of it...

    I will never do them now, though. But when I first started painting professionally & full- time - that question came up a LOT!

    The other question that came up a lot was,
    "Hey- D'you ever see that guy on TV with big hair that painted? ...Wow! HE was GOOD!!!!!!!"

  3. I still wonder whether or not to do festivals, Dot. But I paint "big" a little too often to think about hauling it around. After entertaining the idea, I move on.

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)