Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Being an Artist

"All Creatures Great and Small..." 24x36 Oil - ©Dot Courson
Here was today at Dot Courson Fine Art: 
I'm in the middle of working on two events that I'm organizing:

  • #1 An upcoming painting workshop with John Pototschnik
  • #2 A traveling show I'm co- chairing and organizing for the Mississippi Oil Painters Association (MOPA).
  • ** I also have a "real" life! 

My husband helps me to host workshops for artists.  The instructors are artists and are wonderful teachers- and usually American Master Artists, and people that I want to work/study with myself.  I have Texas artist John Pototschnik here teaching to a sold-out group in less than a week. He and his wife Marcia will be here on Tuesday and will stay with us in our home - and I'm looking forward to that visit! Today I spent time "readying" ...aka: "cleaning" ... my home for over 20 of the artists to who we will host here for a dinner/cookout here at our home one evening during the workshop. ( For those who follow me on Facebook: I still have not gotten around to cleaning my studio!)
John Pototschnik students on the deck at the workshop cookout - 2009
Jackie (note the maroon apron) and  other workshop participants around the pool. ( Pototschnik workshop 2009)

The last two weeks (month?) was busy as I'm co-chairing and in charge of pulling together a traveling show called Reflections in Oil  for my art group, the Mississippi Oil Painters Association - (MOPA ). Today and tonight I have been trying to finalize the press release and get that to the media outlets I've been collecting addresses for an email "contact group",...as well as finish organizing my Excel spreadsheet with the 29 artists for the show --and getting the images on a file in my computer so I can put it on a CD to send to Southside Gallery in Oxford- where the show will "premiere". I've emailed the other artists and have been emailing them today as well - artists who still do not have their images to me yet. I also requested statements from the galleries for the press releases.  

I need all this finalized before Monday...No pressure!

Midday, I received a call from one of my galleries who had a collector in the gallery who wanted to buy a painting... (see "All Creatures ..." image above)  that they had seen as it was pictured online. This gallery is 3 hours south of me. Problem is that the painting is not at my home- it's in another gallery - over an hour north of me- in Corinth. I called wonderful Sonny Boatman- a volunteer who manages the guild gallery -to see if it was still there and to him to hold it...... and before I was off the phone with him I had donated a painting to the Veranda-Curlee House fundraiser event that they are having!

So then I had to think of how I can get it to my gallery 3 hours south of here to take the painting and possibly to meet with the collector who will return by the gallery on the 20th of this month. That is the week after the Pototschnik workshop here that I'm hosting... I need to rest and get my house in order and paint because 5 days later on the 25tho of April I have to be in Gadsden, Alabama all week for the 3rd Annual Plein Air Invitational where I WILL get to paint daily as I was so honored to be invited to be a part of this amazing festival that they have every year.
Downtown Gadsden, Al street last year in front of Gadsden Art Museum - sponsor of  Annual Plein Air Invitational.

I thought I had a good idea about the delivery of that painting to the 3 hours south of me gallery, and called a local artist friend who I already knew needed to go to the same city on an errand to see if she could take my painting down --but honestly she is so busy that I ended up telling her that I'd go --and save her a trip!

Right after that I had a call from my gallery again, asking me  to call a client who insisted on talking to me about a painting commission. I called the client and she was so sweet- bless her heart- she wanted a "French style" painting, and said that I was, "The best landscape painter in Mississippi"!   Wow that made me feel good! She was very matter-of- fact about it and I really think she felt that way. But, basically, as flattering as all that was- this sale did not work out. I think they were really wanting a print or something less expensive than an original oil paintings but she was truly, truly, a very nice person and it was fun to talk to her about what matched her home architecturally and the traditional interior design from the rug colors to her oatmeal colored sofa, etc.  Turns out we actually do have similar taste...

**Real Life: Believe it or not:  part of my life does not involve art much at all! 
For instance:  I had two wonderful homeschooler grandkids here for the last two days(very unusual for that to happen!) and spent some time with them. ( I did get to do some "project" work while they were here -and I even got to paint a bit!) They are truly self reliant and smart kids.
 And then today, our 3 little grandsons- ages 3 months, 5 years -and a 3 year-old,  came late afternoon and the two older boys will spend the night with Nana and Papa... and as a matter of fact- they just came by awhile ago and gave me the biggest "nite- nite" hugs of love in the world ...so everything's "A-OK" with me tonight - as I finish this blog entry...

His big brother calls him, "Goo"...I wonder why?


  1. I like your painting, "All Creatures Great and Small". Nicely done. No time to even think about rest, Dot. When Marcia and I arrive, we will need lots of special attention. You know what difficult guests we are. Looking forward to seeing you and Jackie.

  2. I can just see the look on your face, like a deer in headlights. John and Marcia have see artist's homes and studio's. I am sure nothing will shock them. I bet they are very easy going. Have that gallery crate up that painting and ship it south. Enjoy Jackie and those grandkids. Don't sweat the small stuff. I hope I see you in Gadsden and I am not going to commute this year. You know my challenges and if all goes well, maybe a little time for me to paint and have fun.

  3. John P- We just can't wait til you both get here! I have much (unrelated to the workshop) to finish this weekend and hope to be free by the time you get here. We are looking forward to your visit and workshop
    When are you going to be getting here? I hope that red carpet we ordered arrives before you do.... - Dot : )

  4. John G - Good to hear from you and paint with you again at the Southeastern Plein Air event. Glad you will be there and not commuting.

    Yes, that deer in the headlights is about right but not a bit about John and Marcia... I'll either make my other deadlines or I won't. One hundred years from now no one will know the difference.... I'm looking forward to Gadsden too! Yes, grandkids are #1 and I drop paintbrushes to be with them. Glad I'm getting known as an artis and yet still Nana around here. My dtr (a PT) was at a seminar and mentioned my name (Before my big career change,I was an RN instructor/nurse executive/administrator)...thinking the speaker may have know me- and she was VERY SHOCKED when the out-of-town seminar leader said- "You mean the ARTIST -Dot Courson? She's a nurse..???"

  5. Sometime Tuesday, Dot. Most likely in mid afternoon. It will give you time to get the red carpet down. Make sure it's really wide.