Artist Blog by Sheep Incognito Artist Conni Togel

Category Archives: Art Shows

Sheep In Mount Dora, FL – and What’s Wrong With The Art Market Lately?

A Trip to Florida in February, and Why Some Places Won’t, and Another Place Will Have Sheep This Year

After a short hiatus from the center of Florida last Winter, the Sheep Incognito are heading back to the always fabulous Mount Dora Fine Arts Festival on the first weekend in February!

This will be the kick-off of a year of “sheepishness” near and far – we’ve already booked shows from North Carolina to Colorado, from Florida to New York, and many places in between.

For this year, some of our favorite shows will have a different artist in our spot – some shows like mixing things up every year, so Mount Dora will have us in Booth A-029 this time.

For a few other big shows this year, scheduling conflicts due to some family events that fall on those exact weekends will have me being home with family instead. Not a bad thing at all. It will give all of you a chance to support some of the other fantastic artists there this year – keep art alive, by purchasing directly from the artist!
With the influx of “junk art” – the big, cheap, canvas prints with gel-medium as texture, that you can buy for little money at home furnishing stores, craft stores, and discount clothing stores – many artists have noticed a downturn in sales and interest from the people attending even the juried fine art shows.

Galleries have closed. Art programs in schools have been slashed. More and more of the cheap import art is cropping up everywhere. Shows are being added at a dizzying pace. Existing shows are adding more and more booths (some even adding on booths for “commercial” wares – gutter guards, windows, mass-produced wares, etc.) that increase their income, but also water down the sales for the artists at the same time. Booth fees have gone up, hotels are more expensive, etc…
Very concerning trends, and not easy to cope with as a full-time professional artist.

Nonetheless, I will continue to paint – because, it’s my game, not theirs. And, I love what I do – whether I am traveling or not.

So, to make things a bit easier, I’ve also begun adding painting lessons in my studio – great fun to do, relaxing, no mass-produced wares to compete with, and, best of all, new friends to make.

Come join me there sometime! Or, check my schedule every now and then to see where I will be – if we are close to where you are, we can meet in that area somewhere to do some “paint flinging” together. If you like painting outdoors, we can do something out in the Rocky Mountain National Park this June – we’ll be there, and it would be awesome to paint some beautiful landscapes there together!

Either way – keep checking the schedule – though we might not be at some of the big juried shows this year, we’ve added a few fun Celtic/Irish/Highlands Festivals this year, and as always, our big Sheep & Wool Festivals are always a blast as well!

As always, I LOVE hearing your comments and ideas for new Sheep Incognito paintings – leave a comment, share this post, and thanks for being part of the Sheep Incognito Flockies in the meadow of life!

Also, if you are in connections with a decent children’s book publisher by chance, I would love to have some feedback for the two books I’ve written and am illustrating as well. They do involve sheep in some capacity, but do appeal to the general market more than the sheep arena.

Here is my newest painting:
“The Great Flock Defender” click this link to order prints of it!

The Great Flock Defender Sheep Incognito Art

The Great Flock Defender Sheep Incognito Art

 

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Sheep Incognito Return to Anderson, SC for Holly Jolly Holiday Fair

Sheep Incognito Return to Anderson, SC for Holly Jolly Holiday Fair

Join us this weekend at the Anderson, SC Civic Center for some beautiful sheep art by one of Anderson's most well-known artists, at the premier holiday market in town

This weekend, the internationally collected, award winning "Sheep Incognito" flock of paintings, prints, and sheepishness by Anderson resident Conni Togel returns home to join the group of outstanding vendors for the annual "Holly Jolly Holiday Fair" at the Anderson Civic Center.

Anderson is 45 minutes from Greenville, SC (number #6 on the list of "Fastest Growing Cities in the USA"), home to BMW  USA, Michelin, USA; 20 minutes to Clemson University; 2 hours to Atlanta, GA; 10 minutes to Lake Hartwell; 1 1/2 hours to the Blue Ridge Parkway; 2 hours to Asheville, NC.

This is where the Sheep Incognito Studio has been located since 2005.

This weekend November 17-19, 2017, artists and crafters from the Southeast gather for the annual Holly Jolly Holiday Fair at the Anderson Civic center for a holiday market filled with great gift ideas, holiday ch
eer, and of course, some sheepish humor in Conni's paintings and prints.

Times:
Friday, November 17, 2017:  VIP Night Opening 5 pm – 9pm
Saturday, November 18, 2017: 10 am-6pm
Sunday, November 19, 2017: 1pm – 5 pm

Tickets are available here: https://www.hollyjollyholidayfair.com/tickets

Sheep Incognito by Conni Togel HAULIN' ASS

 

PASSING GAS by Sheep Incognito

 

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Encouragement for Your Day!

Today has been tedious so far – trying to set up at Tulsa International Mayfest since this morning, but strong winds have kept us at a complete standstill.


Waiting for the kings of great waterbarrels to work their magic to save the booth from flying down Mainstreet in Tulsa.

So this is my inspirational “Keep Flying Anyway” post for you – everybody needs one of those occasionally!

Title: “EWE CAN FLY!” (Which today is more accurate than we’ve had it in a while…)

Available here: SHOP NOW for “Ewe Can Fly”

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He Ain’t Nuthin But A Hound Dog

A NEW DIGITAL WORK IN PROGRESS ON MY DIGITAL EASEL:

In preparation for the Dublin Irish Festival next week, I started working on this off-kilter fellow – I think he partook of the irish coffee that was left sitting out….. He looks quite “jolly” and slightly slobbery.

Much like the guy I saw tripping out of the pub the other evening.

They might be related somehow….
At any rate, this is one of my digital pet portraits I started offering in January. They have become quite popular, and there is a waiting list in place, that is filling fast ahead of December and the holidays.

To get on the list, place your order on my website at www.charisma-art.com asap – the month before Christmas is busy show time for me, and there will be others trying to get their pets “cutified” by me then as well.

Come see us in Dublin, Ohio in the Emerald Isle Section of the Dublin Irish Festival next week – this guy will be making his official debut there!

#wip #dog #pet #irish #festival #painting #wolfhound #digital #custom #art


Floridaaaah!

We made it to our first show in 2016 in Dunedin Florida – our trailer had been stolen, broken into, everything dumped in the woods, and much of it destroyed, right before Christmas.

Nonetheless: Christmas was awesome, and it gave us at least a few days to be with family.

And, fortunately I have insurance that will hopefully cover most of the lost art and the damage to my show setup and other artwork.

So with beautiful weather under palm trees, life is still good.

Even with some rain and some flooding this afternoon, we still ate happy to have made it down here, even if the panels are crooked, the frames scratched, and some of the sheep a bit muddy – they still have the capacity to make people smile.
Which is nice.

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Alpharetta Arts Streetfest 2015 – with Sheep!

SHEEP INCOGNITO IN ALPHARETTA, GA FOR ARTS STREETFEST 2015

 

We just got a note that we have been accepted into the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest for 2015 – so come visit one of Atlanta area’s sweet gems of a town, and get your smile on with the Sheep Incognito flock!

Mark the dates:

April 18 and 19, 2015, on South Main, Alpharetta, GA

 

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SHEETS MATTER.

Every now and then, life has a way of reminding you that little things do, in fact matter.

Things your mom would tell you to “Never Mind” or “Get Over it”. Things like the salt in the shaker going solid so nothing comes out.
The bread you had in the oven for dinner being slightly burnt, because you took the time to watch a quick youtube funny with your teenager.
Or, best example: hotel sheets that don’t fit the bed.

To an outsider mundane, irrelevant occurrences.

The sheet thing – it’s a thing.
When you are forced to join the “carnies” of the art world – the art show road warriors – you get a whole different perspective of what the real “art world” is like for thousands of american artists.

Did you know, that quite a few of these people come to the art festivals from hundreds of miles away?
Did you know that they often have to set up their tents and displays either late at night or before dawn the day of the festival?
Did you know that many of them sleep in their van or even their little cars to save on hotel costs?
Did you know most of them eat snacks all day, because they can’t leave their booth to go get food – or, if they do, the food choices might be limited to fair food like funnelcakes or chicken on a stick. For every day of the festival. At $7-$15 a meal.
Did you know that most of those sleeping in their vehicles don’t get to shower after a long day of set up, show times in the sun, talking with people all day, and the going to sleep in their overheated cars?
Did you know that booth spaces at art shows cost between $100 and $1200 to rent at the art festivals?
Did you know that often the only bathrooms available to artists are the portapotties at the festival? Did you know that often there isn’t even water to wash hands afterwards?
Did you know that artist often get robbed, at shows, with security present?
My car was broken into twice in four days, with important paperwork two gps systems stolen from it a few years ago. Another time, a lady tried walking off with the money from four shows in my computer bag – she opened the car door and tried walking away with it, while I was loading the trunk.
This, at a show in one of America’s wealthiest towns.

It explains why so many of us artists have vans or rv’s or even tents to sleep in while we are on the road. And canisters of water and hand sanitizer.

This past weekend I joined the ranks of the “nomadic tent dwelling artist” species – the rv was being difficult again, so I opted to avoid paying $129 per night at the only hotel in walking distance of the show, and bring a small tent along instead.
Camping on the grounds was $40 for the weekend.

Only, I grabbed the wrong one from home – it was the smallest we had, but it also turned out to be the one with the shattered tent poles, and apparently also the one tent some cat or tge other had decided to use for a marking spot.
This I found out after a long drive here, a long setup of booth, and a scuttle to fix the broken tent poles with a branch and some duct tape.

Did you know that duct tape fixes a multitude of things, but it does not remove the smell of cat pee? I learned a lot this weekend.

At night, i also learned that I am highly allergic to something in the grass or the tent I was sleeping in – breathing problems at night in a field in a tent that smells like a litterbox after a long day don’t make the art world look more attractive.

So – three nights of that situation got me through the art festival (which, it turned out was more of a craft festival instead). After the show ended, i decided to splurge on a hotel room – a clean soft bed, with a clean shower, and free breakfast within walking distance sounded great.

The price, I was told: $166 for the night, but, special discounted rate is $99.
Usually, my max for hotels is $89 per night – higher than that, and the car becomes a viable option for sleeping in.
But – with no other hotels to choose from and the lobby looked clean and comfy, I got a room.
Everything looked tidy – towels and bathroom clean.

The shower felt great.

But the sheets!
Not the crisp, white, tightly tucked sheets of a $99/night hotel, but the $35/per night “you will get mugged, raped and hacked into pieces if you sleep in this motel” kind of sheets. The pillows: flattened pieces of old quilt batting or possibly up-cycled chair cushions from a hundred year old church pew (it was hard to tell – almost got a concussion when flopping onto the pillow).
The blankets: half unraveled,musty smelling objects (not unrelated to the smell in my tent, with the additional “flavor” of old nicotine).

The sheets!
Not tucked in sheets. Not cotton sheets.Not fitted sheets. But a flimsy, somewhat polyester type flat sheet that attempted to cover the mattress and the protruding very worn yellow foam mattress pad.
No matter how careful you lay down on that kind of thing, you will find yourself engulfed in a twist of sheets, blankets, unsavory bedspreads, and nicotine smell.
Which will
Keep you awake all night, regardless of your level of exhaustion.

It is most certainly not the ingredient for resting up after fighting the war for survival for three days…

$99 for a night like that – Did you know that a halfway decent sheet set with a fitted sheet can be purchased for around $40?

So…

– if you are in the hotel business: the sheets matter. A lot. Get good ones, or charge only what your bedding is worth.

– if you are an art festival goer: your purchase of someone’s artwork matters. A Lot. It might just pay for a fitted sheet, or just a flushing toilet for the artist for a night. But it matters.

– if you are a show promoter or organizer: charging the artist $40 extra for a booth fee or electrical service, without providing humane sanitary conditions for the artists to work in, matters.

– if you are a city hosting an art fair and you decide to charge $100 parking fees from the artists that are already paying hundreds just to be there – please give the hotels a tax break so they can put that money towards good sheets on their beds.

Because: sheets matter.

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Another Trip to Columbia, SC Next Week – Spring Craftsmen’s Classic

Springtime Madness is about to start!

Next weekend we will be hitting the road again for a series of Spring shows – we are more than ready for some warmer temperatures, not having to scrape the windows on the car in the morning, and getting to have a cup of coffee outside in the sunshine.

Which makes it quite a nice thing, that the Spring Craftsmen’s Classic in Columbia is right around the corner. It is always one of our nicer shows to participate in – much like a good family reunion, complete with lots of laughs, a tad of drama, and our favorite stalkers, all in one venue: the SC Fairgrounds.

There will be a huge range of handmade, original, creative artwork and crafts there – some good ole favorites, and some new, cutting edge things.

I will be unleashing some new Sheep Incognito paintings and prints there as well – gotta enlarge the flock, because much like a real flock of sheep, they just keep multiplying.

New kids (or lambs) on the block:

Into The Hills – a rather large landscape in oils, complete with my famous poppies and blue trees.

Into The Hills - Oils on Canvas

Into The Hills – Oils on Canvas

 

Pompous Ass

Pompous Ass - acrylics on canvas

Pompous Ass – acrylics on canvas

 

There might be a few others hanging out for the first time as well – ya just never know, with sheep.

Of course, while we are in Columbia, we will also be checking out the local eateries – our favorite part of any of our tours. From what I remember, there is an incredible sandwich shop with lines out the door in town – and, a brewery that has quite a large range of craft beers to try.

Hotels in town? the Marriott downtown seemed to be a pretty nice place to stay – the price was better than some of the other midrange hotels, they were quite good about customer service (computers down? Free dinner, free drinks while they work on the problem). One downside: the noise level on Saturday night out on the street was a bit distracting after a long day at the show – but then again: maybe we should have joined the party instead.

So if you need something to inspire you next weekend, come visit us at the Sheep Incognito booth at the Craftsmen’s Classics in Columbia, SC – we’d love to introduce you to some new sheepish smiles! (And if we are really lucky, our favorite stalker will be there with his camera again – maybe we can all photobomb together :o)) )

 

 

 

 

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