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
Prices at the shows are a bit lower than on my website, and, you won’t have to pay for shipping on items we have at the mobile gallery.
Also, the mobile Gallery is pretty much the only place where you can snag the newest collector’s cards – we only print a small batch of each card, and they will not be re-printed. They fit neatly into a standard collecting album, so you can start your own mini flock of Sheep Incognito to carry around for a smile on the go.
Come on by for a visit – the Sheep Incognito flock is sure to be somewhere near ewe soon!
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).
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.
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?
– 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.
After being in more States than I care to remember, setting up more shows than I can count, and meeting more people than live in my town, we are finally getting to the last event of this year – it’s the big one!
For a few more days, the Sheep Incognito Flock will be hanging out at the always phenomenal Southern Christmas Show at the Charlotte Expo Center. 12 Days of five buildings filled with any- and everything you might possibly associate with the holiday season. Comes complete with live music, roasted nuts, mulled cider, Dickens attired folk, and the new Sheep Incognito Christmas Painting “Fleece Navidad”.
After a very sandy and windy show at this year’s Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, and a big flood that shut the show early at the St James Court Art Show in Louisville, we are really excited that we are done with outdoor shows for this year.
Summer this year was weird. Out of all the shows we did, only two were without excessive heat or excessive rain – which of course took a huge chunk out of sales as well…
After the rain last week, we were sure a lot of my work would be completely destroyed after a few days in the trailer – but we got lucky.
And: FALL IS HERE!
So we made it to the Craftsmen’s Classic In Roanoke, VA to reconnect with long-time fellow “Carnies”, Artists, and Crafts people, as well as owners of my Sheep Incognito flock of art pieces.
It’s so lovely to meet smiling faces, catch up with everybody, and see what is happening in other people’s lives.
And of course, there is always a bit of gossip involved. My favorite tidbit this weekend: my ex had been claiming that my paintings were his, and that I only painted because of him.
I was not the only one laughing about that one….
Anyway- as always, good fun, good times, and, good things are to be had here in Roanoke this weekend.
Admission is free. Free. No cost. And, bring a food donation for the foodbank.
My two favorite booths this year: right beside us is fellow artist Ayenne Applebaum – she makes the most beautiful porcelain and clay pottery sculptures of coral reef and whimsical vessels. Love her stuff! And, she’s a lovely lady to get to hang out with – I love people that think!
The other booth is a brand new addition to the show circuit – a photographer that does local Roanoke images, but in a contemporary style. His booth was packed all day long…he looked exhausted by the time evening came around.
Tomorrrow is the final day here – lots of new Sheep Incognito paintings, prints and giclées, along with the new Sheep Incognito Bling and the 2014 Calendars.