Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just two more shows....

Heading out yet again early tomorrow morning to setup for the Scituate Art Festival in North Scituate, Rhode Island this weekend.  And one more time next weekend, for the Roseland Cottage Fine Art & Craft Festival in my home town of Woodstock, Connecticut.  It will be nice because I get to visit with my folks and catch up a bit with family and friends.  I'm still behind from being away so much in September and still have orders to fill from the Big E.  But, those that needed to be shipped first have been done, YAY!

I'm looking forward to a bit of down time once I return, and hoping there will still be a few colorful leaves left to play with.  If you're in the area, stop by one of my last two shows of the season and say HI!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Well, I was away for three weeks, if you count the 17 days of the BIG E and the 4 days of setup prior to opening day.  It's good to be home, but it will take me awhile to catch upon everything.. sleep, life, orders, unpacking...etc.  I'm so pleased to say it was all worth it. 

Now that its all behind me, I can honestly say I was a bit concerned with how I would handle all the people, the long hours and, did I mention all the people??  Those who know me, know I'd rather be out in the fresh air with wildlife enjoying the sounds of nature, rather than the endless conveyor belt of people.  However, the people were nice and it wasn't so bad after all!!  I'm actually looking forward to next year.

In the meantime, I am soaking up the sunshine, the blue sky and puffy white clouds, the stars and the sounds of nature both during the day and the evening.  I find I missed the rustling sound of the wind through the leaves the most.  I knew there were going to be a lot of people, but I wasn't prepared for how loud it gets inside that building when it's filled with crowds.  Now, I am savoring the silence. Usually when I work at home, I  have the radio on, but not since I've been home.  It's a welcome change from being stuck indoors for 17 very long, long days.  The fresh air is such a treat!

Last night, as I attempted to sleep I dreamed that people kept asking me for this image in that size, or that image in this size....  as I tossed and turned, they kept coming at me!  I would roll over and be paranoid that I was asleep and customers were watching me ... and waiting to speak with me!  Each time I would wake up just chuckling and shaking my head.  I wonder how long this will last?

I would like to thank everyone who helped make this challenge a success for me!  The whole family helped out, my folks with their support, my sister Lynn and brother Scott both showed up to help out when I needed it.  Wonderful friends Carol Dubois, Lara Max, Densise & Chip Pettengill, Sue Poublon and especially Kathy Bridge and all her work keeping track of inventory (not to mention 17 days with me there!!)... I am so grateful.  Thanks too Jonathan, for putting up with me when perhaps I was a tad stressed during the prep work.  Thank you to everyone!!  I could never have taken this on alone.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The Big E of 2014 is now over and I am so very relieved to say that it was such a positive experience.  Just calling it a night now and will pack up tomorrow and head north.  I will post more in a day or two, but for now... just wanted to let you all know that there were no casualties and I'm still in good spirits!!!  A HUGE thank you to all who showed encouragement, support and help ... I could have not done with without you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 15 at the BIG E... almost done!

Today will be Maine day along the Avenue of States and the Maine building will be bustling!  Thankfully Lara Max has shown up and her presence rejuvenates me!`  Lots of little quick notes to share, but have to get out the door even earlier today.  They may have to wait until I get home, as time is running short and there is much to do before and after the hours we are at the Maine Building.  Tomorrow evening,the take down begins.....

So, everyone have a great day, for now. I have to find the energy to do this just a few more days.  Thankfully, it's eaiser than I expected.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 11 (?) at the BIG E...

It's hard to keep all the dates straight, without looking at the big calendar page that I ripped out from home and stuck to my wall here at the Big E.  I have to cross off the days to really keep track of where I am within the 17 days of the event. Yesterday  morning my friend Carol and I did some rearranging out in the truck and if felt so good just to be outside!!  It was a glorious morning and the fresh air felt wonderful.

As we enter the gate, we are always greeted each morning by the beautiful smile and sweet, positive words of a wonderful woman named Grace.  As Carol so perfectly worded, her welcoming demeanor sets the tone for a positive day, no matter how tired I might be.  For that Grace, I thank you!  Her sister Martha and "the boys" are always a fun and entertaining way to start another day there.

 One of my favorite parts of the Big E are the quiet mornings before the crowds start, chatting with Grace and the clan at the gate, and watching the Clydesdales on their morning walks while the grounds are not yet bustling with crowds.  They are such amazing creatures!  (and they handle the crowds so much more gracefully than I do!)

My other favorite part, is watching the reactions and expressions of people as they first view my work. I wish I could have some of them on video!  I have folks walk by my booth and do a double take, then have to come back, enter my booth and look more closely.  I hear ooohs, aaaahs and WOW!  It's wonderful!  Just yesterday, I had two different wonderful women who were brought to tears by an image that spoke strongly to them.  I can't tell you how much that means.  When I am out in the field photographing, my therapy is just being out there. I consider my "job" successful if I can bring back images that speak strongly enough of my first hand experience, that it as the same or at least a similar affect on my audience.  Not everyone is affected the same way by my work and plenty of folks really could care less.  But there there are the others who "get" me and what I have tried to accomplish.  Every image has a story and when they ask the story, even more of a bond is formed.  It's magical at times!  LOVE IT!  It makes up for all the other interactions where someone wants to steal am image with their cell phone and not give it any further thought.   I love the look of awe, when folks are sucked in by the 40 linear feet of images that surround them once they step into my booth.  You can just see their demeanor change!  It's wonderful!

Also yesterday, I had a gentleman jotting down words along the edge of my booth. Then,as he stepped in he handed me the poem below that he had written on the spot, about my image "Strolling into Autumn", which printed on canvas and measuring 30"x40" is a strong presence in my booth.

In the Woods:

Lost in the woods
and yet on a path
I take in its warmth
as if in a bath.
The trees all in colors
by the path are the fern.
With all of its beauty
my head it does turn.
The path in the forest
to follow along.
To see all this beauty
I break out in song.
Lost in the woods
and yet on a path.
I take in its warmth
as if in a bath.

4:14pm  9/23/2014
by Mr. Cliff Slate

All in all, another wonderful day at the BIG E!!  
I am grateful for such a positive response to my images.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lost count....

It's Monday night and I managed to beat the traffic back to the hotel room this evening.  YAY!  I am falling behind in my days and sharing thoughts and happenings.  I was hoping to get another day documented this morning but I ran out of time.   

HOWEVER...  I am a lucky woman!  I awoke so exhausted on Sunday morning, but thankfully I had friends and family show up right from the start and recharge me all throughout the day.  What a great day it was!  Living in Maine, but growing up in Connecticut, I really don't get to see friends and family often enough. I would like to thank everyone who came out to support (and yes, harass me).  It was just what I needed.  Denise & Chip Pettengill came down from Lewiston, Maine to help out and keep me company over the weekend, wonderful friends Carol & Wayne Dubois came by and Carol has been helping me some days during the week.  It's so nice to get to spend some time with her.  My brother and his family came by,  favorite cousins, and folks I haven't seen in years... 

Some of my favorites... I've had some of my previous photography students show up which has been awesome!  I'm so tickled that they even remember me!  And I've had a number of folks introduce themselves by saying "We follow you on Facebook and its so nice to finally meet you!"  That caught me off guard but sure was a lot of fun to meet new folks who have been following my career.  Had a wonderful conversation with another talented photographer and his wife... I've been meeting so many nice new people.  I know I post things on Facebook in attempt to promote my business, but just wasn't sure how many folks out there were really paying attention.  I've had such wonderful feedback on my recent blog entries, especially the one about the little girl.  This is wonderful energy to keep me going on the long days.

The best surprise was when my buddy Kyle Flaum showed up with some of his family!  I haven't seen him in years and years!  I finally got to meet his fiance and her daughter and got to see Ashley, who has grown from a little girl to a young woman who's career I will be following.  Next year, perhaps Kyle (and Aaron's) folks will come up from PA for the Big E!?!  I've had folks that have purchased my work up in Maine at shows, Co-ops and shops recognize my work and say hi!.  It's been very rewarding.

All in all , it was a wonderful day of surprise visits that made me fee very special.  For that, I am grateful. 

One week from today, I should be pulling into my driveway at home ... assuming that is, that I can fit everything that came down in two trips with the truck and trailer into one trip home.  Wish me luck!

Day EIGHT at the Big E...

One of the vendors calculated that Saturday around 3:30pm was the halfway point of our time at the Big E.  I had already been there an additional 4 days setting up, so it feels even longer.  I'd been holding up pretty well, just tired with hurting feet from all the standing.  Saturday was predicted to be the busiest day for people attending the fair.  They were right!  I have the exact numbers at my booth, but I am chugging coffee and getting ready for another day here at my hotel room.  The estimated numbers were just over 170,000 people just for the one day!  Here is what it looked like out the 2nd floor window from the Maine State Building.

The weather was perfect and it seems as though everyone was there!  Inside the building was quite mobbed as well and I was grateful to be surrounded by my images of peaceful places rather than outside in that crowd.  Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, even those who had to wait hours for parking seemed in good spirits.

I was grateful when the day was through because it was just exhausting, having been the best day for sales so far.  I thought I was exhausted at 9pm when the building closed...and then....  it took me over half an hour to get out of the parking lot.  And then... I sat in traffic.  Fatigue was really, REALLY setting in.  For the first time I can remember, I was not letting people in front of me in the line of traffic.  I can't imagine their day was as long as mine had been, nor did they have to be back so early the following morning.   It took an hour and 45 minutes to travel the 3.5 miles to the hotel room.  Folks, I have worked through the night for shows before and then worked all that next day at the show and I've been tired.  But I don't ever recall being as tired as I was that night when I finally got to my room!  Thankfully, Sunday was a wonderful day.  I am running out of time this morning... will have to catch you up later on that!

Thanks for checking back!