Monday, March 12, 2012

art business sprinting, blasts from the past, farm pics

view from bottom of our driveway looking out across the road

"The business of art is a marathon, not a sprint.", so says Constance Smith in her book Art Marketing 101. Well after spending the last few weeks reading books on the business of art, I confess that I am content to be a sprinter. According to the experts, artists are to spend half of their studio time on the business side of things. I used to. Then I decided to (temporarily) step away from marketing and teaching in order to have more quality time to create art and to farm. Divided loyalties yes or perhaps having two passions is a better way to view it. I love growing food and caring for critters and quite honestly my life as just an artist would not be enough. Been there and done that as they say. So, while all of sorts of inspiring info spins in my brain, thanks to my recent reading -  info on dealing with art dealers, ways to present my art to the public, creating publicity campaigns and how to deal with copyright issues and  taxes etc. etc., I shall continue to enjoy the life we have created here on our small farm.

Spring has arrived in the last few days (quite a bit of snow has melted since I took these snowy pictures). Robins and red winged black birds are here and the temperatures have been very mild. My attention is turning to what needs to be done in order to be ready for gardening this summer. I think we shall be getting on the land early so I really need to start my seedlings.

Blast from my past - anyone remember those cup-o-soups from a few decades ago? Dehydrated packages of pseudo food, just add boiling water - no doubt filled with additives and preservatives and all sorts of nasty things...I can remember staying up late in my university days preparing a pouch of cream of chicken soup in a mug, in an effort to stave off the middle of the night munchies while I studied.

Now my cup of soups are the real deal.
The mug pictured above is another blast from the past. This mug is from Blue Mountain Pottery which was once Canada's largest manufacturer of giftware pottery (the company no longer exists). The pottery was all the rage years ago and my mother-in-law bought a set of four mugs. At some point they found their way here. 

Remember my ants in the pants phase of a couple of weeks ago? Well I channeled that antsy energy into a basement clean up. I also sorted out the root cellar and organized my seed file. I have oodles of carrots still (stored in bins with damp wood shavings on top of them) and lots of potatoes. It is time to use up some veggies and I have been making lots of soup. This weekend I made a cream of potato soup with home grown onions, carrots, potatoes, goat's milk, a  dried chili from last summer, coriander seeds (harvested at least two years worth of those last fall) with only the celery coming from the store. Yum.  

 
Yet Another blast from my past - my cross country skis. I received them as a Christmas present when I was twelve. I have skied literally hundreds of miles on them. The boots had to be replaced and the bindings but other than that, I still ski on the vintage wood (not fiberglass) and they are waxable. Non-wax skis are not for my kind of trails! My poles are wood and were made in Finland. Wow, when was anything made anywhere but China? Look back a few decades I guess.

Here are some pictures I took late in the afternoon a week ago...






In the distance you might be able to make out the Gatineau hills which are located in Quebec on the other side of the Ottawa River.

Noah has just been chasing chickens, some hens are heading up the ramp into their hen house
Noah waiting for a corn chip

This is our herd queen, Rainah. Her birthday is Tuesday. She will turn seven. I admire her so much. Rainah is a petite beauty (our smallest goat), very strong, fearless, very wise and an excellent keeper of her herd. She makes sure there is order in the barn and in the yard and she is always on guard duty. Last evening she climbed onto the highest level of our goat play structure in order to keep an eye on a fox that was hunting mice some 75 feet from the goats. Fortunately for all involved, especially the chickens, there was a fence between the fox and livestock. A fox wouldn't bother a goat and our big gal Veesa would be happy to take him on. While not the herd Queen, she is willing to go on the defensive when dogs are around. Well enough farm pics for now -  my other life that keeps me from running art marathons!  :-)
(My apologies if these sorts of posts format in a goofy way. They look fine in my browser. Unfortunately pictures can appear in areas I did not intend them if you are using a different browser or an RSS feed.)

8 comments:

Kendra said...

Time for art and time for marketing is always a challenge. I always feel like I'm juggling. I take time off from teaching and marketing just to create, so I create a little and then I'm back to teaching and marketing. I guess it's a cycle. We've had the mildest winter in southern New England with no snow, today it was in the 60s. I miss the snow so I enjoy your photos. Love the colors and shadows in the photo of the chickens. Great close up of Noah!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Kendra, I feel very blessed to have had a real winter. It was a mild winter yet we did get snow and for that I am very grateful. Most of the province south of us didn't get much snow, if any. I have been reading some farm blogs this winter and three authors are located in Vermont and New York State. They have had virtually no snow and of course this is very unusual for these areas.

Noah is very photogenic which helps! Just like you Kendra. :-)

Jeanette said...

Ah yes, the never ending balance of art/marketing/life. We all do it varying degrees depending on circumstance and often each one ebbs and flows depending on what gets thrown at us.

I love the glimpse into winter in the barnyard. The goats are adorable. I would have some, but promised myself no more animals besides the chickens at the moment. I never have enough time to deal with them all and work as well.

Teresa Mallen said...

Ah yes Jeanette, what gets thrown at us...I just received news regarding something that is going to take more time, energy and effort than I had expected in the months ahead. Blech... You manage to create so much wonderful art despite your day job. I think you have found a healthy balance. Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

lol those cups of soup have been one of the only things I have been able to eat lately :p better than nothing, well chocolate. I can still eat chocolate :p

i love pics of your goats :D they always look like they are smiling :D

Ann said...

I totally understand your wanting to step back from marketing to focus on creating. I've been doing that myself. I enjoyed catching up with your photos, especially the trees in the snow. We had almost no snow this winter too. (usually average about 36-40 inches) I also enjoyed your picture of Noah - what a character he must be!

Barbara Ann Goodsitt said...

I love seeing pictures of your farm animals and the snow! I missed having winter this year.

It is over 80 degrees in March, here in Michigan. I am pretty sure that climate change has us doomed, but I am trying to be positive and enjoy the mild weather.
I keep recycling, turn off lights, drive a hybrid car and do the best I can as an idividual. I hope next year is more normal.

Barbara Ann Goodsitt said...

I love seeing pictures of your farm animals and the snow! I missed having winter this year.

It is over 80 degrees in March, here in Michigan. I am pretty sure that climate change has us doomed, but I am trying to be positive and enjoy the mild weather.
I keep recycling, turn off lights, drive a hybrid car and do the best I can as an idividual. I hope next year is more normal.