Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour 2011 Sunday

Another day on the Tour. One day doesn’t stand alone. Visitors for a two day event might drop by again to buy after comparison shopping. See yesterday’s post for day one.

7AM
At least I slept better, ah but one of the first thoughts was to place one sign at a key intersection. I drove around last night and saw one place where Tour-ists might get confused. Must make yet another sign.

But first, don’t forget the basics. Time for a run. Sitting around yesterday left me with wicked leg cramps. I’m going to move more today.

8AM
Sign shifted. I started with four. I’m using six. I think I need one or two more. The signs work better than online navigators in this neighborhood. One web site direction finder drives people across a bridge that no longer exists. Signs are good.

Wondering if one of the artists from yesterday will drop off a stack of brochures for the Art Trail. A stack of brochures for the Open Studio Tour while on the Tour may not as be as effective as cross-promotions. Hmm.

9AM
Lesson learned. Don’t put out the sign on the street and make sure I lock the doors so I can take a shower without worrying about someone walking in early.

Shower completed. Put clothes on then unlock the front door – a critical sequence that shouldn’t be reversed.

Time to put out the sign. I wonder if the neighbors know that the tour is free? There’s nothing on the sign to suggest it, and they may not read the local paper, especially the weekenders and the ones who only read The New York Times.

Ah, those leg cramps just happen to be where my thigh runs out of kitchen stool support. Sitting to the side as people look at my photos is more sedentary and less ergonomic than usual for me. Coincidence? I don’t think so. My body rebelled.

I just clipped a brochure to the sign with “Free Admission” Sharpied to the front cover. I’ll see if anyone notices.

No early birds. The last time I did this Sunday was quieter than Saturday. Stay tuned.

10AM
Clouds thickening. Yesterday had sunshine in the afternoon and clear air out to the Olympics for a great view of fresh snow on the mountains. There’s a 20% chance of rain, and sprinkles are already on the radar.

Switch the music from torch songs and crooners to acoustic instrumentals.

4
Neighbors and their friends walked up this morning because they didn’t get here in time last night. Two satins sold, but I don’t take credit cards so they’ll just mail me the check. They travel the tours. Sounds like the Camano Studio Tour is a good one too.

2 very enthusiastic patrons who may be back.

11AM
2 dancers
3 a trio
2 more
2 with more stories about how to bicycle across the continent – at 70.
sold one copy of Twelve Months at Cultus Bay

Sitting and leg cramps have been moot. It’s almost noon and this is the first time in over an hour with no one here but me. Food. Must eat. Fluids haven’t been an issue. A mug of tea is a handy prop. Hmm, a dollop of logic suggests that if tea has gone in, something must go out. Quick, and hope no one drops by for a few minutes.

Noon
2 neighbors visit while I eat a brownie for dessert, again.
tres francois?
4 from Vancouver (including one precocious child who found a ski pole and tried using the picture window as a drum), love the twelve month concept, intrigued with the satins for their own project.

1 getting away from the garden. She’s a photographer too, but won’t pursue it until she’s retired. In the meantime she’s living a frugal lifestyle. I’m a fan of that (so says the Board Secretary of The New Road Map Foundation which advocates for personal financial literacy and independence.)

1PM
Quick catch up on phone calls during a lull.
Oo. Blue sky. Come on blue.
Thirty minutes without a visitor had me wondering. How easily that sets in.

2 mainlanders who want to move here, soI pitched them the idea of buying here now.
3 = 2 tourists with one local guide.
1 solo visitor who is in a odd mood because a golfing companion collapsed on the course earlier in the day. Reality happens. She took a card and will check out the online galleries.

2PM
Another break. I actually closed my eyes while sitting in a regular chair. Ah. And got in a bathroom break. Frequent hand washing has been the norm considering the season and how many hands I shake.
Wow, the break has gone on long enough that my writer’s brain has kicked back in.
Motivations and expectations vary widely. People are unique – and as I type a car drives up. Hmm, interesting cause and effect?

2 (Mom comes back with her daughter.)
Sold one copy of Twelve Months at Merritt Lake
3 from out of town (2 from the eastside, one from the east coast)

And poof, a half hour blows by.

3PM
They drove by, slowed down, and kept going. Possibly the consequence of only having yellow cardboard out front instead of the conventional plastic sign.
Ah, yes, motivations and such. I won’t list them. They are too varied and some can only exist with discretion. There are many shy people out there. Some stop here. Some of them find themselves opening up to a stranger. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s the art. Maybe it’s the anonymity. Maybe it’s a combination.
It is easy to fall into thinking that art is bought for decoration or gifts. Refined tastes and speculations may result in purchases for more esoteric or mercenary reasons, but “Oh, that’s pretty.” is a more common comment. The majority don’t buy art at every stop. It is unrealistic to expect otherwise. So, the majority of visits are viewings more akin to museums than malls.
An enthusiast entrains a friend. A parent attempts to inspire an adolescent. A spouse supports a spouse. Individuals turn introspective. My passions are people and ideas. Of course I enjoy being on the Tour.
The clouds are passing east over the house. The sun is warming the deck. The sky is clear from my house to the other side of the Sound. Translucent satins look best with sunlight behind them. The remaining hour and a half is their best time to show off before the Tour officially ends. I’m the most southern stop. Maybe there will be a rush at the end, but considering that I’ve been typing for half an hour, well, stampedes can happen.

Idea for next time, vertically folded, pocket-sized tent cards that can hold more details than a business card, almost as much as a postcard, yet are folded to fit in a wallet.

1 dancer friend drops by one minute before 4PM almost as if to make sure that every hour had a visitor.

4PM
3 A trio of truants quickly abandoned their posts to sweep in and visit. Thanks folks.

2 neighbors were headed this way and I playfully cajoled them in. It was spontaneous and casual, and they went away thinking about one piece in particular, maybe a custom order. Cool. Free admission is worth it.

Fifteen minutes to go. 37 people so far. More signs, better weather, fewer people. It must be a Sunday thing.

My art, the exhibit, cleaning the house and the yard, publicizing the event all were a prolonged engaged effort that went up to a deadline. It can come down much more slowly. The signs will come down tonight or tomorrow. The display panels will be moved aside to reclaim a comfort zone within the living room. I might delay refilling the office and storage space because this is the clearest it has been and the best opportunity to clean and organize with elbowroom.

At this point I’ve cleared the entry cost and made enough to refill fill the business’s cash reserves, but not enough to pay the mortgage. Eight minutes left. Good and great things can happen. I’ve also possibly lined up four more students and four custom orders. I’ll check with the printers and the web traffic this week.

Ah, a car drives up. It’s a gorgeous day. Come on in. The prints look fine, and hey, they’re fine art.

2 who didn’t know about the Tour. They stumbled into it and spent the day exploring the island in a much more interesting fashion than they’d expected. It’s now 5PM. I’m not closing the door.

5PM
2 from BC. Another car drives by, slows, and continues. It’s after 5PM. Maybe they’re tired. Come on back folks.

49 on Saturday. 41 on Sunday. 90 people total. Being gregarious on occasion has its uses and advantages.

There’s more to say, but I’m tired. Surprised? Thanks for dropping by.

About Tom Trimbath

consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: https://trimbathcreative.wordpress.com/about/ and at my amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0035XVXAA
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