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Blogging away...
September 20 2009
This blog entry is primarily for the benefit of those of you that have supported my work since I was an unknown in the art world. I thought that I would update those of you curious about what progress I've made recently, where I'm going with my art, and, most importantly, whether the paintings you've bought from me will be worth a small fortune should I be suddenly lost at sea.

I can report to you with some certainty that I remain a relative nobody, although, at least now I am up a notch in the ranks of nobodies, having been accepted into the Federation of Canadian Artists as an Active status member immediately upon my application for membership in 2007. Not too shabby for a guy who started painting just four years earlier, without any formal training.

Last year I decided to test the waters outside my circle of friends, family, and business colleagues, and entered my first two juried art competitions to find out how my work would be perceived by total strangers with some art knowledge. The Nanaimo Art Gallery accepted both paintings submitted and even managed to sell one, so that was encouraging. One of two paintings submitted for the more prestigious Sidney Fine Art Show also gained jury acceptance.

Emboldened by these successes, I was determined to start my hike on the road to Signature status recognition by the FCA which, for those that don't know, is the largest artist organization in Canada. In order to qualify for consideration, it is a requirement that I secure acceptance of 8 paintings in juried FCA shows over a period of four consecutive years. I have managed to get three paintings selected this year for the three competitions entered so far. I had planned one more entry for the Small Painting Salon coming up in November, but my only small painting sold last month, so I'll have to be satisfied with three points in my first year, and frankly, I am delighted.

There were other encouraging developments this year. A new gallery in La Paz agreed to carry Giclee prints of my three Mexico paintings that resulted from our earlier vacation to that part of the world. I sent prints because I did not want to risk sending originals and my caution paid off because the gallery folded up a month after receiving my work. With the world economic collapse, it probably was not one of the best years to open an art gallery.

More promising is the request from the well-established and reputable Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach that I submit a proposal for a solo show featuring paintings from my travels, a theme that I suggested. It is anticipated this could be held in 2011 to allow me enough time to prepare the 20 or so paintings I feel will be required. I already have three appropriate paintings done, and several more either drawn out on canvas or outlined in my head. This will be an exciting project for me and will provide me with very specific focus about the subject matter I choose to paint next.

So, is that painting of mine hanging on your wall now worth a small fortune? I would suggest not yet, but be patient. Don't throw it in the garage sale pile just yet.

My immediate and ongoing priority is to keep improving the quality of my work, and to that end I am really looking forward to the 3-day workshop with Robert Genn that I am attending next month. I am also expecting to make good progress on works for my solo show proposal now that summer distractions are over, and anticipating that at least some of those paintings will allow me to score more points on my quest for FCA Signature status.

Thanks to all who have supported and encouraged me, and continue to do so. Please keep checking my website and blog for updates and don't hesitate to give me feedback.

Posted by Peter Kiidumae at 08:37 4 Comments
September 01 2009
The Nanoose Bay Studio Tour
Studio entrance

Not a lot of painting seems to get done in the summer unless it's the porch steps. I can't say I've done much painting since the end of May (not even the porch steps, which Lorraine did last week), but that does not mean I've been slacking off with my art work. The work this summer has revolved around my participation in the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour, organized with 15 local studios for the first time this year.

My studio, pictured below, is on the upper floor of the boat house at the bottom of our property, 75 daunting steps down from the house, which is an even more daunting 75 steps up from the Boat House Studio. What comes down must go back up. I needed to install both directional and encouragement signs to coax visitors down there.

Studio - beach view

Taking advantage of the incredibly great summer weather we have had, I chose to set up most of my display of product under the gazebo on the lawn beside the studio. Although the view is already spectacular, to make the stair trek even more scenic, I planted a palm tree and a banana tree in strategic locations, and Lorraine had a driftwood bench, itself a work of art, installed on the landing halfway back up the stairs for visitors to catch their breath. Factor in the cost of the appropriate liability insurance I had to secure, and you can imagine I'll have to sell one pile of art to recover the cost of all this.

Opening day I had about 30 visitors, and that was very encouraging. Since then the weekend traffic has ranged from none to as many as 10 in one day (welcome to retail), but I firmly believe it will take time for this concept to catch on and become ingrained in the minds of the local populace as a way to shop and entertain their visitors. I am trying to ensure that my studio is open at least one day of every weekend (11 am to 4 pm), and when I'm down there painting anyway I can be open the entire time because I not only don't mind visitors while I'm working, but rather enjoy the company. So, if you are in the Oceanside area on Vancouver Island, pick up a "Tour" brochure from any of several locations, including the Parksville Visitor Centre and the major resorts, and come up (I mean, down) and see me sometime. Studio - beach viewStudio entrance
Posted by Peter Kiidumae at 10:39 2 Comments