Friday, July 28, 2006

More on Sandpoint

Here are a few more pictures from my trip. This vendor was set up just like this in the same place last year when I was visiting. Takes me back to my days in Berkeley and oddly enough, my first thought this time was, Is this the competition? Well, no, not really. I don't plan to do a lot of dyeing or painting of fabric to sell, nor do I plan to set up outside like this no matter what I may be thinking of selling.

But I think we always check out the competition wherever we go, even when we don't plan to compete. Always this curiosity - is anyone else doing what I'm doing? That was exactly the purpose of me checking out the Artist Cooperative Gallery, and the answer appeared to be "No." That is not to say no one is doing art quilts in Sandpoint, just that they are not using the Gallery to market their wares.

The textile pieces that were represented are more fiber related - painted silk scarves and silk batik panels on handbags, felted wool made into hats and other items, llama wool dyed, spun and woven into shawls. I seriously considered what my current work would look like mixed in with the rest of the artwork, predominantly paintings and photographs, and decided I still have a ways to go to look like I belong. Most of the artwork was very good. On the plus side, I noted that many of the pieces reflected the area in which they were made - mountain scenes, wildlife, local flora. That would make sense, particularly with the tourist trade. Who hasn't wanted to bring back a souvenir reminding them of something specific about the place visited? And these nature themes are exactly what I am working with at present. Time to get to that level of quiet sophistication I've talked about so I'll feel comfortable exhibiting my work next to more mainstream art mediums.

One thing about the Sandpoint area that may take some getting used to are the trains. They tell me 120 pass through every day, With all those mountains and all that water, there's no place for the trains but right there along the roads, rumbling along and tooting regularly. Well, I DID grow up with that!

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