Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Overview

2011 has come and gone and now it’s time to look forward to 2012

I’ve never been one to look to much at the past but instead look toward the future.  Part of this is my nature and part is the nature of being an artist.  Artist is an interesting title and one that I’m not always comfortable with, but for many, it’s an important acknowledgement for what we’ve been able to create with our minds and hands.  I’m humbled when someone refers to me as such and work hard to ensure that their complements are justified.

January through March

We'd been getting a number of photos from folks of sculptures that they've adopted from us over the years, and we decided to add an adopted page to our website at www.cliftonmetalworks.com/adopted.htm .  This latest submission is from William Woods of a planter he gave to his daughter.  We're humbled by the ongoing support and photos that everyone sends in.  Thank you.

Florida shows were in full swing during January through March.  I spent most weekends doing two-day weekend shows, and when I wasn’t there, I was at the St. Petersburg Saturday Market displaying my latest creations.  I was awarded the first place ribbon along with a check at the Orlando Art and Living Festival in Orlando, Florida.  This was  quite a surprise and honor and one that I will cherish my entire life.

The weather was great and we have many fans, but it’s tough to be a recycled artist when there isn’t very many sources for recycled metal; that was definitely the largest challenge about working that far south.  I had to travel as far north as Alabama and Tennessee to continue to find material, and that made it very difficult to have time to work and both due shows. 

Mackie and I love the weather during this time.  Sunny and 75 were pretty much the standard seven days a week with very little humidity.  The biggest challenge are insects nearly the size of the bugs from Starship Troopers! 

April Through June

I did four shows in Ohio and Michigan in May and June.  Two trips up and back each totaling about 3,000 miles round trip, but I did enjoy spending time with my brother and his family between and at these shows.  Weather has been one of our biggest challenges in doing eastern US shows versus the western states.  Every east coast show had some significant weather this year, and we were fortunate to not see the worst like in Pittsburgh, where an entire block of booths were ravaged in the wind.  This photos was our booth in Delaware, Ohio where my brother and two nephews came to help out.  Incredible driving rain but the crowds kept coming in between the cloud bursts.

My good friend, Bill Woods, caught up with me in Atlanta, Georgia, and we traveled across country for the second year in a row.  This has been a great time for both of us to spend talking about our lives and seeing our country from a different perspective.

We stopped in Nashville, Tennessee the next morning and went to the American Artisan Festival in Centennial Park. I love going to different art shows around the country and see the different work that’s available.  It’s always amazing to see things available in the south that one doesn’t see in the northwest, or the work that I saw in Ohio but have never seen in California.  This is Bill with his friend Superman in Metropolis, Illinois on our stop from Nashville to St. Louis.

The next morning we went through to Gates Barbeque in Kansas City.  The Food Network once did a special on barbeque around the country and this place got rave reviews.  It was ok and I think that says it all.  We headed west and spent the evening just east of Denver; it was an evening of great thunder and lightning storms.
I did the Vancouver Recycled Arts Show during the last week of June and started getting ready for the July art show crush.

July through September

July is our busiest month each year.  There’s usually several trips to California, a show in Oregon, and our annual Bellevue Art Show to keep us focused.  Everything was pretty routine and then I caught the shuttle back to Florida and my lovely wife.

Mackie and I spent August enjoying the Florida sunshine and deciding our next steps for the remainder of 2011.  We decided to head back to our Vancouver home and spend the winter west, and this was my second trip driving across the United States in 2011.  Below is a photo after the drive that I took of Mackie with our kids, Sophie and Sherman, and our dear friend Judy next to our truck and camper in Lafayette, California.

The Love Art Gallery contacted us and started selling our work.  Ruby and family are wonderful people and have done an incredible job in marketing our creations.  This has got me looking at galleries in a whole new light.  Several groups have contacted us and we'll be adding some new galleries this spring in the Portland-to-Seattle metro areas; I'll keep our website posted with the new locations.

October through December

We did a number of events through year’s end, and we picked up two additional art galleries.  It’s been busy and I’ve been able to create a number of new works.  I’m looking forward to 2012 and the new opportunities that await us.  We have two shows already booked in February in Seattle and Portland, and we'll be working like crazy over the next six weeks.  We have a lot of new creations that we've been working on this winter, and January is going to be here and gone before we know it. 

Our show schedule is updated on our website at www.cliftonmetalworks.com , and we’ll keep it updated and we hear from shows as we’re accepted into them.

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