Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I'm preparing to sell during North Coast Open Studios

by Yvonne Kern, NCOS Artist # 25 and NCOS Steering Committee Member

Having my very own opening is exciting and fun, not only because I get to meet so many interesting people, but also because I can offer to my visitors artistic things that I wouldn't consider trying to market anywhere ... mass production isn't my thing (at least not right now).

So far, the only reproductions of my paintings have been in note cards that I make. And those I offer for sale only occasionally in a few local stores. It's really interesting to see which images buyers choose & which cards sell the best. It's usually a surprise to me. I sell quite a few cards at my studio sale. I have boxed some as gift items that are offered at a substantial savings, and those are popular.

Last year I made sticky note pad books and bookmarks, which I'm doing again this year (but, I'm improving on the designs). I could never sell these items anywhere for the price I can sell them for at my studio. Also, all of those watercolor studies and small oil painting studies which I have painted will be offered at very low prices.

It's wonderful having a set time, with great publicity, to do a "clearance sale". I have so many paintings that it's impossible for me to display them all, and the more I create the less storage space I have, and I Must create new pieces. So, I feel that it's way better for someone else to have an inexpensive piece of original art hanging on their wall than for me to have it tucked away somewhere. It's really difficult dropping the price of a painting, because I only keep images that I really like ... the bad ones get recycled. But, there is only so much room ....what's an artist to do??? Besides when someone gets a really good deal - they're so happy ... it makes me happy. So, now I'm hoping that lots of interested art collectors come on over; they'll find some great deals!

Wishing great sales for everyone!

"Beach Tree Spring"
Oil painting on canvas
by Yvonne Kern

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Why am I part of North Coast Open Studios? Because it's important!

by Julia Bednar, NCOS participating artist #10 and Steering Committee Member

I have participated in North Coast Open Studios since the first year it was offered. I continue to open my studio each year because I believe it is worthwhile on many levels.

Humboldt County has a wealth of talented artists, Open Studios is a way to highlight and recognize them.

When people see work hanging in a gallery or a shop for sale they see only the finished product. But getting to visit an artist's work space and see the process one goes through to create a finished work of art is a learning experience that gives greater understanding of the value of an art piece.

For me personally, it is an opportunity to meet new people, to share with them my paintings...both finished and in progress, to explain what I paint and why and to answer questions. I want visitors to enjoy visiting my studio, browsing through paintings, prints and cards. I offer refreshments and lawn chairs for a break on their tour. And visitors are free to walk around my "casual" garden which is usually in bloom in June. Also, a lot of friends and neighbors and fellow artists drop in during the weekend and it's always good to see them.

Name recognition is also important. When I have an art opening, it's always nice to hear someone say, "I remember you. i came to your studio on the Open Studios tour".

While sales are always nice, to me it is more important for visitors to experience what the creative part of an artist's life looks like. I believe that anyone who goes on the open studio tour gains a greater appreciation for the value of our local art and the artists who create it. Also, as we continue on the path to becoming an art destination, open studios will help to assure community support.

Another reason I find Open Studios to be useful to me,,,,it gives me a good reason to
organize and declutter my studio before visitors arrive. Without that incentive, I might put off those mundane chores indefinitely!

All in all, I see Open Studios is a positive and happy experience, both for artists and the visitors who go on the tour.

Image below: Trinidad Bluffs, painting by Julia Bednar

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Updates on North Coast Open Studios

Dear participating NCOS Artists: Thanks again for joining the 2009 Open Studios. Things are really coming together, and there is so much going on right now!

Artist Images
There is still time to submit a photo of yourself at work for use in the publication. Action shots are best, but any image of you and your artwork is great. We have a new image request: we are looking for photos of artists’ front doors for use on the poster. If you have an image of your door (preferably closed), please email me the image right away.

Artist Marketing Workshop
We have scheduled the first Artist Marketing Workshop for Thursday, April 30th at 6 pm. If you signed up to participate, you will be receiving more information about it shortly. If you did not sign up, but want additional information, please let me know. Workshop attendance is limited, and reservations are required.

Artist Reception & Show
The Artist Reception and Show is coming up soon! If you signed up to submit a piece, put it in your calendar that you need to have the piece for the show to the Ink People by Friday, May 1st. The Reception & Show will be Friday, May 8th at the Plaza View Room in the Jacoby’s Storehouse, Arcata. If you signed up to participate in the show, you will be receiving additional information soon.

NCOS Signs
The sign order for NCOS will be submitted on Friday, and will be available to pick up after May 8th. We only ordered signs for people who pre-ordered, so if you did not pre-order, but want a sign, please let me know before Friday.

Artist Listings for Publication
If you have not yet proofed your listing, please check it (I emailed it to you on Tuesday) and get back to me with whether or not the listing is OK. We do go to press very soon, so I need to hear back from everyone right away. Didn’t get a copy to proof? Please contact me immediately so I can get it to you.

That is it for the moment. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to working with all of you on North Coast Open Studios.


Taffy Stockton
NCOS Coordinator
(707) 834-6460

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Registration Deadline is Today!

Don‘t forget: The deadline to register for North Coast Open Studios is today (Wednesday, April 1st)!

Applications can be dropped off at The Ink People Center for the Arts (411 12th Street, Eureka) between 11 am and 4 pm. Need to make special drop off arrangements? Can’t drop yours off by the deadline? Please call me right away at (707) 834-6460 to make arrangements.

Still need a registration form? You can download one on our web site at

Visit our website at for more information.

Questions? Please call me at (707) 834-6460 or email me at

Taffy Stockton
NCOS Coordinator
(707) 834-6460