Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Artisan & Authors Fair

Despite the heavy downpour of rain, we had a huge turnout of authors, artists and visitors at the Artisan and Authors Fair held at
the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
What a great experience! Szag and I found the deadline for a full on arts festival great motivation.  I finished three encaustic pieces, a few drawings and did a lot of framing. And Szag created ten new pieces of artwork in a series he's doing of iconic figures.  It was fun to rise to the challenge to create new work, fun to display it and talk about it with visitors and great fun to meet a talented group of artisans and authors all together in one room.
I was able to hang out with  friends like Vicki, Julia, Bonnie (Who made the marvelous mirror in my bathroom) and Erik, meet people I knew of Author and artist Amy alley and author, Michelle Corey Brown (who headed up the event) and was able to make new friends.

I was fortunate to sit beside James Alexander Fowler, who by wonderful synchronicity for me, has written a beautiful book, Wild Orchids of South Carolina.. I had to get it, once I saw the incredible photos, but also for the great research and facts to Orchidelerium.  John traveled through many bogs, meadows and woods to find these specimens, took up close photos of every variety, but also captured them in as singles or in their groupings in their natural environment that future orchid seekers could recognize them easier.

The only nerve wracking part was when I had to do a reading form my novel, Shaman Circus. While I've done poetry readings and book signings, I never read from a novel before.  But my audience was gracious, had great questions and were very supportive after I read the first chapter, so I feel I can read again if need be.

There were many positive observations to take away form a day like today. Even though the heavy rain was daunting when I first started the day when I'm in more pain than usual and tend to stay in bed, I discovered that once unpacked and set up, the camaraderie in the room from so many diverse artists and authors was invigorating.  This may have been we'd all been spread outdoors, but it was fun to see how it
seemed like a European market - visitors discussing the merits of natural healing balm, organic spices and elderberry syrup or examine the intricate workmanship of a handmade ukalelee. Discussions on styles of art and questions about why some places prefer to exclude nudes, despite the fact that the largest museums in our country celebrate nudes over the centuries.  Conversations geared around spirituality, self discovery, LGBT issues and world situations were carried on as visitors flipped through prints or read the back covers of the many books on display.
I only wish I'd spent more time talking to each and every entrant, was able to attend more readings and brought home more goodies.  My mouth is watering for that elderberry syrup.   


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