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writer, traveler, artist

Outdoor Shows: Make it easy on yourself

Yesterday was a terrific outdoor show in Harvey Cedars, NJ but it was not without its challenges. With the humidity, the “feels like” temperature was 115 F and it was still a wonderful show, but it could have been miserable from a physical standpoint. So today, with the art festival fresh in my mind, I thought I would blog about being prepared for the challenges of these outdoor shows.

Certain things are a given-

Always have your tent sides handy. Take sufficient weights for the wind even if you don’t think you will need them and set up using them so you don’t have to rush to attach them in a panic later. ALso take a tarp to lay down on the wet ground. If the area in your tent gets really soggy that will be helpful to customers. Or save the tarp till the end of the day and you have a dry place to out your paintings as they come off of your racks/walls for packing.

Next is your READY box.

Hooks for hanging, receipt book, change in an envelope, business cards, scissors, red dots, big binder clips (they come in handy a lot!), insurance papers in a zip bag, pack of baby wipes, twine, box cutter, blue tape (in case the wire edges are rough on the back), my Square, or other apparatus, for taking credit cards. I always have a blank journal where I record the painting, name of the buyer, and contact information. I also invite lookers to add themselves to my mail list if they’d like info on their favorite painting subjects or previews of new work. It is good to have fishing line to tie down paintings if need be, some extra hanging wire, screw-eyes, and a screwdriver. If you put pricing cards up next to your work, have a black Sharpie and a stack of blank cards in the box in case you have forgotten any of the pre-printed ones.

Taking care of yourself-

Take a change of shirt. You’ll feel better if you are not wearing a shirt drenched in perspiration all day. You’ll probably look and smell fresher, too.

I also include sunscreen and bugspray (or better yet, a combined one) in the box along with some Bandaids and something for the nagging headaches that sometimes develop. I like to take along a hat. Yesterday a number of my fellow vendors looked like boiled lobsters at day’s end. Don’t set yourself up as a crispy critter.

Make sure you have sufficient liquids with you. Dehydration is your enemy. I used to drink a lot of water during the day, but sometimes after shows I have come home and developed wicked leg cramps in the evening. I’ve recently started taking drinks with electrolytes (they have sugar free ones, too) and that seems to help a lot. Cramps have disappeared completely since I am replacing the electrolytes and not diluting them. You may want to have a salty snack or two, if you are likely to be sweating a lot throughout the day.

On days like yesterday, I also pack a small insulated bag with a couple of ice packs and several wet towels. If the heat is a killer, you can cool yourself off and rotate them to stay cool throughout the day.

Being prepared makes everything go more smoothly and helps you maintain a more positive demeanor all day long. If you have comments to add to the list I’ve given, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you, Jersey Shore

A nice surprise was waiting in my mailbox today.  This summer’s edition of the LBI Vacation Guide featured my Acrylic painting of the Giant Wheel at Fantasy Island on its Attractions page. Perfect placement since Fantasy Island is the first listing on the page, too!   I love working with Judy and George at Jersey Shore Publications. It is a nice way to get your art seen and helps support local business as well.

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This is one of three looser style paintings of the amusement park in Beach Haven, NJ.   The park owners are also patrons and have several of this series, including the two below…

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I loved painting these and hope to add more this summer as I carve out some painting time.  I may even have some in time for Harvey Cedars coming up fast on the 21st.

Legacy of Loss with Laura Beard at RRCArts opens this Friday!

This Friday, June 21st, a long awaited collaboration with Laura Beard will finally be realized with our exhibition of endangered species artwork in the Atrium at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville, NJ.


We have close to 30 paintings on display along with information about the threat to each species represented and how you can help!

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In addition, we will be giving away a giclee of The Glider to some lucky attendee and will be collecting donations to benefit the great work being done at the Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center which also rescues sea turtles like the Green Sea Turtle in The Glider painting (see below).

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June is the best time of year to come out for 3rd Friday in Millville because of the long days and great weather. Come on out, stroll the galleries and art Village on High. Check out the Clay College, have dinner in one of the pubs or the local trattoria but do NOT miss the opening of “Legacy of Loss” in the Atrium, Chuck Law’s amazing work in the Witt Gallery, the Associate Artist alcove, and “Creatures Great and Small” in the Main Gallery at RRCArts.  6 PM sharp.  Hope to see you there!

Third Friday at RRCArts in Millville


This past Friday was the “Third Friday” opening at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville, NJ.  I am fortunate enough to be sharing the Associate Artist alcove with the wonderful work of Linda D’Urbano.  It is also the Spring Associate Artist show in the main gallery.  Lots of terrific art on display!

I will be back at RRCArts in June with a two person show on their beautiful brick wall in the Atrium with the fabulous Laura Beard for a show called, Legacy of Loss. It will feature endangered wildlife around the world.

Come on down to Millville for a wonderful 3rd Friday evening. Gallery hop, hit up the Village on High for some shopping and art viewing, have dinner at the trattoria, and enjoy the three galleries and the Associates’ Alcove at RRCarts at 22 N High Street. It is a great way to spend a summer evening!

Off and Running in 2019 with Art for Children

I started on half a dozen different paths this January in hopes of attracting my muse (she has been conspicuously absent this winter) and in February I saw a call for children’s art for AtlantiCare’s Healing Arts program in their Atlantic City Pediatric facility.

It was just the focus I needed to get the creative juices flowing!  I loved doing these whimsical, humorous pieces.  I am thrilled to announce that AtlantiCare picked up five of them for their clinic. I love how the medical community in southern New Jersey is so supportive of local artists.

I have a soft spot for children’s art. I love creating pieces that hint at a story but allow kids to develop their own stories about what is taking place in the picture.  This is especially important in a clinical setting where fear and boredom sometimes lurk. I truly hope that these fun and colorful works provide a welcome distraction and jumping off point for conversation for the young patients.


Seeing Art Where it Lives

I love it when a client is kind enough to send a photo of their piece of artwork hanging on the wall of their home. It tells me they are pleased with the piece and proud to be its owner.  Since are is such a personal creation, it allows me to envision my painting “living” in its new space.

This piece found a home in Avalon this past week and I love that the patron took the time to share it with me. His daughter even named it – “Sandy”.

Now, when I see a photo of this one in my gallery or on my FB page, I can imagine Sandy looking out over the marshes, ready to go hunting for dinner.

Thank you, Bill, for sharing this story and photos with me. – Jill



Avalon Beside the Sea

Tonight I will be heading down to Avalon (exit 13 for NJ folk) for the Art Exhibition and sale to support Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund. Brendan Borek was a kid who loved the ocean; loved to surf. His life was cut short by cancer.

Brendan’s Fund helps Atlantic and Cape May families affected by pediatric cancer. They help with stays, expenses, even food for families traveling back and forth to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatric cancer treatments.

I am a huge fan of CHOP and the good work it does so I am proud to support families in the fight against pediatric cancers.

The 18th Annual Artists & Friends Art Show for Brendan’s Fund will be held on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at the Avalon Yacht Club, 7th & The Bay, Avalon, NJ from 6 – 9 PM. $15 donation at the door.


This is a beautiful event with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, artwork created by our artists and beautiful sunsets. Please join us for an evening filled with friends for a wonderful cause. Proceeds are donated to the Brendan Borek Endowed Fund at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to assist the pediatric cancer patients and their families from Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

Good News!

Received word today I have been accepted as an Associate Artist at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville.



This will mean some exhibition opportunities in a fabulous gallery as well as expanded exposure in the region. I am very excited to have been accepted. I have been painting much more in 2018 and plan to continue, but really want to focus on some new directions for 2019.

This exhibition opportunity may help guide my subject matter for the year. It certainly makes me want to head up to the studio and jump right in!

Thank you RRCArts!

Viking Village on Sunday, July 22

I had a great weather (yes, I know it rained a little) and art day at Harvey Cedars Art Festival this past weekend. Kudos and thanks to Susan Kramer for a terrific job with this show. Really had nice traffic all day long and super nice visitors right up until tear down at 4 PM.

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I will be back at Viking Village, Booth 4, this weekend (look around the statue area) with some new big ones – crab, turtles, and a number of gull paintings, too.  Probably a couple of the Buddhas as well.  Hoping for some good weather and another nice crowd. Pop in and say “hello” and check out the new work!

PS- Pine Shores folk-I have flyers for our upcoming Arts Business Institute seminar. If anyone can stop by and hand them out to artists and artisans I would appreciate the help since I can’t really get out there!   – Jill