Our first official resident arrived Wednesday and spent several days alone in the house and cottage preparing for her durational performance. Eventually a videographer arrived, among others. After losing water for a few hours due to a pipe break (a good reminder that things have improved), I made a dinner on Friday night, breaking out the pizza oven. Success! Finally I get the hang of how to bake inside the earth oven (don't put dough directly on the heat bricks--use pie, cake and tortilla pans).
Saturday we had 12 cars and Sunday 10. An improvement over weekend #1, but not by much. Am interested to hear how others are faring on the tour--sales? visitors? At least the weather was absolutely perfect. I do appreciate friends making the trip from SD and LA, and several influential desert art peeps also stopped by.
We made a quick addition to our property--tire stairs going up the dune. I got tired of carrying the dog up (he doesn't like the prickly brush growing on the sand), and we don't want people going up multiple paths, to protect the roots of plantlife there. Now I can send people up without having to show them the way. And it's easier, no tripping hazards.
Will have to think long and hard about doing the Tour again. It's contributing to the scene, but next year will there be 200 studios, then 300, etc? More and more artists keep coming here.
Somehow I need to figure out how to bring in funds to support this place. I can feel how much people want to be on our property, but this is zoned as a residence, not a business.
Best: people who matter liked my new helicopter paintings. Next I'll make several big ones. I can do it, because we have a barn.
Wrapped up weekend #1 of the Desert Dairy's first participation the Hwy 62 Art Tours. The barn and parking lot were sparking (someone said "sparse," which I take as the HIGHEST compliment). Weather was perfect, cool in barn, 90 degrees outside at hottest.
We are studio #121 of 126 studios, from Morongo Valley to Wonder Valley. That's a lot of artists. I was not holding my breath, and good thing: seven car loads of visitors came on Saturday and only five on Sunday. That said, we had a couple of small sales, which is unheard of with such a small number of eyeballs on the work.
It's a strange show. At a gallery opening, everyone stands around socializing and drinking, and occasionally looks at the work. At an art fair, hundreds of visitors shuffle into your booth, but their eyes are glazed from seeing so much stuff. This studio tour takes effort to reach us by car, so everyone stays for at least 15 minutes, and some for much longer. They look at the art, and they look at the place, and almost everyone wants to have a conversation. It's refreshing.
That said, we heard of old timers on the tour, even further east than us, having a dozen sales on the first day. And sites on the main highway in JT having 50 visitors per day. So this may take years to build up.
Will report back after weekend #2.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.