“Tulips” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

I don’t remember the painting I first showed for the public amusement, but it was likely a landscape daubed out in oils. Possibly 38 years ago a small group of us asked the owner of a neighborhood tennis shop if we could set up a display of our paintings in front of his store. The idea was to simply give a little color to the sidewalk, not to sell anything. But when we went to collect our paintings that evening, mine was gone. Someone had had the temerity to buy it!

Fast forward to 2015 and the Fremont Festival of the Arts is celebrating its 32nd year as one of the largest Art Fairs in the country. The expectation of a crowd of more than 350,000 people is a far cry from the 10 or 12 who had nothing better to do that day 38 years ago. Of course we didn’t offer food, wine or music to entice a crowd, and our friend the tennis pro didn’t offer free lessons either.

Through the early years I explored the idea of art fairs to gauge any interest people might have in what I produced. You gain an insight into the public which is not always complimentary on either side. First of all, by necessity, your own skin becomes tougher, and you realize you are not as good as you thought you were when you left home. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is the evil thoughts you direct to people who loudly proclaim “Oh, I could do that.”

The last art fair I did many years ago was in Walnut Creek, on the hottest day of the year, leaning against a brick building with no umbrella. Around noon I transmitted a call to Dr. A to “Get me the hell out of here—NOW!”

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

8 thoughts on “A NEW FOOTPRINT”

  1. Tulips are always good in a painting or in a bunch. I like the way your tulips are thrusting upwards into the sky. They are fully justified in seeking attention.. They used to dominate the financial markets and were exchanged for grand- houses on Amsterdam’s canals, even complete estates were handed over during the era of tulip mania. And then it all collapsed and tulips reverted to, well…. just beautiful flowers again.
    A great painting Kayti.


  2. I laughed and laughed at your comment about the people who say, “Oh, I could do that.” Believe me, I’ve given quotations to many a person for varnish work, only to have them say the same thing, although it usually comes out as, “Well, I think I’ll just do it myself.”

    If they’re nice enough about it, sometimes I’ll agree to finish up the job for them. If they’ve been really obnoxious: well, it’s funny how my schedule suddenly fills up when they come back to talk a little more.

    The truth is, the best customers are the ones who have had the experience of trying “it” themselves. They appreciate what’s involved. I suppose the same thing is true for art — only those who’ve tried have a real sense of what it takes to produce a find painting, sketch, or sculpture. Talent’s important, but dedication, persistance — all of those good things — are important, too. Likewise, the tough skin.


  3. Thank you mrsdaffodill. I can’t tell you how many students I suggested the art fair as a venue for their work. It’s an “experience” worth exploring. Many artists love the interaction with the public, and of course the public loves to be part of the action. We are at the life stage of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. I found an old clay sign I made early on to place on my display table at art fairs which says in carved letters: “SCULPTURE by KAYTI RASMUSSEN” . A grandson came for lunch the other day and saw it and took it home. I must say I was flattered.


  4. Art shows are a lot of fun. Being an amateur, I was pretty stoked when I sold a few things. I’m awed by your talent Kayti. I was part of forming a local art group in my old town. It was a natural progression from oil painting night classes. We started with an annual exhibition in the local hall every Spring. Eventually, we took over an empty shop and took turns doing duty at the weekends. Yes, a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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