Lido Key art show – and others

In the 8 weeks since I last posted, much has happened. In addition to finishing a new series, I participated in the Lido Key art show – and others.

Wildflower Series

Creek Trail Flowers is one my new textile art pieces. This 12×16 artwork framed in gold leaf was introduced first at the Suncoast Art Festival at Wesley Chapel, Florida. Four smaller wildflower pieces, also framed in gold leaf, accompany its display.
American Bistort – Pink
American Bistort – White

Suncoast Art Festival – January 2019

The original inspiration for my wildflower series came from a photograph I took in northern California along a four-wheel-drive trail. While laying on my stomach on large flat blue-gray rocks, I took many photos of a field of wildflowers with a background of whitewater and those gorgeous rocks. The background is hand painted cotton with watercolors. The water and rock detail was quilted before adding the foreground wildflowers.

We participated in the Suncoast Art Festival at the Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel. I had the pleasure of meeting many people who stopped by to chat and look around between running errands at the mall. The weather was perfect on Saturday. I do not know the advertising that goes on for this event, but of all the people that could have come; well, they did not. On Sunday, weather was cold and very windy resulting in a lackluster event.

Winter in Jonesport – commissioned art

I had the pleasure of creating a commissioned art piece for a couple I met at the Saint Augustine Art Festival last fall. This textile art is a wedding gift replicating a landscape photo taken in Maine. As a former northern Illinoian, I know all about winter. As a former snowmobiler, I know about snow in pine trees and frozen lakes as I traveled the trails in Wisconsin. My northwoods background contributed to making this a joy to create.

Winter in Jonesport – a commissioned work completed in February 2019.

Lido Key Art Show

This Lido Key Art Show happened on February 16-17, 2019 in Sarasota, Florida. This is the first time I have participated in a Paragon event. This art show was a great event for me.

It was nice seeing so many young families at the art show. It was even nicer to have many of them show interest in my textile art.

Lake Wales Art Show

The next weekend of February 23-24 I participated in the Lake Wales art show for the 3rd year in a row. The Lake Wales art show is usually well attended. Low attendance this year may have been due to unusually hot weather for Florida in February and the many events going on in the area. Even with lower than usual attendance, I did meet some of my customers from prior years.

Here is a new theory I am debating: returning year-after-year to participate in favorite shows may not be a good idea. Since I have already booked myself into another show I will be participating in for a 3rd consecutive year … I hope my new theory is not proven true. I sense spacing shows in alternate years gives me more time to present new series of textile art.

Getting ready for March art shows

Coming up are 3 art shows in march. Check out my listing. To prepare for these shows I am making five new 5×10 textile art feathers to have ready for the Leesburg show. If I have enough time, I would like to create another owl on black canvas.

I have work to do!

Have a great day,
Janet Herman

Atlantic exposure in fall art show events

Posted by Jan Herman on December 28, 2018 in Janet Herman Thread Painting | No Comments

The winter season for Janet Herman’s textile art began with Atlantic exposure in fall art show events at Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Vero Beach in November and December.  This is only season three for me. I am still learning about art shows, art show patrons and explaining the “why” of my brand of textile art.

What I have learned this fall at the 3 new shows I participated in:

  • I need to upgrade to a better tent to withstand more severe weather along the coastal waters.
  • When it comes to original art, people buy what they connect with; both art and artist. When at the show, forget about everything else and focus on the people who honor me with their attention.
  • Tourist areas are not necessarily a selling opportunity for original art. There could be sensory overload in all the shops they browse through before coming to an art event. Are they there to appreciate original art or is this just another form of entertainment to pass the time.
  • In my art tent I hang an artist statement and photo of me sewing my art. It is not enough for those that don’t understand “free motion sewing” and quilting. I know patrons who do not sew are confused by my work. It is up to me to do a  better job of presenting a visual explanation of how and why I do what I do.

Halifax at Daytona Beach, FL – November 4th and 5th 2018

It was a pleasure to meet Regina who purchased the “Yellow Crown Night Heron” for her home. She explained she sees these birds often in the Ormond Beach area.

Yellow Crown Night Heron by Janet Herman, framed.

Yellow Crown Night Heron by Janet Herman, SOLD

Three other original pieces went to new homes: “Snowy Owl Feather on black canvas” and “Eurasian Jay Feather.” This was the first showing of those two pieces. All I have is a quick snapshot and they are now gone.  “Pastel Flight” was presented in a new gold leaf frame and sold also.

The other Fall Shows

On Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-24) I participated in the art festival in St. Augustine, Florida. This was a first event for me in St. A. It was also the first time I used an AirBnb for lodging as it was a 3 hour drive from home. I met some nice people and some not so nice people. I had good weather and bad weather (the roof leaked at our lodgings). Fortunately, there are enough quilters among the attendees so that I did not go unnoticed. I did sell an important piece from my southwest collection; “Mountain Trail” to a lovely couple from St. Augustine.

On December 8-9th I participated in the Vero Beach Arts & Crafts event at Riverside Park. The surroundings and location are lovely. However, attendance was light.

It’s not just about the stitches

I had the pleasure of finally meeting the two silk artists who were at this event. The Chinese gentleman from Toronto demonstrates his skill in his booth. His work is amazing. The other couple were further away and I did not have the opportunity to visit with them.  Silk art is very intense hand embroidery with a smooth looking finish. Even up close it is hard to tell it is not painted.

My artwork, with my own textile art techniques, are an ends to a means in expressing my ideas. It was hard to explain to those who were trying to compare their hand stitching with silk to what I do. I tried to explain, “it is about the content of the art, theirs and mine, and not only about how it is made.” I may have succeeded with a few.

Introducing “Fins & Feathers”

I have had the idea to make colorful fish with a quilted background of sea color and eagle feathers with a quilted speckled sand background. This new series of “fins and feathers” are in 5×10 inch chunky wood frames. To make sure they are bright, I have not glazed them. Instead, I found a fabric spray with UV protection. For everyone whose walls are (almost) full, these are tiny and colorful textile art to tuck in small spots.

 Textile art reproductions

If you have been to my website before you know I photograph my original textile art and create reproductions on my computer that are printed out in my studio. I do the best I can to make them true to the original but, of course, they are lacking the depth that only presents itself in an original textile art piece. In November more than the usual number of these reproductions were purchased. I really appreciate that people are interested because it tells me they like the content and color of the art even without the texture and depth of fabric and thread.

Finally, I am done. This post is very late in coming.

I have updated my show line up for 2019

In a FUTURE POST I plan to present my new wildflower series in gold leaf frames.

Janet Herman

Web Noise vs Creative Noise

Posted by Jan Herman on October 13, 2018 in Janet Herman Thread Painting | No Comments

You are right if you are thinking you haven’t heard from Jan Herman for awhile. It has been since May.

Last winter I spent mucho time studying how to blog, how to get control of SEO (site optimization or some such). I even bought a fancy “theme” to jazz up my website. Every web related task expanded to the take ALL of my time.

Understand, much of my previous life and money was invested in the early days of computing; to the point of doing my own programming. I no longer have patience for that. My focus is creative thought and I fight any task or person that steals my time away from it.   So, I decided to forget Facebook, Instagram and my website for awhile and let creative noise take over. Bonus for me:I have so many ideas for art I want to create that I can hardly sleep. Here are a few of my pencil sketches.

Pencil sketches for what is to come 2018-2019 art show season

I will continue to write about stuff when the muse hits me and leave it on my website. The only way to get my blog automatically is to sign up on my blog page.  Or, you can always visit read it.

Fall Art Shows

Shows start November 3-4 at Halifax in Daytona Beach. I will be introducting my Fins & Feathers line of framed 5 inch x 10 inch colorful thread paintings of butterfly fish and eagle feathers.  These happened in response to patrons request for small original pieces they could safely pack in a suitcase and others request for fish and those always popular feathers. So, there you are. I have started with ten pieces. Photos eventually.

For this coming season I have adopted the “Museum Glass or no glass” attitude. I want to present the best artwork I can and it is important to offer it with the best nonglare, UV protection. It is expensive as far as conservation glass goes. Fortunately, I still have a good source and while I have it, I will include it in everything under glass.

November 24-25 at St. Augustine Fine Art Festival I hope to have a few more Fins and Feathers ready and a few floral pieces that I am currently working on.

December 8-9 at Vero Beach, Florida I will be participating in the Winter in the Park Fine Art & Craft Show.

2019 Art Shows

For 2019 I have already applied to a couple shows I’ve never been to and am waiting to hear if I have been accepted. There are some every month January-May. I will post confirmed shows to my web page under “Fine Art Shows” if I am accepted.n.

Do have a wonderful day and I hope to see you again at an art festival.

Jan Herman

All the Little Birdies Thread Painted

Welcome, if you are new to Jan Herman’s newsletter. I hope you find “Birdies Thread Painted” entertaining. To leave a comment, remember to click the TITLE and a response box will appear at the bottom of the newsletter.

New art coming up includes all the little birdies thread painted, that I will show in progress.

Photo one shows a group of birdies with just the water color background painted. Photo two shows the same group with just the birds thread painted. The finished images, framed in my standard frames, will be available at the Mayfaire Art Show in Lakeland on May 12 and 13; and any remaining works, at the Blairsville, GA art show on Memorial Day weekend which ends my season.

These new little birds are finished and framed in my standard rustic frames. I some linked to my shop, if you are interested in seeing them finished: Red Cardinal, Cardinal Nester, Little Pink Finch, White Cap Sparrow, Scrub Jay.

I am also introducing three special images thread painted on black canvas. I worked hard to get these done for the Mother’s Day show in Lakeland. They are Great Egret: Poise & Patience, Snowy Egret and Falling Feather all thread painted in whites, silvers and golds and framed in elaborate gilt frames with Museum Glass. Shown is Great Egret: Poise & Patience. Others are in my online portfolio.

photo egret art in gilt frame

Great Egret on black canvas. 8×10 art in 8×10 gilt frame. SOLD

The elaborate gilt frames are very special: I bought them from a man renovating an historic hotel in Fairplay, Colorado. He decided not to use them and we made a deal which I am extending to you.

Finally, I am introducing three nature scenes in my standard rustic frames: Goose Crossing features two geese trying to cross a roaring creek.  Lake Waves is inspired by a photo I captured of bright green weeds along a lakeshore. Finally, Eagle View: my sketch of an eagle overseeing the horizon. These works can be seen framed in my portfolio section/birds

It has been a busy April in the Art Department at Jan’s house. Oh, I wish I had a bigger “studio.”

After the Mayfaire show in Lakeland, I will be on the way to north Georgia mountains for a hiking, biking and photo taking break and that art show in Blairsville.

If you read this far in my post, I want to express my sincere gratitude. I wish I knew if you are shopping for art, looking for art inspiration or other. As “bloggist amateur,” any feedback is welcome.  Thanks, Jan

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Cedar Key Review

Posted by Jan Herman on April 25, 2018 in Art Show Reviews | 2 Comments

Welcome, if you just signed up to receive my newsletter. This newsletter follows the art show at Cedar Key, Florida. This was the Old Florida Arts Festival held every year in north Florida the last weekend of March.

Summarizing briefly, for those of you that “do” art shows (selling or shopping): Cedar Key is a big event bringing thousands of people from Gainesville, north and south. It also brings vacationers staying in shoreside condos. Local residents, both year-round and seasonal would be somewhat limited in this small town which is a far stretch from the nearest city.

The art community is viable and there are even a couple galleries tucked into the quaint few blocks of the town area. Parking is an issue. Because I was at my booth all day for two days, I did not get out to see where all these people managed to park. There are several restaurants, especially Tony’s as well as local groups selling food at the art show.

As far as sales: Original pieces I sold (three flowers and my last two feathers) were small, and gifts that visitors would take back north. Below are three of those sold at Cedar Key.

Of the purchased art pieces I saw being carried by, I noticed a few large pictures of fish. I have been asked about doing paintings of fish but just haven’t talked myself into it. I have a hard time imaging fuzzy or fluffy fish, or a manatee covered with thread.

If you are an art shopper, this show has a lot to see. I took a lap around to see who was there. I did see some artists from Lake Wales, Leesburg and Tampa. I understand this show also draws artists from the “bigger” shows along the gulf coast. I saw very interesting work and wish I could have spent more time looking at and talking with them.

Following the show, I had the opportunity to do some photography at Cedar Key Nat’l Wildlife Refuge. There I captured images of a great egret used for new work, pictures of purple wild orchids and a racoon peeking at me from behind a tree. We visited Manatee Springs State Park and  also went to Crystal River where I got some great shots of a friendly pelican at the county park on Fort Island Trail.

To sum up my trip to Cedar Key: weather was great, scenery awesome, show was fine, and the trip a complete success.

Next newsletter is reviewing work-in-progress for upcoming shows: May 12-13 (Mother’s Day weekend) Lakeland, FL and May 26-27 Blairsville, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains.

To post a comment, please click on the title on the top of the post, first, and a comment box will show up at the bottom of the post. 

The art of Sewing for art

Posted by Jan Herman on March 22, 2018 in Art Show Reviews | No Comments

In this post, I am catching up on a few key points in “the art of sewing for art.” First, thanks to all that have signed up to receive my blog. If you are a first-timer, welcome. Did you go to the Sewing Expo in Lakeland last week? What did you think?  And, last weekend the Central Park Art Show in Winter Haven had a surprise for me!

If you read my last post, you know about Leesburg. I’ll recap for those whose names I forgot to add to the list: the show was great. I found new homes for 6 original pieces. Most buyers were men. How about that? I have sold more than 30 thread painted feathers and only have one left.  You may find thread painting a feather a good place to start for an inital project. In the art of sewing for art. Don’t try to make your thread painting exactly match your prop or photo. That will be a struggle. Please, love those wiggly lines. Remember my motto: always forward, never back and never pull out threads.

Sewing Expo and Quilt Show – Lakeland, Florida
I’ll get the “cons” out of the way by saying $10 to park and $15 to get in is way too much. You can go online to their website and purchase a ticket for $8 but there is a $5 processing fee. So, is it worth it? Yes. If you want to talk to manufacturer representives and dealers of your sewing equipment about a problem you are having. Are you shopping for new equipment? This is a good place to get an overall of everyone’s features. Dealers do try to hard sell a “show only” deal. Maybe it’s a good deal, maybe not, but you need to have researched sewing equipment before going to the Expo.

Gobs of fabric. So many booths sell fabric and their version of fat quarters. All expensive. In the art of sewing for art, you can look for other ways to creatively express yourself and individuality without expensive fabrics. Try vintage shops and estate sales for tablecloths. My linen amoire is full and ready for “someday.” You are safe: I am not out shopping vintage any more. Try your hand at hand-dyed. You will love the results if the art you want to sew is a fabric collage.

I viewed the Quilt Expo hoping to see the Art of Sewing for Art in abundance. There were a few great works, but generally it was traditional, time honored designs.

Ridge Art Association’s – Central Park Art Festival
March 17-18 I participated in the Central Park Art Festival in Winter Haven, FL. My husband Ken and I set up Friday and attended the artist’s banquet held by the Victor Smith Law Group. Very nice.

Weather great, art sales poor. But then, I speak for me and artists I happened to speak to. We know it will be slow when the majority of people passing by are more interested in socializing their pets than looking in the booths. Neither left nor right would they turn their heads.

Jan Herman Award of Excellence 3/20/2018

Jan Herman Art Award

Thankfully, several came that saw me in Lake Wales. Trust me, there are “art communities” that take pride in original art. Lake Wales is certainly that. Fortunately, Ridge Art is still doing the work to put on an art show in downtown Winter Haven. I am sure they know that art sales are tough in this community. Their awards purse is very good and that keeps artists coming back. I was fortunate to get an “Award of Excellence.” I don’t often get awarded for my offbeat art so I was very surprised  — and thankful.

Today I am packing the motorhome for a trip to Cedar Key, Florida to participate in the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts. Not having been there, this is exciting for me. Be back in a week!

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Leesburg Art Festival

Posted by Jan Herman on March 20, 2018 in Art Show Reviews | No Comments

If you are receiving this blog for the first time: thank you for signing up at the Leesburg Art Festival. I noticed one person was signing up her friend. If that is you, and this isn’t your cup-o-tea, you can unsubscribe below! I did hear there was a problem posting a comment to my site. If you also have any problem posting a comment, email me personally to Thanks.

First, I like to summarize show sales: Men. Most sales of original art this weekend were to men or initially inspired by the husband, boy-friend, whatever. I don’t know why that is, do you? A few of the original pieces that went to new homes:

Saturday at the show was a delightful, busy day talking to sewers and quilters and all the wonderful folk who are full of compliments. I love you all. Many purchased notecards as inspiration. Please! Be inspired. If you create a piece, bring it to me at a show or capture a photo on your phone, so I can see your creation. We can inspire each other.

Upcoming Art Events
As you read this, I will already have done the March 16-17 Central Park Art Festival in Winter Haven. My first post should have gone out March 5th but sat in “pending” status with the software company that turns blogs-into-newsletters. Sigh: it took a while to figure it out.

Next weekend, March 24-25 is up in Cedar Key, Florida at the Old Florida Art event. I have never participated in that art show and I am excited to see new territory. Yesterday, I received an email to say I am accepted in the Mayfaire Art Festival in Lakeland, May 12-13. That is Mother’s Day weekend. If you are still in Florida then, please stop by and say “hi!”

More about the Leesburg Art Festival
The two judges that came around at the Leesburg Art Festival each selected different pieces from my booth to compete for an award. The man chose “Rose Gold Eagle Feather” for its simplicity. The woman judge selected “Pink Fog Bryce.” While flattering, selection doesn’t mean getting an award.  Selection for judging means only that they thought enough of my art to include it among those to be judged for an award. Well, I didn’t win an award, but I did enjoy attending the Saturday evening banquet put on for the artists.

Earring Report and more …
It seems to be a pattern with me. Early Saturday I find earrings I love at a neighboring artist’s booth. If I make a profit; those earings are mine! This time, my jeweler neighbor was Laurie who makes mixed metal jewelry. You can see her beautiful work at and search for Laurie Onufer. We also had a great time visiting with booth neighbor, Carol Elder Napoli. Absolutely stunning art and really nice people.

To summarize, the show was a success and enjoyable. Next up: my very brief review of the Sewing & Quilt Expo in Lakeland Florida and my comments about the Central Park Art Festival. Please comment below, if you can.




Lake Wales Arts Festival Review

Posted by Jan Herman on March 16, 2018 in Art Show Reviews | No Comments

Reviewing sales: It’s all about the birds! Here are a few of my original works that sold at Lake Wales. If you are receiving this post for the first time, welcome. Thank you for signing up at the Lake Wales Arts Festival. 

Lakes Wales Arts Festival February 24-25th – Lake Wales, Florida
My 2nd year

This year’s booth spot at the Lake Wales Arts Festival was #84, facing the lake. My booth neighbors were a fine artist whose work I stared at all weekend, Jenny’s waterfall leaves that I listened to all weekend, and a photographer whose work won him $1000. Next to me was a jeweler that sold handcrafted jewelry featuring copper and other metals. I purchased long dangling earrings for myself. Support your local artists, I say!

This is a general review of the art show from my perspective.

Ken (mostly Ken) and I set up our booth Friday and enjoyed the evening Luau buffet and entertainment. Our commute home is 45 minutes back country driving from Lake Wales. Commuting and parking is convenient and easy for this art event. 

Even though we set up Friday, there is lots for me to do Saturday morning before open. It usually takes two hours for me to unpack, hang, straighten and tag all my work. Reviewing Saturday, kudos to the organizers for bringing cold bottled water and cookies to the artists.  It seems most artists leave their work up overnight. However, my textile art needs to come down and get packed in bags and boxes to protect it from the moist air. Setting it all up Sunday morning is a breeze as hooks and tags are all in place. Unless, of course, I change my mind on what will go where. 


The bottom line

Traffic into my booth was busy all weekend. Sales were good. I was pleased with quilters showing an interest in my work and purchasing greeting cards and reproductions as inspiration.

Owl with head turned or tucked. It’s gone!

I encourage all that want to try their hand at creative painting on fabric and using a sewing machine to thread paint. There are classes and books on thread painting. I would love to see more people explore this mixed-up medium. I prefer books, internet research and learning by doing it myself. 

On Sunday I took a few photos of a baby owl and parent high up in a tree near my booth. My Nikon’s compact zoom lens and lack of a tripod limited me from capturing the image I wanted.  The white head of a baby owl barely peeked over its nest in the crotch of the tree WAY up and away from spectators. I believe that may a great horned owl higher up. I can’t tell by the photo. 

I had a great time at the Lake Wales Arts Festival and hope I had the opportunity to see you there. Check out my art show page to see what is coming up. To automatically receive show reviews and my blog, please register.

DIY art

Posted by Jan Herman on March 1, 2018 in Janet Herman Thread Painting | 1 Comment

DIY? Everyone does it themselves.

If I had gone on to college in the 60s, I would have been a different person. Totally.  To explain that I would have to say, “even if I had, at the time, had the opportunity to go to college for art, I would have been an accountant.” Art was simply NOT a path presented to me. DIY art was play time. I have four brothers who could have continued their education if they chose to. Shocked? Remember that back in the 60s, “girls” were required to wear a skirt to school and could not have a bank account. As I recall, my path was nurse, teacher or secretary. 

“Even if I had, at the time, had the opportunity to go to college for art,
I would have been an accountant.”


I married young and worked my way through office jobs. Again, making art was play time. During those years the term DIY did not exist. DIY was a way of life. Everyone I knew “did it themselves.” I taught myself to sew clothes, coats, swimsuits, drapes and reupholster. I taught myself to refinish furniture and remodel an old house. In the 70s I taught myself how to use a computer: it had a tiny screen and 64K memory. Oh my, did that consume my time. I chased technology for decades. Art? That was still play time. 


Finding creativity

It wasn’t until the 80s that I had the interest and influence in my life to focus on creativity. Thanks to a graphics industry friend who valued my computer skills, I began writing and creating news copy. I learned a lot from him about the printing industry and creating with words. And still, creating art was play time. 

It started with a camera

During those writing years I rewarded myself with a Minolta film camera, many shooting lenses and darkroom equipment. These years were a wonderful experiment in creating images in black and white. There was a time I submitted my work in competitions. Today, film and dark rooms have been replaced by digital images, a computer, Photoshop and inkjets. I am glad I was able to continue DIY-ing to keep pace. And yet, I do miss the film and dark room. There was something so exciting and “hands on” about it. 

It all came together

Fifty years of all that do-it-yourself has brought me to creating my DIY art with paint and thread. Do I care that I never had a formal education in art? Sometimes. I see value in learning. Beyond that, I can see that there is still so much to learn and the only way there is to DIY! 

I would love your comments.

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Planning my art in series

Posted by Jan Herman on February 19, 2018 in thread painting as art | No Comments

“While creating art,
I am capturing moments in time in my life
that I want to preserve and share.”

Learning from others

Who am I to give advise about planning art in series? My name is Jan and I make textile art. I have sold my textile art at art fairs for the past 3 years. Last year I sold 45 of my original thread paintings. Not much you say? As a beginning, I am satisfied. I am still learning which people buy my art and what connection they feel towards it.

Focusing more on a series right at the beginning has helped me be more productive. I feel a sense of really getting to know my topic and enjoy engaging patrons about what I know about the landscape and birds I have focused on. 

I love what I do and believe there is so much I need to learn. As I learn I am pleased to pass it along to you, if you are also wanting to make your way alongside me as I plan my art series and my life.

How I begin a series

I feel it’s not so much a matter of skill, but more a matter of planning and organization of a theme I am passionate about. I pick it apart into segments and visual elements and look at each element. How can it be expanded to an art piece all its own? For example, a mountain trail can be the inspiration for a landscape painting. I look closely at my photography, focusing on the bark in the trees, rock outcroppings, wildflowers and birds along the trail. I was there: what do I remember? What was my color sense of the area: warm, cool? Was there wind? Can I image climbing up rocks and looking at the scene differently? 

Developing a series

My reference materials are usually travel materials.  I gather all photos taken and research on birds and wildflowers in the area. I can’t have seen them all, so I depend on researching the internet and books. Actually, my best references have been old printed books. 

You should have, or start to, create folders of topics that interest you. Keep every scrap of information you get. Organize photos and online information into folders in your computer.

How many in a series?

There are many ways to look at anything. Keep in mind you need to create at least 10 works from an idea. I like to create a series of 15-20 thread paintings with 2 to 3 larger works, 4 to 6 medium works and 8 to 12 small works. This has worked so far for my textile art and was my experience in sales at each price level last year.

As I plan an art series there is a profound effect on commitment and how I live my life.  Previously, I too often concentrated on one-offs — the big project of ONE. If you are like that, consider the benefit of expanding your vision to see what you can include beyond your current focus. 

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