Chain Letter Santa Monica: part 2 - Saturday night

After a relaxing sushi dinner at Sakura, Lani, Severo and I went up to Bergamot to check out the Chain Letter show. We parked in a secret spot and walked over - wasn't as crowded as I was expecting. (It was 8pm when we got there). 

I was thought the parking lot would be a wall of people like at a concert. Not so.
Lani, me
on the line for the D2 space (annex #2)
view of the line from D2... party!
here is my piece in the back of D2
you saw this earlier in part 1
"dark" would be a good description of D2
we decided the show looked like an artsy rummage sale
cool pencil sculpture
Hey, I know that guy!
Some people came by chartered bus. Smart!
an artist bus
look! artists!
We opted out of waiting on line at the main gallery space.
Charlotte said "it moved as fast as a Galapagos tortoise"
I'll see it when I get back from my l-o-n-g vacation.
the line for Shoshana Wayne - where the early birds exhibited
art patrons enjoying something from one of the food trucks
We ambled over to F1 (annex #3) - the line wasn't too long. But it turned 9:00 before we got to the door so we were turned away. I felt sorry for the poor interns who had the task of doorkeeper.

At least one artist made money from this - these tees were sold in front of Shoshana Wayne. These guys said they were sold out but that he was taking orders! $10.
"I was in the Doug Harvey Chain Letter Show and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt"
See lots of links about the show in part 1. Too lazy to do them all again.

Chain Letter Santa Monica: part 1 - Friday

FB link
A crazy art event transpired this week at Bergamot.
It all started with a call for art on Facebook:

"Chain Letter" is a group show wherein 10 artists have been invited to participate. 
Those 10 then invite 10 artists whom they admire. 
Those 10 invite 10 more and so on. This cycle continues for 30 days. 
The result is an exponentially massive, artist-curated group show based entirely on admiration.

Organized by Christian Cummings & Doug Harvey

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 23, 6 - 8 pm
Installation for artists: Friday, July 22 


More than a thousand artists converged at Bergamot on Friday. I heard it was gridlock on Cloverfield and they had to call in the police. Those lucky enough to find parking queued up for hours for intake and installation.
photo by Steve Craig
I was lucky - Katherine Kean very kindly braved it all and got my piece in the 2nd annex in D2. She also took a piece that Lani Asher had mailed me from San Francisco. (I had to work).
there is my piece when Katherine installed it (photo by Katherine)
I saw much heated discussion on Facebook on Friday over how insane it all was. Sant Khalsa drove from San Bernardino (75 miles) only to turn around and drive home, unable to cope with the hubbub at Bergamot. Here is her Chain Letter piece that she faxed to Shoshana Wayne:
Sant Khalsa
Participation: From Here to There and Back
Inspired by the L.A. Art & Life Experience

Friday, July 22, 2011

Awoke early this morning with the best of intentions to deliver my mixed media photographic sculpture, Tree and a wonderful clay and rubber piece by my colleague and friend, Alison Petty Raguette to Shoshana Wayne Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica for the Chain Letter 2011 exhibition, a summer group show curated by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey.

I felt it was important to participate because I wholeheartedly support the concept of the exhibition. I also wanted to acknowledge through participation, the inspiration I gain from so many of the artists I personally know and share ideas with in the L.A. art community as well as others I have never met.

I arrived at Bergamot Station at 9:30 am (thinking that was early – before 10 am) after an almost two hour, 75 mile drive from my home in San Bernardino. The I-10 freeway Cloverfield Ave exit off ramp was backed up with hundreds of cars carrying artists with their work. By the time I got through the gate of Bergamot, traffic was in a deadlock and a line of artists had formed around the property. Artworks were sprawled everywhere (some very large sized works transported in U-Haul trucks). I existed the parking lot and circled the surrounding neighborhood looking for parking as artists walked long distances carrying their artworks. Meanwhile, the line of cars from the freeway was rapidly getting longer and parking was nowhere to be found. After a phone conversation with Alison, I decided to head home and accept that our artworks would not be included in the massive heap of inspired creative debris that would cover the floor of the gallery.

Driving home, I thought about my experience and my disappointment. I also thought about how many of my conceptual ideas for artworks come while I am driving on the So Cal freeways and that the act of driving to Santa Monica from San Bernardino and back is my piece, my Participation in the Chain Letter.
Sant Khalsa

There was a big outcry when the gallery capped the artworks at 1700. A Salon des Refus├ęs was created by Marino Pascal
Chain Letter Overflow show
That's BS. First there is no rules and then they cap it at 1700 people. WTF?
#1. Real artists are always late.
#2. Real artists don't wait in line.
I'm setting up a chain letter overflow exhibition at 6551 West Bl, Inglewood, CA, 90302.

Setup, opening and strike: 5-9pm Sat Jul 23, 2011


how to sell stuff

My cousin Lisa asked me: "I've been wanting to ask you about how one sells their photography." As if I knew! Rather than answering her privately, I thought I'd share my thoughts and then you, dear reader, may chime in on the comments at the end if you so desire.

this is one of Lisa's photos
I swiped it off her FB page
lovely, don't you think?
1) I have a website: annembray.com (since 1998)
It functions as more of an online portfolio of my roadscapes but I HAVE made a few sales from it

social media sites

2) I have a flickr page (2007)
I prefer posting here to FB. Anyone can view the work. A good place for showcasing work if you aren't ready to do a web page.

3) Blogs. Lots of blogs! Sketches and Impressions was the first (2008). This one came next (2009). Also started in 2009 are Pattern Recognition (surface design) and Cupcake Safari (all things cupcake). In 2010 came SpyGirl (fashion) which has totally taken over my attention. It seems there IS a fashion designer within me after all -- when I design for MYSELF!
Have I sold anything from the blogs? Probably not. They have been a great way to meet like-minded souls and a fun way to talk about my process.

4) Facebook (2009?)
I feed my blog posts through FB. Many friends won't bother checking the blogs but will read them from FB. Have made sales from this linkage.

5) Twitter (2010?) @annembray
I felt like I had to. I feed lots of stuff through it (Pinterest, Instagram, blog posts) but rarely go there and use it. Sales? Doubtful

online retail

6) Society6 (2010)
I am VERY happy with this site. All I have to do is upload my image files, enter info and decide on prices. They print, collect $$, ship. One drawback: I don't know who purchased stuff (unless they contact me). Can feed new uploads to Facebook. Yes, sales. This might be a good one for you to try, Lisa.

7) Cargoh (2011)
I was all ready to start posting inventory on Etsy when I met Cariann, who developed Cargoh along the same model as Etsy with the enhancement that she curates who can sell. So I went with Cargoh. No sales yet, but I've hardly uploaded anything and I've only had my shop for 11 days. Can feed new uploads to Facebook. Lisa, another one to try if you'd rather do your own printing + shipping. Or Etsy.

WARNING: DO NOT get involved with any retail site that requires a fee upfront. They are after your money, not looking to sell for you.


Getting into shows is of course the traditional path of sales. I've been a member of TAG Gallery for 13 years. I usually exhibit every year. This year I sold six things. Last year I sold two. The year before nothing.
When I declared myself a fine artist for the second time (1993), I entered lots of juried shows. Good exposure and a few sales. I also did local art fairs. Those are great for finding out what people respond to. I did very well at some, no sales at others. It all seems to be very hit or miss. Then again, I don't relentlessly market myself and I'm not in a commercial gallery.
For photography, I suggest reading LENSCRATCH. Aline has an Exhibition Opportunities section as well as many interesting posts. Hello my photographer readers - this is where your comments on other sites to visit, etc will be most helpful for Lisa!


recipe: walgrove manor cole slaw

I started from this epicurious recipe
Then I customized it to:
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 medium cabbage (about 1 pounds), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley
Combine vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard and caraway seeds in nonaluminum medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and dressing comes to boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cool a bit.

Combine onion and raisins in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Add cabbage, carrots and parsley, toss again. Cover; refrigerate until cold, tossing occasionally, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.)

I didn't wait the 2 hours, but I bet it'll taste even better then.
[It DID!]
The mustard gives it a nice tang!
Intended to use parsley but somehow I bought cilantro instead. Didn't use.

gluttony in portland: day 6

My last day in Portland was spent at a leisurely brunch with Lisa, Tim, Anita, Barry, Stosh + Francesca.
Staying near Gresham, we attempted to go to Edgefield (closed), The Black Rabbit (closed for private party) and when that failed, we went to Riverview in Troutdale.
A lovely finale for a fantastic trip!
Lisa stealth shot this. I had no idea!
me, Anita, Francesca, Stosh, Barry, Tim


gluttony in portland: day 5

Saturday. We got to LUCE early! Yay!
getting ready for more creative business work
At lunchtime, we were forced outside for some air and pizza was ordered. Lisa and I wandered the neighborhood, window shopped and returned to ransacked pizza boxes with not much remaining. Oh well.
More work ensued,
1:1s with Erin,
and killing time at Matador...
3 tomatoes: ketchup, salsa, juice
2 starches: fries, chips
Lisa: "What do vegans taste like?"
Anne: "Chicken"
until we reconvened at Navarre for wine...
eating, drinking, making merry
pickle plate, ken's bread, radishes
radishes w/french butter
fava shoots (I would have liked them better braised), pear, cheese
and dinner
menu like a questionaire
"bird" haha
thus concluded our ACE Camp experience.
But wait! The gluttony is not over!

gluttony in portland: day 4

the binder
Friday was our first full day of "Camp"
coffee from Heart
We convened at LUCE and got down to some serious creative business work!
my new mission statement: "do it with gusto"
For lunch, we split up into small groups and foraged.
Lisa, Caroline, Carina, Kristina and I chose La Buca
fumoso panini + pesto-topped mash potatoes
sandwich = meh
spuds = OMG!
We returned to Camp for a couple hours of more work, then Lisa and I went home for an AWESOME Tim dinner: grilled tuna and veggies
have you ever grilled rapini?
give it a try! SO DELICIOUS!

gluttony in portland: day 3

Thursday in Portland started out slowly - Lisa needed to sleep in! Fine by me.
When we finally got moving, we started with a late breakfast at Tasty n Sons
chocolate donut hole!
egg on grilled + parmaseaned asparagus + bacon
Next, we shopped the neighborhood. Some cool shops!
[Shopping report will be on SpyGirl eventually.]

On to downtown Portland.
Lisa had to submit some paperwork at work. I waited in the lobby and amused myself.
Next we worked our way over to the Ace Hotel to meet our fellow ACE Campers (no affiliation). Of course we were late (this became a running gag for a while) so we missed our goodie bags. Drat! We all walked over to the Nines Hotel, to have cocktails in the atrium.
the gals
We grazed on appetizers and got to know one another.
warmed olive with lemon zest. mmmmmm
After a thwarted attempt at having dinner at the food trucks (they were closed), Lisa and I went home to a Tim dinner.
Thus concludes day 3.


cilantro pesto

• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
• 1 chile pepper, roasted, peeled, seeds removed
• 1 bunch cilantro
• some olive oil

toast the pin nuts in a pan until golden brown
meanwhile, add garlic to a food processor with blade running
add nuts + chile, pulse
(scrape down sides of processor as needed for blending)
add cilantro and a drizzle of oil, pulse
add more oil as needed for nice consistency

add salt + pepper to taste

yield: 3/8 c approx

on corn on the cob
on frijoles y huevos

I painted today

I won't try to explain WHAT I'm painting yet.
It's the fact that I did it.
And figured out a place to do it.
It's a start.

gluttony in portland: day 2

Day 2 in Portland was a frenzy of eating, lurking and shopping. Plus a Vietnamese dinner.

We started the day with a power breakfast of hearty oatmeal and Lisa's Vitamix blended fruit drink (mmmmmm) (No pix, sorry). I think I have to get one of those mixers. An easy and delicious way to get the five fruits/veggies servings into my diet.

Lisa walked me from her office to Powell's so I'd get my bearings. En route, she got some coffee at Pearl Bakery

and I got a macaroon
I forgot I had this and carried it around all day.
Happily discovered it around 4:30pm while sitting in Lisa's office.
I planted myself in the Powell's cafe with cafe au lait and a scone, hoping to use the free wi-fi.
No luck. So I sketched instead.
I thought it was amusing that they shelved the romance novels in the cafe. Even more titillating were the SPORTS THEMED novels I discovered while drawing.
that Kate Angell - what a concept!
By then, it was lunch time. Yay!
We went to Fong Chong in Chinatown for dim sum. It was OK, but we've both had better.
I spent the afternoon wandering between Lisa's office and Powell's. I explored some of the art galleries and saw a fantastic weaving exhibition at at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. I wrote all about it here. My obsession with felt began at the museum as well. More on that later elsewhere.
I started hyperventilating in the fiction stacks at Powell's. It was like being in my fantasy library full of books that I WANTED TO READ vs the sad assortment I usually find in the Venice or Mar Vista branches of the LA Library. Sigh. They had funny displays throughout of pulp fiction. I took lots of photos and purchased this one:

"An Eye-Opening Novel of Violence in Texas"
So much stimulation made me tired. I considered laying down on a park bench and napping like a bum but decorum prevailed. I returned to Lisa's office and hung out while she went to meetings and did other work stuff.
This got us to... DINNERTIME!

My last visit to Portland (in 2005), we'd eaten at Pho Van. I wanted a return visit to have the whole roasted Catfish (Ca Nuong) again.

So we did.
the embellishments
the fish
A perfect way to end the day.
(more pix here)