Thursday, July 5, 2007

Darlene Coltrain

Say, I ran into Darlene Coltrain at a local Fourth of July picnic yesterday. It was in its way a fairly star-studded event as she joined my conversation with Joan Vinge about whether the internet is a good place for selling your art. Joan has found her Hobby of Dollmaking (you can follow the links on her homepage to see her earlier work, showing characters from her books) is some help with her recent complex health troubles. Joan's interest in putting art on the internet is just in putting up photos of her artwork, as her main thing is writing, but her daughter has recently embarked on the world of art fairs, which I am just now getting out of after twenty years, thank you very much.

And Darlene has done art fairs and SF conventions for a long time now. That link above if it loaded properly for you shows some of her painted silk scarves and jewelry, that she takes to conventions. She doesn't seem to have this kind of work on her home page, which is devoted to prints of her paintings. But she says the internet has not been all that good to her for sales. Nothing like face to face contact and seeing, touching the actual work. This can be either because of the physical nature of the work, or because of the styles of perception of the persons taking it in.

Anyway, Darlene is having an opening tomorrow at the Bindley Collection gallery at Hilldale, for her wearable art, and she was very pleased with the publicity graphics Colleen Bindley has done for her there. The gallery is the latest version of the Twenty Hands Gallery that Colleen started up as an artists' collective during the last few holiday seasons. Lots of local artists from the art fairs and weekend house sales represented there.


  1. Jae, Wasn't Darlene and her husband at Marcia's Open Studio last fall? She looks familiar. The Bindley Collection is a nice mix of artists. Has she tried setting up an esty shop or tried ebay (art)? A few of the blogs I visit regularly seem to do quite well selling through their esty shops. I'm thinking before this month is over, I'd like to set up an etsy shop. hmmmm a goal.

  2. Yup that was her. Partner has been online and fluent in HTML since before most of the rest of us knew it was possible. She has more trouble I think keeping up with making stuff for her existing markets than pursuing the less fruitful online path. Selling a couple of cards and prints a year is not worth the bother of keeping up a website. But things change. I'm thinking the online model is going to work somehow for us; but I've been hearing that will be Real Soon Now for fifteen years or more.

    But it's funny -- all the authors I know about have got webpages now, but the artists don't.

    Let me know how this goes for you. And give me some links for these esty shops so we can talk about it.