I time-traveled this past weekend, back to 16th century Scotland, as I participated in my first-ever Renaissance Festival as a vendor (in fact my first-ever festival of any sort).
In some ways it was a good fit: a lot of my prints relate to that period. I displayed prints from the Camino de Santiago, my set of fairy tale prints, and prints from my new series on saints. So the subject matter was dead-on.
In other ways, it was not such a good fit. My displays are too modern, even with fabric draping the metal display grids. And my observation is that the vendors who did best were those who serve to self-perpetuate a Renaissance festival, such as swordsmiths and people selling period costumes.
Most importantly, it was a great learning experience. Things I learned include how much work it takes to travel and set up a tent (a LOT, even if it’s local and I can go home at night); how much gear and art I can fit in my van, and how to pack it most effectively; how to set up my display on uneven ground (bungee cords to the rescue). I already have a different display idea in my head, should I do this festival again. And by getting ready for this event, I also got ready for the two or three I have scheduled for the fall: clear bags, mats, and backing boards are all on hand in good supply; I can now accept credit cards; I have plenty of prints framed and ready to hang. Now I can concentrate on new images I have queued in my head.
So on to Open Studios! And in the meantime, here are some images of this weekend’s Scottish Renaissance Festival.
The archery field was right next to my tent. This man knows what he is doing; many did not. Be very afraid.
Ladies go shopping, wine goblets in hand.
The best dragon costume, ever.
A juggler entertains the crowd.
Ladies strolling by.
A lady and her owl.
A pony walks past vendors’ tents.
Mary, Queen of Scots passes by with her retinue.
The Loch Lomond highland games were going on at the same time. Here are photos of burly men in kilts, throwing heavy objects.
Next year, you should all come.