About Me

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Paramus, New Jersey, United States
No, this in not a blog about gardening in any way, but a journal of my journey to become a professional landscape painting artist. For years, I’ve given my paintings as wedding gifts without thinking of profiting in some way from it. I worked for 18 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as a computer programmer. I have been a painter since 1990, coincidentally, when I started working at the Met. I watched Bob Ross do his thing on Channel 13 in New York and decided I could do this, too. I have no formal training. I incorporate Bob's wet-on-wet technique for sky and water. My subject matter is covered bridges, lighthouses, fishing village scenes, barns, etc. Maine, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Nova Scotia and Spain are some of the places I have painted. My style is detailed and sometimes people think a photo of the painting is an actual photo of the scene. I hope to continue and grow in this medium. I also like to cook & dance. I am also a committed Christian. I am taking commissions - painting your landscapes style photos or your vacation home. Prices on request. contact me - Jackmck@juno.com my website is www.artofjackmckenzie.com

Friday, December 2, 2011

My West Elm + Etsy Holiday Show experience

The West Elm + Etsy event was an honor to be chosen for, but in the end got no sales, but a lot of good comments on my paintings.

This appears to have been their first try at this in NJ. Its been elsewhere (Totonto, Austin) and the first time doing this event nationwide at the same time. One of the sellers mentioned she had a friend doing this at the Scaramento store. The two Etsy reps Banard and Lowe, had no idea that the store was on a busy highways and not a mall. They came from the New York office by bus, which dropped them off ½ a mile from the store and they had to walk up Rt 17 to get there (near Trader Joes). We all agreed it was a learning experience for them and a Saturday afternoon would have been better than a Thursday night. I found out they had not done any local advertising, just to mailings to West Elm customers. I had checked the Paramus.Patch on Thursday morning and, not finding it, I put it in the events section. Nothing in the Record or other papers.
Most of the people there were friends and family and some customers.
Joining me were Honizukle Press – hand made cards
Banjo and Bone – Jewelry
The Knit Garden – knit products
Sherry Truit – hand made jewelry
Their Etsy addresses and below
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Honizukle http://www.etsy.com/shop/BANJOandBONE?section_id=7912851 http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheKnitGarden http://www.etsy.com/shop/sherrytruitt
We all got along great

It seems the Paramus store had more displayers lined up, but several dropped out. They prevailed upon Sherry Truitt who lives near Philly and was supposed to be in the Princeton store to come up to Paramus. Nice trip for her, but she has healthy on-line business, too.

The store and Etsy people were very accomodating and helped in everyway they could, helping us find all the display elements we needed. They gave us tables right by the entrance but another part of this was the Christmas ornament making table and that was in another part of the store with the event sign, which was not a good idea. Every thing should have been centralized. They did I said this but got nowhere. They did make us individual signs for our shop to our order. I had mine say “Jack Mckenzie Art – Providing you with a VISUAL vacation”

The pictures from all the other stores show some pretty good food laid out, but we had some mini muffins and water. They talked about getting pizza, but that never happened. I went over to the Starbucks next door and got a bagel.

The event as listed to end at 9pm but the store usually closes at 8. There was a gurad at the door who locked the door at 8 and was supposed to ask the people if they were there for the Etsy event, but did not. Do that. They should have kept the doors open. Again I asked about this and got multiple answers and things stayed the way they were.

As the old quote goes “If it weren’t for the honor of the thing..” I have mixed emotions about being there It was an honor to be picked to come, but disappointed with the results. Helps to get all those nice comments about my paintings, but… I told Barnard that I was on Etsy for less than a year and seemed surprised but pleased they would pick me. I have posted the photo-stream on my blog on one of the top bars of the blog next to the Cliffside Park Library pictures, so check them out. Thanks to Tom and Denise Frawley and Denise Navas Cericola for showing up for support.
I sure with the info they got on this, the next one will be much better

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