Published July 3, 2017 by rochellewisoff

It all started when my agent Jeanie suggested I post character studies of my throng of characters on my blog to garner interest in my yet-to-be-published novels. I didn’t start rendering them in pencil and watercolor straightaway. You can blame it on Officer Lafayette A. Tillman, the second African American on the Kansas City Police Force. Since he shows up in FROM SILT AND ASHES and becomes an influential person in the life of Lev Gitterman in AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN I naturally wanted to post a character study about him. There are photos of him online but the only ones I could find were copyrighted. That’s when it occurred to me to paint a portrait of him.  

LAFAYETTE A. TILLMAN-Original Artwork – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Fast forward to two novels later with one on the way, my publisher wanted to know if I’d be interested in putting together a coffee table companion book. “Let me think about that a minute…yes.”  For going on two years, I’ve worked to make that book upwards of 220 pages. In addition to the sepia portraits of the characters, I’ve been painting watercolor scenes from each of the books. I hate to call it ‘work’ though. To be honest, I’m having the time of my life. 😉 

This brings me to three months ago when I was introduced to Alexis at a place in Blue Springs, Missouri called Print Graphics. It had been suggested to me that I have prints made to sell. A festival in the area called Corks & Canvas would be a good venue, I was told, to market, not only my novel trilogy, but my artwork as well. So the games began! 

GAVREL WOLINSKY- Orignial Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


My husband Jan was excited at the prospect of my finally showing my artwork. Maybe those student loans to the Kansas City Art Institute would finally pay off. At any rate, he was totally on board with purchasing the display racks and tables. He used his Academy Sports employee discount to buy a purple tent and matching chairs. (You expected, maybe white?) 

I didn’t think I’d have much to show, but thanks to Alexis, who is an artist herself, my stack of prints grew. My office/studio took on the appearance of an explosion in an art gallery. We found thrift stores to be wonderful places to find gently used frames, some with pristine mats that were the perfect size for my prints.

     When the time came, Jan, bless his heart, spent most of Friday packing the truck so there’d be little left to do Saturday morning. We lucked out. After a month of stifling heat and humidity, the temps dropped and we had pleasant weather. We were on site by 8:00 am and set up by 10:00.

     I enjoyed friends who showed up to support me and meeting new friends. One young Jewish woman stopped and we chatted for a long time. She was drawn to a couple of the paintings because they reminded her of her grandparents. While she didn’t buy anything, she said she would definitely get back with me. I hope she does. 

    If Corks & Canvas is any indication, it seemed to me that the artwork sold the books and visa versa. Financially, it was a successful day and makes us want to combine book signing and art display at other festivals. 

     Who knows where this will lead? 

Click on photos to view larger versions. 


  • Love it.

    A lot of work and a work of love, as well as patience, lots of patience, and savoring those nice moments of meeting new and nice people, coming home at the end of the day tired, hopefully meeting expenses, hoping to maybe make a bissel, building a base for more, hopefully and prayerfully, and lastly knowing that it’s been fun no matter what.

    Congrats and much love,

    (PS I’ve been there in shows and tents in one of my former businesses, designing and printing my own tee shirts, hats, tote bags, buttons, water-based tattoos and more).

    Big smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Randy,

      We did meet most expenses. A step here, a bissel patience there. Taking a chance and wondering if I’m meshuggeneh or what. Thank you for such a grand comment and the congrats and the big smile.




  • You have some beautiful artwork there. I have often thought of showing my work at art festivals in the area but there are just too many photographers around already. Guess that’s the wrong attitude to take.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Emilio,

      First thank you for the compliment re my artwork. There were a few other artists out there, too. A couple of them also did watercolor. There are a lot of photographers, too. But only one you and you never know until you try. 😉 And I’m certainly no authority here. This was only my first show.




  • What a fabulous set-up you had there, Rochelle!
    Kudos to your helper, Jan – he did a great job making your work shine!
    Wish I could have been there “live” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • What a wonderful adventure! Wow, you really do have a great collection of beautiful prints. I love your booth set up, and your sign is amazing! Did you do that yourself for this show, or is that for one of your prior book events? I’m glad you had a good reception and a good experience your first time out. I hope this is the first of many wonderful festivals for you. My mom is an artist and I grew up “art bratting” at art fairs all summer long, plus usually a winter festival or two inside somewhere. My mom is still doing it, with my now-retired dad in tow. Every time I go to an art festival or see a post like yours, I’m filled with nostalgia. They can be such friendly gatherings — if they’re not too hot, or too crowded with non-buying looky-loos, and it doesn’t rain, and… Well, let’s just focus on the positive! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy,

      My sign was constructed by Vistaprint whom I highly recommend. They used my original design.I had it made about a month before the event, hoping to use it for many more. And it was reasonable. There’s the advertisement for the day. 😉
      The festival was a great experience. And we did have a few old friends show up so it was a bit of a reunion. Thank you for your encouraging words. What kind of art does your mom do?

      Thanks again.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Vistaprint did a great job with the sign (and you with designing it) – they deserve the advertisement. 🙂 Since my mom has been going to art fairs for so long, every fair is a bit of a reunion, because she sees at least some of the same artists over and over. And some of the same customers, too, which is lovely. She does wood engravings. She used to do wood block prints (which are larger and less finely grained) but she’s focused on engravings exclusively for a while now. You can see some of her art if you google her artist page (Sylvia Pixley). I don’t think they look as good on screen as when they’re matted and framed, but you get the idea.

        Looking forward to hearing more about your future art fairs, and your adventures in the art-book selling nexus!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      As I tell everyone, this beats decorating cakes…and sign making, as far as that goes. 😉 But it’s all hunky dory, right? Couldn’t have done it without you, m’luv.




    • Dear Jim,

      I often wonder what my history teachers at Center would say if they knew I wrote historical fiction. 😉 Back then my grades were terrible and I couldn’t have cared less. I guess it’s when you realize your own adolescence is history that it becomes important.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. You made me smile. 😀




    • Dear Sarah,

      It was a wonderful experience. I have a couple more festivals on the calendar. I won’t count on them being as financially successful but they’re in different areas so it’s a way to get my name and work out.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Hi ! I never normally comment on other people’s posts but I just came across your blog and I have to comment and tell you that I adore it! Your blog is so wonderful, I am so happy I just came across it. I am going to follow you right now so I can keep up to date with all of your posts; I look forward to your next ones! Keep up the great work (:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Redhead,

      Thank you for such glowing comments. I’ve been to your site as well. And have followed you back. 😉 I hope at some point you might count my trilogy of novels on your list of book reviews. At any rate, thank you again for coming by and leaving a comment…and the follow of course.



      Liked by 1 person

      • You are so sweet to message me back! You are so welcome, your blog is wonderful and I am so happy I came across it!
        Do you have Twitter or Instagram? I would love to follow you!
        Also feel free to email me about me reviewing your books whenever you like! (:

        Liked by 1 person

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