I swear to the stars above that when I started Pine Street Art Works three years ago I thought it would be a gender neutral retail operation. I've never been particularly girly. I dig abstract thought and tough decisive action. I hate processing my emotions. I loathe and abhor the word "journaling." My preferred artists are the Modernists, I like old tools and worn out industrial equipment. I only wear jeans and sensible shoes. Not that I call myself butch, but I'm no femme either. I've always thought of myself as androgynous. Hah! Apparently not, at least in retailing.

Truck At Sunset. Copyright Liza Cowan, 2002.

Build a green economy, photo 2
This is me, yesterday. I made this self portrait  for MoveOn.Org for their top priorities campaign. I mean, come on. Am I a girly girl? PS: My picture didn't make it into their final selection of images, which just goes to show that a great grassroots organizing movement doesn't always know how to pick the best images. 

Update (later the same day as I posted this on the blog): I just got this sweet note from Justin at MoveOn.Org "Hi Liza, Saw your blog post courtesy of google blog alerts. Thanks for your photo. Not sure how it got overlooked, but I added it to the photo set that's showing on the page that we put up today dedicated to the 'green economy' goal. Thanks for adding your creativity to the process.
Hope your winter is more snow than mud.
Best, Justin"

MoveOn.Org is just sooo excellent! OK, back to the original post....

By actual count, 50% of the artists I've shown have been male, 50% have been female.

Then comes my love of all things ephemera. You know, the Jell-o booklets, the needle packs, trade cards, and that kind of thing.

There are men who love ephemera and old illustrations.  You can follow the links to some great ones. But they aren't shopping here.

So what happens when men come shopping here, or women looking to buy things for men? Once in a while a man walks in and buys art, sometimes they buy a book or an old print. Certainly they buy presents for the women in their lives. Flashbags are a huge hit as presents for women.  But the rest of my inventory? Apparently it's too girly. 

So my question to you is: what should I stock that would appeal to guys? Because despite my best intentions and what I thought was my gender neutral approach to art and life I've still got the feminine eye. Who'da thunk?


Steven P Goodman, Lake at the Intervale. Copyright SP Goodman.