Monday, April 4, 2011

random thoughts (and maybe a rant)

while we were vacationing, i got a call that one of my "little tiny pieces" sold at the airport. the canvas was 5x5. i have never gotten a call that my 8x10 piece "insert title" sold. my small canvasses have been an issue with some of the airport workers since i started sending them out there. "they're hard to hang". i hang them downtown monthly- and it isn't that hard if you group them together.

i've sold over 20 8x10 or smaller pieces in the last 6 months. not a huge amount, but enough to keep me in paint & contribute to the rent. the price point & size seem right for these times. they're a good price & size for gifts too. i've even had people buy 2 or 3 to hang together.

if what's good for the gallery is good for the members why be so bitchy? i need to quit getting annoyed, because that's just how it's going to be and there isn't much i can do about it. or, as my wise friend said- just be happy about the sale. and she's right. part of being in a coop is dealing with different personalities and ideas about how things should be. but we go out of business if we don't sell stuff, and though there are those $3000 sales (not mine, but there are) they are few & far between.

one friend has a theory that it's due to the tension between those who work in traditional media in a traditional way and those of us who experiment. or jealousy on the part of those who don't sell much toward those of us who do a bit better. i don't think that my $45 canvasses are taking away sales from someone else, especially not higher dollar sales of larger pieces of vastly different media.

whatever the reason for the snottiness, i avoid any dealings with those members. i try not to get annoyed when i travel through the airport & see certain people's art regularly displayed in prominent locations instead of everyone's being rotated through. i need to breathe and trust more. after all, i have been doing well out there- sold 5 pieces in march (4 of them 8x10 or smaller) and another this month.

anyway- got some studio time tonight. am still struggling. i did finish this one ( i think- may hit it with a wash of nickel azo to knock back the bright yellow a hair). it's- you guessed it- 6x6.

i just slopped paint & medium on a bunch of other stuff. still fairly uninspired. i did see some things in jackson that got me thinking- painting on gold leaf, which i've used before & like- being one. there was also an artist who painted over a mixed media backgrounds- she had a series of horses painted over book pages for instance. of course, this would involve me drawing and painting, but anything is possible. i saw some fun sandhill crane pieces, and they're about to show up in fairfield again. it might be fun to do a series. i could paint oil on an acrylic mm base.

i only need to come up with 26 more horizontal inches for may at the downtown gallery. 4 6x6 pieces, or a couple of larger ones. if i can get that headed safely in the right direction i can play.

sorry for the rant- it does help me think to throw it out there, tho. any comments welcome.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Sadly what you're describing is very common. I think the main *issue* is that YOU are selling while the traditional, big-bucks-for-a-painting artist is not.
They never understand that the % of people who can afford that price range is growing smaller (thus more competition for the work that's out there) where with your work, it is art almost anyone can afford, it is in the price range of gifts, it can be purchased by the first time buyer or younger buyer wanting real art in their digs-----you have a BROADER market by default.
How the others deal with it will be interesting; some people cannot see beyond the fact they did not sell something.
I love gold leaf, so would like to see what you do with that! Have seen several artists work on the pages (of which I've done and consider returning to now and then)--could you do your transfers on them? Feather out a painted area and feature one of your trees or...??? Just thinking....
Rant all you want; artists can be a real PITA to do business with.


Robbie said...

WELL said Anne!

Barb said...

I LOVE Anne's PITA comment! Who would realize that there is so much politics among creative people? And perhaps jealousy. You're the one selling, so hold your head high.

Judy Wood said...

It's not really about you, it's about them, you're just a handy excuse for whining and crabbing, or at least for passive-aggressive remarks. Keep on doing what works for you and stay positive, pleasant, and at a distance. Looking forward to your next new direction.

Postcards from Wildwood said...

I also bow to The Wisdom of Anne! Congratulations on your sales. And at the end of the day, people buy what they want to buy. No-one's making them buy your stuff and if they didn't really want what you're offering they wouldn't buy it. And yeah, maybe they would really prefer a $3000 painting, but you're offering something they can actually afford!

becky said...

Agree w/ Anne & Barb. Personally, I think it's great that you are making smaller, and perhaps more affordable art. Truth be told, that is what I buy. The thousands of dollars-piece... well let's just say dental work & paying rent takes precedence. As far as the snottiness goes, I do believe there can be an elitist attitude in art that bugs the crap out of me. That said, I find attitudes like this in all walks of life, from artists to doctors. BUT, thank God there are great, wonderful, really cool people out there too- which help to balance it all out.
:)keep on keepin' on!

marianne said...

hi all- thanks for your support! it is too bad that it's a common situation, but i think you're all right.