The Knoxville "Artsclamation!" show was a great success! I had a wonderful time exhibiting many of my oil paintings, meeting lots of fellow artists and art appreciators..including two artists from my own town who I hadn't met before..and supporting a worthy cause in the city where my daughter lives. These are the five paintings that have flown away to their new homes with blessings and many thanks to my good buyers.
In the spirit of "paying it forward" I bought my own piece of art from the super-interesting, talented Daniel Lai and I've already got it up on my wall where I see it first thing every morning. Art is wondrous!!
I must admit that before becoming a painter, I was quite oblivious about the $$ side of producing beautiful, meaningful art. Buying a painting was usually outside my budget, so I didn't give it much thought except for wishing it wasn't outside my budget. If you will put up with me, I can now shed some light on where the money goes and what it takes to bring a painting to the world.
Starting with the obvious: the durable goods of art making, an oil painter needs good, artist grade oil paint, which runs $15-$80 for a 16oz tube. Paint quality is really important for a lasting, professional painting. Substandard paint is prone to yellowing and cracking and has poor tint/color levels. Brushes can also be fairly expensive, although many of my teachers have helped me see that just about anything can be used to apply the paint...even the edge of an old credit card! What the paint is applied onto is very important, meaning canvas, boards and panels. Paintings 16x20 and larger are almost always on stretched canvas with a third support bar across the middle for durability. Panels need to be wood or mdf board for longevity. Cardboard panels are not going to survive long. Turn a painting over and look at the canvas or panel to see what quality it is. I like to paint on linen covered mdf panels or stretched cotton canvas. There are dozens of other supplies, usually one-time purchases like easels, lighting, palette, and of course, all kinds of educational art books and videos.
What isn't so obvious when wondering why that painting is ten times more than the framed print at Target or World Market is the investment in learning how to do it right. This can be done through classes ($10-20/hr), instructional books and videos ($20-200 each), workshops ($300-800 each), and at least 2000 unpaid hours of painting time. A funny quote I heard a few years ago was someone asking the artist how long it took to paint a particular painting; she replied 15 years and 5 days (for all the learning and growth that led up to what she was now producing.) Most of the Master Artists I admire can create an amazing painting in 2-3 hours. I'm not quite there yet...haha...but as the composition, color, problem-solving decisions become more and more intuitive, good artists will often paint so much faster than less skilled artists.
Here is one final explanation to understand the cost of a painting...commission. When a painting is in an art show, more often than not there is a percentage of the sale that goes to the organization hosting the show. In my case, this has ranged from 30-50%. That definitely has influenced the prices I put on my paintings. I currently offset this by offering unframed paintings on my website, while nearly all are framed nicely for art shows. If an artist has gallery representation it can raise the prices even more. Almost all galleries take 50% of the sale price and may even lower the sale price well below what the artist has invested into the painting.
I hope this has shed some light on why an original oil painting might be $400-$600++ (even significantly more for the Master Artists) and why the cost is well worth it. In a future blog I want to make a case for original paintings to be as important in our homes as our TVs or dining room sets. Let me know what you think about all this!
Thanks for reading my blog!!!
I spent a lot of my summer hours indoors this year...painting my little heart out. When we first moved here from well north of Seattle I planned to hate summers, but then fireflies happened. And cicadas, butterflies, steamy warm tank top evenings. We put in a swimming pool deep enough to stay cool and summer became my favorite season! It was the flip version of winters in the NW...too weathery to get much done so why not relax and read, breathe, be? But now...now that I am head over heels in love with painting...well, it was enough to woo me away from poolside and here is the result:
These are my Washington State paintings; studio work from photos I took in one of the most beautiful counties in America.
Of course, a new series of umbrella paintings...they are so fun to do and very popular.
These six paintings are in the style of Frank Baggett, a talented Tennessee artist, mentor and friend. He so graciously gives his students permission to apply his style and techniques, as well as exhibit and sell their creations.
Oh, Tuscany! It is such a wondrous place and I have finally begun to studio paint from the photographs we took.
And finally, here are the first two paintings in my Men@ Work series...plus one more on my easel right now.
Thank you for viewing my art! You are appreciated so much!!
I had a lovely time exhibiting paintings in the Autumn Artisans Showcase a couple of weekends ago. This was my second year in the Rotary Club of Hendersonville's art show and was so enjoyable visiting with other artists and all the appreciators of arts and craft who came to view and shop. It's not a big selling event for paintings, but I did bid a grateful adieu to "The Girls" and "Under a Blue Umbrella" as they went to their new homes. There is joy simply in showing so many of my paintings all at once and getting to talk about art all day long with kindred spirits.
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...