Saturday, May 15, 2010

How to Price Your Art

Last night I finally got into my studio and worked on three new Lincoln paintings, each from a different source image and with varying styles. I have painted several Lincolns over the years and was motivated to come up with some new images to accompany my upcoming review of Team of Rivals, which I have been currently reading.

While painting I was pondering how Lincoln is somewhat of an iconic image, and how Warholesque this repetition of a theme might be, Warhol's themes being cultural icons like Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's Soup.

Here's a question for any artists who follow this blog: What kinds of things go through your mind while you're painting? Do you have a notepad to scribble notes, thoughts, ideas, insights?

Last night I was thinking about how there is something of a carelessness in much of my work and I was analyzing the root of it. I create something and then move on, instead of taking time to really "finish" the piece. The attention to detail is sometimes and it's disappointing to look back at certain pieces. The real artist will sand the edges of his or her panels and make them smooth before painting, instead of rushing into it and afterwords noticing that the sawblade cut was a bit rough.

Sometimes the emotion of creation produces really interesting effects. The next day you wonder if the painting should be left "as is" because it so perfectly captures a moment in time, or if the work should be completed using both left and right brain.

And what about pieces that you create that you just have mixed feelings about afterwards. Last night I pulled my 2 x 3 foot JFK painting out of the back room and smeared over it with the foundation for a new Lincoln image. I like where the new piece is going. Many of my paintings have layers like that... with patches and portions peeking through.

Before heading out to the studio I was reviewing a couple art blogs and found an interesting page about how to price your art. I'm preparing for a show at Beaner's Central in July and have come head on to the problem we all wrestle with. For years I made it easy for myself by simply giving things away to people who liked them. But, it's hard to build a retirement income by giving everything away, and it's also hard to convince galleries to display your work if they are not getting a cut. ("Sure, you can have 90% and I will take 10%... let's see, 90% of zero is... uhm, zero.")

Anyways, here are seven ways to figure out how to price your work. If you're like me though, the article doesn't settle the question. It does offer a few pricing models, however, that you might not have thought of.

Today is Saturday... make it special and do something you love.

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