Spring is very welcome in the mountains. The birds return and the landscape starts to change. This is what it looks like in March as the air warms up and the first ‘sugar’ snow appears.
Physical galleries charge a 50% commission for two dimensional art (paintings). they charge 30% to 40% for three dimensional art and photographs. This is a fairly standard commission rate across the board. When a gallery takes on an artist they price for profit. Wall space and floor space is real-estate. Prices have to pay for their space and generate income for the artist and the gallery! Worth is determined by how many works are selling. Prices are adjusted yearly in an upward direction if sales are consistent … artists are dropped if their sales do not generate profit. It’s a fair market plan that has a bottom line: No sales means no commission!
An early morning sketch in the Spring is a tonic for life. This is the Bird Sanctuary along the Slocan River about 45 minutes from home. We get there by mountain bike along the Slocan Rail Trail. Pinch me … it’s too beautiful and I’m getting spoiled. Watercolour on 140lb. cold pressed arches paper.
The confluence of the Little Slocan and Slocan Rivers is a magical spot where I sketch through every season.There is an enormous bench along the Rail Trail that you can perch on and feel invincible as you wield your brush at the majestic landscape before you. Each painting of this scene is unique as the mood and colours are always changing with the seasons.
You do not have time to do anything but react to a swiftly gliding Kayaker cutting through the pristine waters of Kootenay Lake on a cool summer morning. Take a look at the water dripping from the right tip of the paddle, the red helmet producing the subtle shadow over the face, and the deft red strokes that complete this sleek little craft. All is dwarfed by a bold ‘slash and dash’ landscape of rolling mountains and sky. Completed outside in 2007.
I spent a lot of time painting outside during the 90’s. The kids were growing up and the studio was not a place I could hole up in for hours on end. Happy home, happy artist, meals on time, mortgage paid, food in the fridge, and a host of other obligations to be met…ah the life of an artist. My excursions to the river and forest proved very productive especially in the early morning when most were still asleep. The outdoor paintings of this period were very responsive and natural. I would bring the same picture to a spot at the same time of day for 3 days in succession and finish everything in natural light. At the end of the 90’s I still had about 10 paintings not sold and it was then that I decided to start ‘collecting’ my own art. You can imagine that even 100 days painting outside in a year would produce at least 30 paintings, if each took 3 days to complete. I have continued to collect my own work and ‘hold back’ pieces that could be worked up in the studio to a higher level of ‘polish’ or left as is for future sales. I do not have a barn full of paintings as ‘culling’ is an integral part of an artist’s duty. Quality over quantity is still very very relevant to an artist’s production.
An 8 foot by 2 foot Painting is impossible to read on your ‘pocket device’. Driving to our gallery is out of the question if you live on the East Coast and we live on the West Coast. You can view it on your big screen and get a decent impression of it’s appeal to you. Colour calibration on your big screen may give you a mis-read on the colour harmony. What you need is a ‘true image’ of the painting. Here is how we make your purchase satisfying and stress free. The time is almost upon us when 3-d imaging and 360 degree digital zoom cameras will give you all the information you will need to inspect and approve your purchase.
First come first serve is our policy. Consideration is always given to the ‘time factor’ involved with making a decision. After 30 years of arranging purchases for clients we will put all our experience to work in keeping you informed about making timely decisions in regards to your purchase.
The following report will give you a thorough education in regards to online art sales and market trends. If you have never purchased online this will settle you down and increase your confidence for purchasing with a click. http://www.hiscoxgroup.com/~/media/Files/H/Hiscox/reports/The-Hiscox-online-art-trade-report-new-version.pdf
Consideration #1 Custom framing simply means the frame is assembled by a trained framer. They measure, cut, glue, clamp,assemble,tape, and give it to you ready to hang. Good framers will use acid free materials only! Total cost for let’s say an average 10 in. by 12 in. watercolour, including a mat and frame would be from $120 to $250. Now we might pay $150 for a great little sketch and then add $145 for framing. your total would be under $300. If you choose to go with the custom framing you will be assured that all the criteria will be met as stated in the title of this post.
Consideration #2 Do it yourself is very economical and will meet the criteria for sound framing. We supply acid free tape, free of charge, with our watercolours and sketches on paper. You have to purchase a small sheet of acid free backing paper at a minimal cost to protect the art work from acid bearing papers in your mat or frame backing. Then you can pick up a ready made frame and mat from your local “out of the box store’ and assemble it yourself at home. Total cost about $25 to $40. Ten minutes on utube will give you all the pointers you will need. I have found that more stores are using acid free mats with their ready made frames. You will still need the acid free backing paper.
Glass breaks. Frames are heavy and double shipping rates. You will enjoy picking out your own frame more than settling with one we pick out. You save money. We save time and shipping headaches.
When one of our ‘children’ leave home we do want to know where and to whom they are going. We want everything to go smoothly and have all your questions answered, even if it’s a $40 sketch or drawing. Professional artists keep inventories of where their artwork lives. Many buyers purchase more than once and a friendly professional relationship works to everyone’s benefit. One of my greatest collectors was Don Flood, who left us in 2014, his collection totaled 52 works. His love of all fine art was the mark of his greatness. I was encouraged by his patronage for over a 20 years. This virtual show is dedicated to all true patrons of the arts. Don Flood Video can be viewed under Thoughts on Landscape Painting.
Arranging shipping does need some particulars answered to make it all work smoothly. The safest and most cost efficient means will be chosen depending on where you live. Returns rarely occur but rest assured our policy is 100% satisfaction and no questions asked if a return is needed. Work with us before you purchase and all will go well.
For myself the answer to this question is easy. A high price means a ‘great’ deal of work went into a painting and this produces the high price. A ‘Studio Masterwork’ is a labour, a struggle, and a joy to complete. Mastering the techniques that are necessary for a sustained effort in the studio do not come easily. The requirements are study, practice, patience, and inspiration. Digging deeply into your ‘whys’ and discovering the ‘hows’ that make it all happen. This all takes time, dedication and purpose. The result is always the best that you can do…and then you move on with a fresh attitude and eager anticipation to the next work.
The pricing of ‘major studio works’ is always considerably higher than the work that is done outside, gathering impressions, moods, motifs, forms, and colours from nature to make the outdoor painting. These ‘outdoor sketches’ are the connection with nature that forms a visual and emotional memory for the sustained effort in the studio.
Is the work ‘great’? Time and taste will determine the pedigree of greatness. The artist does their best and the price reflects their effort and confidence in the paintings merit.
I was setting up to do some ‘search sketches’ on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in 2011, gathering first impressions of a pale violet grey cloud-bank that was rolling in from the east, gazing out and out and out at the dome of nature and then dashing at it with a black pen and finishing with a tonal wash of West Coast greys and blues. Fifteen minutes later I started a small watercolour of the same scene, having explored the mood and flow of the landscape with my 8 by 10 in. ‘search sketch’. Each drawing is leading to the next painting, be it big or small, it is the culmanation of a process that started with the ‘quick sketch’.
Rembrant threw out his brushes. They had no value to him. Many artists stash away drawings and studies. They hold little value for them. Art Dealers and Museums are always looking for these little gems – usually 100 years later. They value them. A low price still can have lot’s of value. If it’s valuable to the artist it will be valuable for you. After all what’s wrong with a little cash for a quick dash.
This is a quick searching sketch which opened the door for the following painting in watercolour.
I am now working on a large Studio Masterwork ( shown below) based on these two outdoor works. All three works are valued by the artist and all three will be for sale at different prices.
West Coast Clouds ( work in progress ) 24 by 36 in. acrylic on linen canvas
Edvard Munch’s iconic painting sold for 119.9 million at auction. Mr. Munch could have used an advance on this sale at the time of it’s painting since it was painted on ‘cardboard’. He didn’t have the resources to purchase a canvas. The artist has to do what they do and many have day jobs to support this inner passion. At times it really does get frustrating and yet we manage to push through and get back at it. Was 119.9 million too much? Hard to answer that one but I believe Edvard Munch could have used some of it!
The bottom line should always be the same for every artist. What is the value of this work? Not how much is it worth? For myself, I put the greatest value on my Studio Works. They are my teachers and they tell me where I am going. They instruct me as to what to do next and at times they give me a lot of homework. My next value is for the Outdoor Paintings that capture a certain something that was beyond my expectation or perceived ability … in short a ‘breakthrough’. A selection of these are brought into the studio and developed without losing their ‘freshness’. The others are left as is and say, ” Do not touch me!” The last value is for the quick sketch that keeps the flow of it all going. Even though it is first to be done it is last to be valued. All three ‘value levels’ are worthy of worth. Some more than others .
I think it’s fairly obvious that if you are willing to pay $40 for a ‘pseudo print’ why not pay $40 for a genuine piece of art ? As Mr. Munch would advise us, “Sell the little ones and get materials with the money!” Ego Ego where do ‘I’ go. The only shame in a low price is when it’s a shame you didn’t share it for a little cash to someone who wants some real art on their walls and can’t afford the bigger bucks. Be willing to price all your work and have something for everyone … even if it’s just to get them started.
Below is a ‘Detail” shot of the finished painting ‘Broken Birch” from 2012. the above sketch in ink and wash started it all. Completion from start to finish was 3 years. Process is movement over time. Inspiration is a moment of time. Take the first bus and get going …transfers are always available.
If you want to do some ‘homework’ visit http://www.artbusiness.com/careerspecs.html and you will start to discover a very BIG WORLD … the WORLD OF ART … find out how to get quality art for your money!
Soft and glowing is what this time of day is all about. Although there are no strong, vibrant, colours there is a ‘luminous’ quality to the image that captures the lighting on this marshy landscape.
Most of the paintings done in the studio during the 80’s were in a ‘magic realist’ style. The term ‘magic realist’ has changed since then and today has all sorts of meanings and representations. In the 80’s it was a style of painting realism that elevated the ordinary and gave it a ‘magic’, a feeling, a mood, an elevated perception. In my case it was giving the paintings a luminosity that made them glow. Faber Birren’s colour theory was my main course of study at the time and I put his principals of ‘luminosity’ to good use.