Friday, May 28, 2010

Buzz buzz buzz

Some bumbly bees:

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I posted previously that I wasn't sure what I'd end up doing for the last set of paintings. I've started a bunch, and 3 have ended up as fish paintings, there are 3 bumble bees, and 3 cottagey ones. Not sure if the cottagey ones will get done before Art in the Park, though. Here are the fish, almost finished:

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last new work before Art in the Park

This is the last set of paintings I'll do before the show. Still doodling, still not sure what I'm going to do with them.

I'm tempted to just do grumpy guy pictures like that sketch on the right. Would be kinda funny...

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Spruce rock outpost

This one's mostly done. Yes I'm working today even though it's a holiday: Art in the Park is coming up in less than two weeks so I'm trying to squeeze in a bit of extra work.

After this one's done I'll probably do some more mini paintings. I should probably do some cttagey images, but I'm kind of feeling like I need to do something cartoony. Check back here to see what happens, because I really have no idea myself...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Piney lakey finished

Here's a close up photo:

Now I have to figure out what to do with the next one. That gets harder as a show approaches. Do I do something fun and cartoony or do just stick to landscape because that's a safer bet especially because the few brain cells I have left are tired and sore? Or do I one of those crash and burn experimental things that are clanging around in the hollow back spaces of my mind?

Who knows?

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Piney Lakey

Today I'm working on this one:

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Supply and demand that doesn't stretch

The other day I mentioned to a friend that I was having trouble keeping paintings in stock. I know that's not a bad problem to have mind you, but it does make it harder to put a good show together. My friend suggested that I should follow supply and demand and I should raise my prices and thereby slow my sales down.

Unfortunately, I don't think this will work, even if I ignore the idea that at this stage of my career I need to get as many paintings out into the world as possible and not worry about maximizing dollars per painting. An even stronger reason that I have to be very careful about raising my prices is that you can't lower them if you go too high.

I am finding out that the business of selling art is a little different than commodities that go up and down like oil or gold. Those types of things have an elastic supply and demand type of behaviour, whereas art is inelastic.

Art is more like edging towards a cliff. Galleries and other sources have informed me that once you're established you can raise your prices, but you can't drop them.

There are apparently artists who went too high with their prices (without a commeasurate increase in quality), and what happens then is not a predictable slowing down of sales, but a complete dropping off. Basically, their careers are finished. If they drop their prices they devalue all the paintings that they've already sold, and they send a signal that they might go down again, meaning that their paintings aren't reliable investments. The other signal they send is that their existing collectors paid too much. Their only options are to quit painting or to start over again at much lower prices using a pseudonym. Yikes.

So in the end, you have to suck it up, pick a reasonable price scheme (mine goes by size) based on your average quality work, and live with the fact that you'll be selling your best pieces at less than their value. And then you gradually inch your prices up and inch towards that cliff.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

New painting finished

Here's a grainy phone photo of the painting I finished on Saturday. I'm not sure about the name yet, but it'll probably have some combination of backwoods backroad lotsa miles and a six pack on the passenger seat. Just kidding. Maybe 'Saturday logging road 1982' - oh wait that's pretty much the same thing.

Headed north. Northeast northwest it doesn't matter cause I got lotsa gas and lotsa miles. something like that. Titles are the worst, unless you're an artist like The Charming Baker, then your titles rock and you make it look easy. Oh well, title it no, the work has to stand on it's own.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Love and hate stage

This is the stage in the painting that I love and hate: when the underpainting's done. There are parts of it that I love, and I really don't want to paint over it. It's raw and loose and scribbly, but I know that it's going to look better after I do the over painting. Yes, there are definitely customers for the raw and loose and scribbly paintings, but from my experience with trying it out on the small painings, I'm pretty sure that there are a lot fewer of them. It would be nice to say f*ck it and do the scribbly paintings, but I'm pretty sure my income would drop off. Not so good.

I'm trepidatious about the next layers, I hate this stage because I'm worried about screwing the piece up. Underpainting's easy to fix, overpainting is nearly impossible. Underpainting's like rehearsal, overpainting's like a live performance.

Anyway here it is at the love hate stage:

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

This am

It's Massive Attack and some mad scribbly action. I have no idea how this one is going to work out...

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


I'm starting on a new piece, I have the panel and I know I want to do so something vertical and treeish with it, but i'm still trying to figure out how that's going to work:

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Chinatown Remix tomorrow

I'm not participating in this studio/restaurant tour, partially because I wasn't really paying attention and because I'm busy getting ready for my summer shows, but it is going on in my neighbourhood and it's a fun event if you're looking for something to do.

Also, I wasn't really keen on hanging paintings in a restaurant for a month or turning my living room into a temporary gallery, but then someone at Raw Sugar said just use your porch. Then a dim witted light bulb went off in my head and I realized that I could set up my summer show booth on my driveway, so maybe that's what I'll do next year. Ha!

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Winter minis in progress

I know, it seems weird that I'm doing winter paintings as the weather gets really nice and spring is sliding into summer. Actually, I seem to be going in reverse, having done a set of summer minis, then a set of spring minis, and now I'm doing a winter set.

I guess I'm that kind of person who (mostly inadvertently) does the opposite. Opposite of what you ask? Left/right, whatever was the last thing i was thinking about. I'm also terribly indecisive, spending inordinate amounts of time trying to calculate the best course of action or thing to buy, getting more confused than ever, and then just going with some other random option that I wasn't even considering. You should see the groceries I come home with if I don't have a very specific list!

But I digress, photo:

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring paintings

Here are some spring landscapes that I just finished:

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One thing I like about spring

Is that I can open the studio window and hear the breeze in the trees with their newly opening leaves. Reminds me of camping and working up north in the bush, or something vague and good like that.

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