Oct. 26, 2010
From my point of view Lawrence Art Walk, last Saturday and Sunday, was a great experience. In all 44 people stopped by to view my paintings. Many were awed by the sheer number of paintings on my basement walls. I only had one that was painted on dyed silk which seemed to be a favorite of many but no one bought it.
This year, facing the reality of recession, I tried something new and set out unframed sale paintings priced at $10, $25, and $35. I’ve heard all the reasons not to do that. People will see those on someone’s walls and think all my work is of that lesser quality. People won’t want to pay more for what I consider my good quality work. And it is unfair to other artists who are trying to make a living selling art.
Those are good points. When a friend stopped by and was trying to decide which of two $25 paintings to buy, she asked me which I liked best. I told her honestly that if I liked those paintings, I wouldn’t be selling them at those prices. But if I am in Art Walk next year, I will probably offer sale paintings again and here’s why.
From a very practical standpoint, I earned enough from selling sale paintings to pay the $75 fee that it cost me to be in art walk, and a bit more if the people who asked me to save sale paintings for them that they will come back and pay for later actually do that. But here’s the best reason. An elementary school aged girl arrived with her mother. When she entered the basement room and saw all those paintings, she exchaimed, “Wow!” She eagerly examined them, including the sale paintings, then asked her mother to try to guess which one she thought was the very best of all. Her mother couldn’t guess, since what she had chosen was a $25 painting of a maple tree in all its fall glory. When her mother saw the price, she agreed to buy it for her. Two other elementary school aged sisters decided they must have two small abstract $10 paintings that were kind of a pair. Their mother reminded them that they each had $10 at home and if they wanted the paintings they could come back later for them, which they agreed to do. So maybe what I am doing is inspiring the next generation of art collectors.