In the late 1970s I painted quite large landscapes, usually on canvas up to 180 x 120 cm. People bought large work for their homes but alas, there’s little demand for such large scale work these days!

Today’s featured work is a painting (120 x 90 cm) of The Eldon Range in Tasmania.

How well is art selling in your town?

In Tasmania all is not well with the art market. One is doing well here if they sell 25% of their work at exhibitions. The last exhibition I curated realised sales of 15.5%. The Water Ways exhibition in Hobart than ran for four days and closed on Monday sold 25% of its paintings. One recent exhibition in Hobart sold only one painting.

Times are tough.

Art is one of the first casualties of any economic downturn.

Let’s face it art is considered a luxury item. This situation has seen artists having to be more careful with what they paint, how they frame  and where they sell their work.

Some artists have resorted to using cheap framing and have lowered their prices. Cheap frames are never the way to go, they only cheapen your work!

Is there a solution?

There’s no ‘magic wand’, but artists need to be more aware of what is happening around them. You should never drop your standards, indeed, if there was ever a time to lift them, then, it’s now. Do less work, but better work. Stick to your prices and paint what you want to paint, not what you think the market wants. Don’t frame everything you do.

Join an art group such as an art society where you can be part of large exhibitions for far less cost than holding your own.

Why not try and market your (unframed) work on the Internet? Join Redbubble for instance and market your work to a broader audience.

Have you ever tried selling your work as greeting cards?

It’s not all gloom and doom!

Tomorrow: The problem with digital art.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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10 Responses to THE ART MARKET

  1. Matt W. says:

    I was sitting on twitter trying to find something to cure my boredom – and WHAM – somebody I follow tweeted this post. Now, I am not quite as bored. Thanks for posting great material

  2. glenda addison says:

    Very interesting and useful comments for this financially difficult time. Thanks.

  3. Gillian says:

    I think you’re right – artists shouldn’t compromise on quality, but times are tough indeed.
    At my humble level, I’m happy to sell my artwork through stock image sites like iStock and Shutterstock. They sell for peanuts but often many times over so it keeps me in materials.

  4. Gerry Jensen says:

    Great thoughts on what to do when the “sale” of paintings is not so good Richard. I think that in tough times it is a good time for the artist to hone and fine tune their work. I have committed to painting everyday and not to sell or exhibit unless my work is of a higher standard. I think that in tough times we must actually become better artists and not discount our work or use inferior frames etc. Frame less works but put out onlyyour best work for the “few” buyers there are at the moment. and remember some of the old masters never sold one painting!! Good stuff comes out of hard times.

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