Last week my wife Val and I went to visit Shirley and Rod at their gallery in Scottsdale, a lovely town in Northeast Tasmania. I took with me 4 paintings that will be part of an exhibition there in June. It was great to catch up with them after 12 months away.
I got to have a chat with Shirley and she wanted to know when I would be holding an exhibition in the gallery. I’ve been keen for some time to have one there, but the time has never been “right”.
The problem is that my paintings aren’t big sellers. I seem to do well when it comes to art prizes, but not so well when it comes to big sales. Why is this so?
One could come up with a host of reasons from my preference for coloured pencils to the hard-edged nature of my technique. But the real reason has stared me in the face for a number of years: I don’t paint what the majority of the buying public like. I paint what I like, the way I like and when I like.
This is not good economics! If I relied on my art for my income I would be a lot thinner than I am at present!
It’s a dilemma that a lot of artists face; does one paint for one’s self or paint what sells? Some artists have the ability to sell everything they paint, and good luck to them. Alas, mine situation is not that rosy. The solution?
Since I returned from my “gap year” holiday I have decided to concentrate on trying to win some art prizes. I don’t know where or when, but I have a plan and it starts now!
What I paint for my exhibition at Scottsdale later next year is a problem that I will have to ponder carefully. My immediate concern is will I sell any paintings at my exhibition next year? To be honest, I fear that although the work will look vibrant and I hope rouse the imagination, there will be few, if any red dots. I’m not being pessimistic, just a realist.
I am who I am, and I want my art to reflect that, but it’s hard in a market where photographic-like art sells well.
Today’s photo is of the early stages of a painting that is the third in a series that I am doing featuring the lounge room in the old shearers’ quarters at the historic farming property, Cheshunt, in Tasmania.
Silence pervades, as the morning sun pierces the window, revealing a single mug on a dusty wooden table. Where has everyone gone?
More to come.