Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Does This Hat Make me Look Fat?

A drawing of my granddaughter on her first birthday. I gave her a pink ruffled bonnet, and she spent the next few minutes trying to get it off. I did manage a few photos before she succeeded. I followed this drawing up with an oil painting, but failed to take a photo of it before it got away from me.

“It takes money to make money.” You’ve probably heard this saying all of your life, and it’s true; even in the blogosphere. To get your blog noticed, you sometimes have to join a site and pay for more publicity. To get your art noticed, you have to enter contests, join web sites, and definitely paint something unique and different.

Canvases cost, paint costs, and all the mediums and additives that create beauty are going up in cost. As artists, we’re also competing with reproductions, and warehouse artwork where a photographic print is spruced up with some dashes of oil paint to give it the illusion of an original oil painting. The cost: $45 to $75 compared to an original work of art anywhere from $300 to $1,000. Given this economy, which would you buy?

Still it’s in our bones, our guts. To stop painting would be to deny that “high” we get when paint flows, artistic vision meets reality and magic happens. This rush of passion and emotion is what keeps an artist painting even when demand is dried up. If we’re lucky, someone will like what we do. We may win a juried contest. A collector may see our potential and the money reverses from outlay to income.

In the meantime, we stack our paintings in closets, under beds, in a few stores and hotels who will have us and hope for the best. If we sell a few prints or cards, we feel lucky.