Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I Don't Sell Prints

Many artists sell prints and I am sure in the future I will sell them as well. For now however, I am caught up in the romance of original artwork. The argument of 'prints v. originals,' like any good argument has valid points on either side. From a business perspective the argument could go either way. Prints allow more people to see your work, building stronger brand recognition. The lesser price of prints allows more people to afford your work, widening your target market. 

However as artists we play the differentiation card. No artist can paint voluminously enough to compete with mass production. It is our individual viewpoints that inform our artistic processes, which end in unique pieces of art. It is the unique individuality that makes art valuable. By selling prints you devalue your work, saturating the market with inferior goods. Prints say that your work is not in fact rare, individual and not worthy of fetching a high price.

My personal opinion on this however, has little to do with my business education, and much more to do with youthful idealism. Glen Hansard, of The Frames and The Swell Season, talks about letters in a similar manner when telling stories about his songs on The Swell Season's album "Strict Joy." Glen talks about reconnecting with an old flame through letters.
"...letters that are made of paper, that are put in envelopes, that are licked and touched... A letter, you can tear up, you can kiss, you can burn. You can put it under your pillow. You can do other things to it. You kiss an email and you just get a shock on your lips."
It is this romance that I'm drawn to. I spend time with my paintings. I hold them in my hands. I ponder them as they lay unfinished on my desk.  What you receive when you purchase a piece of mine is something that I have held dear to me, something I have taken pride in and not made 1000 copies of. From this perspective prints seem impersonal. 

This all being said, I have just finished my undergrad education and am trying to get into grad school. I can not say that I am living off of my work. I have only sold a handful of pieces. Headstrong romanticism will not pay the bills. However,  I am nothing if not idealistic. I am a painter after all.

**Photographs and digital illustration are of course excluded from this argument. **

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Painting with the Chill'ins

by Roman Payan
by Roman Payan (my personal favorite)

by Amelia Payan

by Amelia Payan

by Kaitlin Carroll

I'd been feeling a little down about painting recently, so when my sister, her husband, and the kid-lets, Roman and Amelia, came down to "Gigi and Grandpa's" house this afternoon, she brought the kids' painting stuff.  It was nostalgic painting with craft paint and kid's brushes. I love watching the freedom with which children paint. Roman's second painting (my favorite), he painted by picking up all the extra brushes on the table, dipping them in water, then dipping them in paint (the individual colors long-since mixed together) and finally onto the paper. It's made me really want to return to some paintings of pure abstraction.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Water Color No. 21 (Everglades Study)

 Last Monday my friend Cait Wade of Messier Object 45 went out to the Everglades to get our art on. She photographed while I painted. I haven't worked from sight in a while. I usually paint from memory, the landscapes I see in my day to day life stitching together gestate in my mind until they come our tinted by my memories and experiences.

We went to a few choice locations I'd been too afraid to venture to alone. This watercolor is my best from the day.

Commission Continued

Here is the painting after 20 or so hours.

 The painting has changed drastically in the last 10 hours of work. I tried to choose photos that had the largest breadth of change while still showing each phase it went through.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Etsy Shop Work: Scale

Earlier I'd posted photos of my new shelves, in hopes to portray the scale of my watercolors more accurately. As my friend Cait Wade, of Messier Object 45, pointed out, no one but I really knows the size of my little gnome and perhaps something more immediately recognizable would show scale better.  So I've taken some photos of my watercolors against books and next to my watercolor brushes. I feel like the books really show scale, but their bright colors are distracting. People who like my work talk about their simplicity and their calming qualities. The jury is still out as to whether or not I'll use the photos. Thoughts?