Saturday, April 30, 2011

New wip and a rant

Haven't posted much this month.  I have been real busy painting and getting ready for this coming weekend's showing and next weekend's juried art show.  I promised you a rant in the title so here goes....
People who complain about art costing too much have no idea the amount of work that goes into being an artist.  I think most people think artists just happily paint for a few hours everyday and that is it.  We also collectively have this idea that to earn lots of money we must be working extremely hard at something we hate.
I wish that all I had to do was paint, but that alone would still take up a big chunk of my time.  Each painting I do takes me anywhere from 12 to 40 hours to complete, depending on size and difficulty.  This is usually spread out over many days, painting anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day.  Once a painting is complete I have to varnish, wire, and sometimes frame.  Varnishing alone can take me hours to do, as I seem to have bad luck with it and often have to go repaint things I messed up with the varnish.  I do all my own framing and this is by no means easy or quickly done.
The other time consuming aspect of being an artist is the copying of your work, or taking photographs, scanning, etc.  I spend a lot of time photographing my pieces.  I have to do it outside on a good weather day.  This can be challenging at best.  Then I have to edit all my pieces in Photoshop to make them as close to the real work as possible to post online.  All of this can take me anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to do, on just one piece of art.  Next you spend time uploading art to all of your websites where you sell prints, Etsy, Red Bubble, etc.  This can often take up an afternoon.
Next you have making prints, packaging prints, shipping prints, making other things to sell like pendants (this takes up lots of time).  So if you add all this up we are going over 40 hours of work a week. 
Pricing your art is one of the hardest parts of being an artist.  What is it's value?  That is a hard question.  We certainly do not get paid for our time.  Just to make a nice round $10 bucks an hour we would have to sell a $400 painting a week, every week.  Then there is the obscure question of how good is it.  We all have seen artwork that sells for thousands that we wouldn't pay $10 for, and ones that sell for $100 that seem to be worth a lot more.
My pricing is random and somewhat based on how much I am attached to the work, and the size of the piece.  I am usually flexible though, and willing to hear offers of course.
Okay, that is about it for my rant, although I haven't even mentioned the high cost of art supplies.  Most of you reading this are artists too, so I am probably preaching to the choir.  But many of my friends that are not artists, even my own husband, have no idea what I do all day.  Somehow I have to fit in cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and taking care of my kids and myself in all of this.  Oh, and I left out the self-promotion on the internet this blog....there is another few hours a day, just trying to get your work out there and seen (advertising).
Okay, on to my current work in progress.  I have been experimenting with different surfaces.  This one is small because it is a sample that I got from Raymar of one of their polyflax cotton canvas panels.  It is a very nice surface that I will definately try again.  It is also what sparked my rant, because it is only 9x12 inches, but I have already put about 12 hours into painting it and am still not totally done.  Just because it is smaller than many of my other works does not mean it is worth less.  I am also really loving it, it has changed a lot already from this pic I am posting now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

May Events and new wip

It's been a busy. busy Spring.  My kids were just on Spring Break and it seems I haven't gotten much done in the way of painting, which has me fearing Summer break.  I have been hard at work getting ready for May though.  I am going to be doing a few fairs starting in May.  The first one is May 1st at Seventh Street Gifts in Newport, Ky.  I will be the featured artist that day during their Spring Sundaze event.  There will be live music provided by Poke, a herbal workshop, food, and readings.  It takes place from 1-5 pm and you can read more about it at the website here.
The next weekend, May 7th-8th, I will have a booth at Mayfest in Lexington.  This will be my first official juried art fair.  I am pretty excited, but also a little stressed.  Anyone who has done a juried art fair will know there is a lot of stuff you need to have to do it.  For instance, most require you have a white canopy tent which are not cheap.  Then there is the structures to hold your art.  The cost is starting to add up, so I will be attempting to do many more of these fairs in the future to justify my expenses :).
  Thanks to my good friend Barbara Glatzeder I will have a whole bunch of pretty cameo art pendants to sell at Mayfest.  I am hopeless when it comes to making these kind of things, so she volunteered to put them together for me and ship them to me all the way from Germany.  I have been hard at work now putting together the chains and cords for them and the ones that are finished are turning out so beautifully.  Mayfest is over Mother's Day weekend, so I am hoping these will be bought for some lucky mamas.

The next weekend in May will be the opening of a group show I will a have a piece in called "Gods and Goddesses" in Richmond, VA.  It will be at an awesome little place called C'est Le Vin Wine and Art Gallery starting May 13th and running to June 5th.  The show will have work from 6 women artists and 6 men artists representing gods and goddesses from around the world.  My Lilith will be there, along with work by some other amazing artists like Helene Ruiz and Lynnette Shelley.  If you live close to Richmond try to make it out for this amazing exhibit.

Lastly, I wanted to share some other big news.  I recently signed on with Kats Magical Patches to license my work on fabric blocks.  These are fabric patches that you can sew on quilts, handbags, throw pillows, or just about anything your heart desires.  This is a new company, but she has already signed on over 60 amazing fantasy artists.  Next month she will be having a little contest amongst the artists on her Facebook fan page.  The fans will like their favorite image and one lucky fan will win a fabric block of the winning design.  Go and become a fan now to participate next month here.

And here is a little preview of the piece I am working on for this little contest.  It is Titania, the Faery Queen.
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