February 4, 2011

Keeping Things in Perspective...

"Pensive in Green"


Just over a year ago (January 15th, 2010 to be exact...) I left teaching after 14 and half years. Just had enough...knew it was time to do something else. That something else was to allow myself to be an "artist". Why not...I've been in advertising, in banking, in education...why not...art? But that's another discussion and I digress...
It has been an interesting year and while I have had my doubts, the beginning of this year has shown that my efforts are paying off. My "art" has had me named one of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine's finalist for their Artisan of the Year award and I just found out that a small piece I submitted to one of their "challenges" was also accepted as a finalist. I also just learned that another collage will be featured in a zine sometime in the future...details to come. So my work is starting to get some recognition. My Etsy sales, while still not where I'd like them, are starting to pick up so that's giving me hope as well. (I don't ever expect to make a living from my Etsy sales...just enough to cover my costs...) My sale yesterday of a small painting, "Pensive in Green" is particularly satisfying. It's not what I made on it...which wasn't much...but the fact that it sold two days after I listed it! Somebody is actually looking at my shop!!!

In any case, I'm feeling pretty good about becoming an artist. I might just start admitting to this when people ask what I'm doing now...

Last night, feeling good from the sale of my painting among other reasons, I settled into my favorite chair to start reading the latest issue of Art in America. This is a magazine I've read for a couple of years now to help give me a perspective on the art markets around the world. Now granted, most of the discussions are about the high-end shows, auctions, and galleries...but still interesting. So I'm enjoying the articles and the ads...and as always happens...I come upon an ad from one of the auction houses showing various pieces that will be offered in an upcoming auction. My eye was drawn to a watercolor painting. Now this turned out to be a small work...something like 6x9 inches in a very abstract style. Nice colors...nice composition. Then I looked at the "estimated price"....$60,000 to $90,000! Wow!  

Now...the artist wasn't someone I recognized...and I won't show my ignorance by saying who it was...but $60,000 for a 6x9 inch watercolor? The painting I just sold, also a watercolor, measures 8x8 inches and I sold it for a mere $8 (plus $2 s/h).  One wonders...but as my wife reminded me, it's not what you do, it's who your  agent is. I guess. Maybe someday "Pensive in Green" will fetch $60,000 at auction. Maybe I'll be around to see it happen. In any case, I will continue to paint....even for $8.00. It's worth it.

3 comments:

Karen Cole said...

Hi Dave. Thanks for the visit and your comments. Truly appreciated.

I love your whole attitude here. Your profile statement. Your artistic philosophy.

I usually think it is great that you sold a piece. I find it a wonderful thing when a piece touches someone enough that they want it for themselves and are willing to pay for it, no matter what the price. Congrats. Keep painting!

Erika Lee Sears said...

It's funny what something is worth and what neck of the woods is also a factor. a gallon on milk in NYC will cost twice as much then a gallon of milk at the grocery store by my house.

Dave said...

@Karen ~ thank you for your words of encouragement...I will certainly keep painting!

@Erika ~ isn't that the truth! I guess I'm just always amazed on how people decide on an artwork's quality based on its selling price. Oh well...