My latest very exciting news is that I sold a painting at the Flight of Fancy last week. I blogged about the creation of this canvas last March. It was inspired by the kindness of friendship. I wonder what thoughts or feelings it sparked for the buyer.
- The Gift, acrylic, 2009. (above); Peonies, acrylic, 2009. (below)
Like many artists, I feel awkward about the selling part. I just want to create the art and let someone else sell it. Many art-appreciators don’t realize that 99% of artists have to figure out how they are going to get their work seen by the public, on their own. This can mean paying thousands of dollars to rent a booth at a big show like the Toronto Art Expo, One of a Kind, or approaching galleries with a portfolio. And selling is a very different skill than creating.
I have been selling my paintings on my own for a number of years now, in self-organized group shows, art club shows, and in studio tours. While it is a thrill to get feedback from viewers and to actually meet future owners, it is quite wonderful to let someone else take the painting and match it with an interested buyer because that way, I can spend the time doing what I do best– creating the work.
- My canvas of Hollyhock will be coming home this week.
My daydream fantasy was that one day someone would walk into my studio, look at my work and say “Let me sell this! You paint the paintings and I’ll take care of the rest.” In some ways this has happened to me in Bear River.
- Painting under ‘Cordelia’, our willow tree.
The first time we visited this village, we went to the Flight of Fancy, a beautiful fine arts and fine craft store operated for almost 30 years by artist Robert Buckland -Nicks. I was impressed with the originality and the quality of the work he had in the store. I hoped he would be interested in selling my paintings in his second-floor art gallery, but I was too shy to show him the small paintings I’d stashed in my suitcase. After we moved to Bear River he approached me. He’d heard that I painted and asked to see my work. I kept putting Rob off because I believed that my best work was yet to come at some unknown future time. Finally he just showed up at the studio one day and left with a few canvases to hang at the store.
Since then Rob has sold 8 large paintings of mine in 18 months.
- Rob poses with me upstairs at the Flight of Fancy.
Like the rest of our life in Bear River this piece has fallen neatly into place. Rob drops into the studio now and again to look at what’s new and to talk about painting. I only have to paint the picture and figure out a title. Rob chooses pieces that he thinks will suit his store and his clientele.
The Flight is closed now until next spring.
- Crocosmia painting for next spring’s collection.