Monday, December 29, 2008

Making so much art

I've been busy! I went to a wonderful and inspiring workshop early in December at Brio, an interesting art space in Scottsdale, Arizona. The workshop was put on by my friend, Nancy Reyner. She's the author of The Acrylic Revolution, and a truly inspired teacher. The artists in the class were all quite accomplished, so it was interesting to learn from them, too. Got to stay with my very best friend, which added to the fun of my 3 day workshop. This was the first actual workshop (not class, I've had plenty of those) I've ever attended. I can't even begin to describe how much I learned. Yes it was fun, but also really hard work.

Got back to Ajo and went to work in my studio! I decided to try a new tactic and started 8 new paintings at one time. I'm working on a new series, called Nooks and Crannies. My goal was to complete this group by December 30. I got all but one of them done. Working on a number of pieces at a time seems to be a more efficient way to go. I think it's because when I get stuck on one, I can move onto to an array of other paintings. Somehow, the solution comes to me by the time I get back to the problem child.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pricing artwork

Pricing art work is one of those things that most artists don't like to do. How in the world do you put a value on what you put your heart, your time, your ego and your money into doing? This is a particularly painful thing to contemplate during economic hard times. Should I mark those paintings down, down, down?

A friend recently suggested to me (actually more than suggested) that I raise the prices on my art work. I said "What, are you crazy?" The fact is that my pricing has remained the same for fifteen years. While raising the cost of anything is totally counter intuitive right now, that's just what I did.

There are many ways to calculate how much to charge for art work. Looking at other artist's pricing (if the work is comparable at all to yours) and charging accordingly is one way. Keeping track of the time it takes to create a work and figuring out an hourly wage is another. Being totally arbitrary is yet another.

I used to charge by the square inch. Most people flinch when they hear that. How cold blooded. How cut and dried. Well, I decided to go back to my old method. The thing that's nice is that once a decision is made about the square inch charge, it's easy to calculate a price for every painting.

But what about the tiny painting that took twice as long as a larger one to create? What about the piece where the materials were way more expensive than other paintings? I just figure that it all evens out eventually.

A good decision or a woefully bad decision? Stay posted.