I absolutely love to paint.
I live to paint, my head is constantly in a state where it's working on solving a painting "issue" or working on the next few pieces and calculating what will need to be done to make them work. But I've learned to have other types of artwork or try to have alternatives available at my shows so I can not only offer a variety of work to people but also so I have different price points for people to chose from. I'd love to stand above the crowd and demand people buy my paintings but #1 my ego isn't that strong and #2 I believe it's important to be polite and provide the widest range of audience the opportunity to take something home...if they want to. Sounds simple enough but it took me few years and lots of listening to figure it out.
Thru my experience in painting and showing, I've learned something flattering: a lot of different types of people like my work. People from all different backgrounds - racial, financial and people from all different ages feel akin to the energy that's expressed thru my figures and the space that surrounds them on the canvas. But I've also learned that the work I produce is not something everyone can afford or room (4ft x 4ft or 4 ft x 5 ft and larger) to hang so it is with that varyied audience in mind that I started to put together pieces that have the same feel as the oil paintings but are in different price ranges (as well as sizes) and mediums.
Several years ago I really started to hear people when they said: "I love your work". I started to hear it as less of an ego boosting compliment and more of what they were actually saying: "this is how I feel", "this is how music feels to me", "this is how my head feels"..."you captured how I FEEL". Or, best of all, "I've never wanted a piece of artwork before but I can't stop thinking about your work". However, all the compliments were followed by the caveat "but I can't afford it" which is something I've learned to remedy.
Whether it's painting figures in motion (from black and white photographs) OR serious, contemplative, dour or exuberant and happy portraits - the work is meant to express the energy or felling or inner conversation that person could be having at that moment. The work is also meant to express an action or thought and not just be a recreation or nice depiction of the person in the picture and that is what people seem to be drawn to - the expression of what life feels like on the inside of our heads and bodies. Confusion, excitement, anger, frustration, joy, realization, trepidation, etc. I'm lucky in that people usually see the reflection of their inner world performed on canvas and recognize what it is I'm trying to do as opposed to seeing my paintings as strcily being something that would look pretty hanging over the couch. It's deeply flattering to know viewers feel it, feel the work and want to have it and I'd love for each person who feels a strong connection with the my paintings to be able to take a piece home but I cannot lower the prices of my paintings - it took me years to have the courage, experience and self respect to raise my prices to a level I was comfortable with. So, instead of lowering my value, I've found different ways to offer work but without feeling diminished. I decided to invest in producing work that everyone from the caterer to the collector could afford: prints - original, limited edition, one of a kind, hand pulled silk screen prints and also poster prints of my work:
|"Waiting"" as a two panel silk screen piece. "Waiting" is one of dozens of silk screen prints I've produced and had available at my shows.|
The poster prints I had made last year, have been even more popular. The initial investment took some time and dough but it's really gratifying to see people who are so excited by the work be able to take a version of it home -
|A few poster prints of my work.|
Lesson learned: because I finally heard what people where saying to me about the work I was able find ways to afford different types of work to a variety of people and price ranges I'm now looking in other directions as well. My newest obsession is to have work printed on fabric and see it used in clothing....Project Runway here I come. Finger crossed.
- To see more paintings from last year's solo show "Living in a Culture of Disregard" visit: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.117816578350900.20217.117743535024871&type=3
- To see more prints from last year's show visit: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.130628390403052.25184.117743535024871&type=3
"When you find a piece of art that you love,
you find a piece of yourself" -
Eden Fine Art