Art is a tough mistress

While I enjoyed this past weekend’s art show, it definitely reaffirmed my belief that art is a tough mistress. People stop, visit and tell you they like – sometimes even love your work – but they don’t always buy. Here in Oregon the economy is still rough and money is tight – not to be spent on non-essential items. And, it was obvious this weekend that money wasn’t being spent.

Personally, though, I count the Shady Cove Art Walk a success. Not only did I get positive feedback, but I also sold a recent piece, “Ambush at Buffalo Gap”, along with prints of “Santa’s Last Stop”. Finally, my work “Where is He?” (not yet shown on the blog) was featured on the brochure. I can’t ask for better publicity than that.

I love creating art, experimenting with new techniques, refining my skills and telling a story through images. Art and history are my passion and I’m grateful that I now have the time, energy and yes, money to pursue those dreams. Artists are often their own toughest critics, and I am no exception, especially when I compare myself to others, as there are so many truly talented and creative people. And yet, as I look over the collection of my work, I’m happy – my skill is developing, stories are being told, and I’m starting to believe that yes, I am an artist.

I’m looking forward to my next show in November.

44 thoughts on “Art is a tough mistress

  1. Unfortunately, the market for paintings or non-photographic art, no matter how well done, simply does not exist. The average upper income person does not decorate that way anymore and lower or middle income families rarely if ever have. When they do, they want it unique to them or their family. I hope this will change in the future because there are so many talented artists such as yourself out there. Competing against photographic media has always been a major problem for modern day artists. (Note: I do not sell my photos.)

  2. Yes, I have the same thing happen when i show my work during open studio events. Hundreds of people come through my studio and give great feedback. Occasionally someone will buy a painting. I have sold some very large paintings so there is hope! But, with many people buying prints these days, it seems they want original art at print prices. They also just don’t have the money to buy original art. So, it’s a dilemma.

    • It is a dilemma, and the art world has changed dramatically with the economy… it’s understandable. I guess I’m glad I followed my father’s advice as a young man. While there is art everywhere and in so many aspects of our life, it’s a tough way to make a living.

  3. Hey trapper. It’s the same over here my friend. Feel like I can’t be bothered creating this lovely stuff we do but you got to do it. I’d give it away for free if I could. And sometimes do. Sure ŷou can relate to this. Keep painting, keep impressing, keep having a nice time doing it, what else would you rather do. I occasionally meet up I with a friend of mine who lives down the road from me who makes a very tidy living out of art. Publicity and a good agent seem to be the way. David hockney, say no more. Build a story, stick to it, flaunt it, listen to no one except you.

  4. I wish you all the best with you next show! I’m always pleased to see a new painting from you and look forward to seeing more art. thank you for sharing ~Scott

  5. It is a tough way to make a living, no doubt about it. We always have people come into the gallery and tell us how wonderful the work is, and then they leave without buying so much as a card – sometimes after the Painter has spent more than an hour with them teaching them about how etchings are made. I know times are hard for all of us, but I do think that artists are important people in our society and should be valued more than they appear to be, I hope your next show is a great success – it sounds like you didn’t do badly with this one so far as publicity and appreciation go, and I wish you increasing success as you continue to put the work out there and get it seen.

    • Thank you for the nice comment. I did feel like it was a personal success and walked away happy, but I know there were others who were… disappointed. I hope for you and the Painter that the time spent with potential clients will be time well spent and it pays off in the future. Little seeds sown, so to speak. :).

  6. I agree with you. I always have many “lookers” when I do a show and a few buyers. And it is so much work to go out and set up a booth at an art show… and pay the entry fee. Your art is great and congrats on your sale! Sounds like you may live in the area I grew up? The Rogue Valley. I was born in Ashland and went to SOU. Most of my family is still in the area so I visit once a year. Last year we drove through Shady Cove on our way to Bend to visit more family. The best Ice Cream, ever. 🙂 Such great memories. Thanks for stopping by my blog and best of luck on your next show.

    • Thank you, I appreciate the encouragement. And yes, I do live in the area you grew up in. :). It’s a great place to live. I enjoyed stopping by your blog and look forward to seeing more from you.

  7. Maybe if they don’t buy at this show, they will look for you at the next. I hope you pass out cards, too. 🙂 Congrats on having your painting featured. Warmly, Brenda

  8. Great work! And congrats in the sales at the art walk. I know what you mean about art being a tough mistress, I’m just starting to really get out their and show my work but am definitely finding it a little disheartening. But I love my work and I love making it so I’ll focus on that 🙂

  9. Your paintings are beautiful. I like to buy original art only but unfortunately I don’t have the income to support my habit :(. in my lifetime, I have only purchased about six original paintings and as I moved a lot I lost some of them, but I plan to expand my collection over time now that i am older and a bit more settled down.
    I love your banner painting with the bufallo. I sent your blog link to my brother and sister-in-law who are both passionate hunters using archery in Ontario, Canada.
    Passion is the best motivator 🙂

  10. Yes…she is a tough mistress. Your work is fantastic.
    I sold a painting yesterday. Sold it for way too little…but now can pay overdue water bill. I’ve been known to say, I wish I could pay my energy bill with the compliments I get. Smile

  11. I’m not a professional but do have some photos for sale online and in a local book store. Even though I get many “I love your work” comments I’ve never sold a thing. It would be fun to do so but it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m following the old Axum of do what you love and the rest will fall in place.

  12. Turn your mistress into your lover! As an artist you really have no choice as you are not going to stop, you can’t. I actually had a really successful show in October and I paint abstract. I offered a rent to own (50% down with post dated cheques or paypal transactions). Sold 2 paintings that way and had so much positive feedback on the idea. Just thought I would share. Thanks for “liking” my work.

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