Monday, November 21, 2011


Unfortunately, I continue to feel burned-out and lacking in any confidence whatsoever when it comes to the idea of painting for a living. I'm still considering trying my hand at writing, but I'm not feeling especially confident there, either. And I feel so TIRED all the time!

On a related note, one of the art business forums I belong to had a question posted in their Art Business section by an artist who has a lot of trouble selling his traditional landscape paintings. Following are excerpts from a couple of insightful (IMO) responses:

"I finally came to believe that with regard to traditional landscapes, people HAVE FINALLY SEEN IT ALL. What with exciting computer games, camera phones, youtube, etc., it takes a lot nowadays to visually stimulate people - they respond to things that are new and different. And traditional landscapes are...well...not new and different. They ARE regarded as out-of-date - they have been around for - how many centuries?"

"...landscapes are very old fashioned and unless there is something really interesting and unique to them, you better be happy simply painting for yourself and have no need to sell. Many of the traditional galleries in this region are not moving quiet landscapes at all, mainly because there are bigger, brighter and more interesting subjects and styles which get attention (figurative works are really hot right now). As well, landscapes are seen as something which parents or grandparents have on their walls and buyers are getting younger and younger. (or we're getting older!)"

Has this been my problem all along? Younger buyers aren't buying traditional landscapes because they're old-fashioned and not exciting enough? I've also seen landscapes on that look like they could be backdrops for video games or for movies like "Avatar." Is that the look I should go for (if I want to try selling artwork again?)


Amatheya said...

Sadly I agree with the comments that were posted on your forum. I find that these days it's really hard to get excited about a landscape unless it's very dramatic.

Maybe instead of changing your style you should look morphing it into something more appealing to the current market. Maybe add people or animals to your landscapes so that the pictures are telling a story instead of being static?

Mark J said...

Thanks for your comments, Amatheya. I have, depending on the individual painting, added wildlife or people to the paintings, and it doesn't seem to make a difference. maybe really dramatic lighting and/or colors would help, but I'll have to admit: I've been trying to figure out how to paint what I want to paint that the public will buy, and I can't seem to get it. =(