Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Things I've Learned at the Art Show

The art show last weekend came and went ... and NO SALES AT ALL!!! Grr-r-r-r...

I wasn't the only one. Other artists had no sales, or they sold only small, inexpensive sculptures or prints of paintings.

In spite my initial frustration and anger about how it all turned out, I think I picked up on a few things that may help me move ahead.

-- There is no "economic recovery." It's a lie the politicians -- especially the US president -- keep telling us. People liked my work, but I have to offer it more inexpensively.

-- All of the artwork at the show was realism -- no abstract, impressionism or other styles that seem to be more popular in southern California. (However, I was the only "pure" landscape painter -- everybody else had wildlife prominently featured in their works). So there may be hope in continuing to work in my favored style. 
Art shows just don't seem to work for me anymore. They haven't for a long time. And another artist told me many of the galleries in Scottsdale, AZ are closed up -- couldn't make it. This tells me to skip the art shows and to be REALLY careful with galleries -- they will not be my savior. I'll have to decide if I want to approach them at all at this time.

-- All of the paintings I showed received a positive response. I'll continue with desert paintings, but I'll definitely add more other kinds of western landscapes, especially Colorado mountain scenes, with or without ruins of 19th century mines. These two pieces seemed to be the crowds' favorites:

Anza-Borrego,Carrizo Badlands,Canyon sin Nombre,ocotillo,desert flowers,wildflowers,springs

Badlands, 18" x 24" / 46cm x 61cm

spring,ocotillo,desert flowers,wildflowers,brittlebush,Encelia,desert dandelion,lupine

Springtime Ocotillo, 8" x 10" / 20cm x 25cm

So I'll be painting more ocotillos, desert mountains and flowers! And for the local market, I'll be painting Joshua trees with those fantastic monzogranite rock formations, too.

To make these paintings more affordable, I'll have to pass on doing the time-consuming, transparent glazing that I love. It gives the works a stained-glass luminence, but it does take more time to do. So the glazed paintings will be for galleries, a few rare selected shows or for me to keep! I'll offer the "art-on-a-budget" paintings on my website (SouthwestSpaces.com or MarkJunge.com) and to local merchants/galleries who may get tourists.customers who want memories of our beautiful Joshua Tree National Park.

Does this sound like a sound plan? I hope so!! At this point and in this economy, art is all I have. Maybe with the things I learned at the art show, I can still make it!



Shirley James said...

That sounds like a plan. I've had to make changes also. Waiting for results from some of the shows that I'm at on the East Coast. That was a little discouraging about Redlands, They normally are a good market. Hang in there

Mark J said...

Thanks, Shirley. I'll try!

Ola Sarri said...

Sorry to hear that. Hang in there!

I can only add that it's the same situation here in Sweden. It's extremely hard to sell anything above $150. Problem is, I make fairly large oil paintings, so there's no way I can sell for those prices, I would lose money on materials.

Mark J said...

Thanks, Ola. Sweden, too?? I didn't realize the art problems were worldwide! I hope it picks up for you soon. Could you work smaller for now?