Showing Sold Paintings Notes
Showing sold paintings was a topic of discussion by Facebook artists recently. Someone asked why one would be showing paintings marked sold, or photos of collectors with their new paintings?
There were a long list of answers written in the post. One artist seemed aghast that people would consider selling work the important part of being a professional painter. I often run into artists who pooh pooh selling as if it were bad form. They feel it diminishes an artist to be concerned with selling their art. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of that attitude. That is an art school attitude pushed on young artists by art professors who have tenure. They don’t have to sell art, and because they have tenure and with big names, they easily do sell.
Professional art is a business, like being an engineer. If you work full time at your craft, you must have sales or have a separate income stream. It is that simple. If you feel it lowers you to sell your paintings then work as a sales clerk and paint to your hearts content, but don’t infer that true artists shouldn’t paint to sell. That is utterly ridiculous. Nearly all of the famous Renaissance artists painted to sell, without lessening their quality at all.
Showing sold paintings encourages more sales. It makes you look successful. Collectors want to know that there are others who value your work too. They are sometimes new to collecting and afraid that buying an unsuccessful painter’s work will make them look naïve. They feel safe in purchasing work from an artist who sells lots of paintings. One of the main reasons I show sold paintings with their new owners is because I love my collectors and want to honor them by thanking them publically on social media. I don’t take a single sale for granted. Every dollar that a collector gives me is a way to survive in this competitive, very difficult business.
Showing sold paintings identifies paintings that are no longer available but still of good quality. Sometimes I sell derivative paintings from ideas of paintings that I once sold. I don’t mean copies. I mean paintings that have a similar theme, perhaps with a different palette, different size or direction of format. This is a common way to work with decorators or art consultants. Sharing excellent paintings that are no longer available makes it possible to sell new paintings with a similar theme.
Collectors often enjoy looking at your portfolio of paintings that have sold. It gives them a longer range view of your career over a period of time. They often enjoy seeing how your work has evolved over a period of time. They have the opportunity to look at a variety of techniques, palettes and themes, perhaps choosing ideas from your past works for future commissions.
My advice is to show your sold paintings and enjoy showing off your collectors, with their permission. Don’t worry about what other artists who are insecure might think. The beauty of being a painter is that you work for yourself and you don’t have to tow any one’s line or meet anyone else’s standards. You owe loyalty and support to your collectors, not other artists. Be friends with artists, yes, but don’t let their opinions make decisions for your career.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…
My canary, Bubba, has a new bathtub. I noticed that he was trying to bathe in his water dish, which is quite small. His new bathtub is really cool. It is large, round, stainless steel and fits on the side of his cage with sturdy hooks. He is now upscale.
Easy Chicken Pie
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 small onion diced
roux of equal parts butter and flour, stirred and cooked in a skillet.
Add 1 can chicken broth, two bullion chicken cubes, dash of wine, 1/2 tsp dried thyme , salt and pepper. Add 1 cup half and half. Stir until thickened.
Place one refrigerated premade dough in deep pie pan. Place chicken and vegetables in pie. Pour creamed mixture on top. Don’t over fill. Cover with second pie dough and pinch edges together. Cut slit in top.
Bake on a sheet pan at 350 until bubbly and hot with brown crust.