Isn't it something when something you are tempted to do turns into something else?
One of the hardest things for an artist to do is to determine the price of their own artwork. I talk about this in an earlier post: Commissions, Sales, and Gifts; oh my. There is so much to consider: the materials you purchased, the canvas or watercolor papers, the photography that you might work from, the amount of time and days that the artist worked, never mind the reworking if things didn't go quite right. Framed, or unframed. Sitter's fee if you do portrait work from life. Some people think we price by size. If so, my 5 x 7-inch watercolors can't compare to 20 x 30-inch canvases. Are oils worth more than watercolors?
I don't expect to have any answers today. I did however decide to at least compare my price base with some local artists. A quick google for local galleries would be my first interest. The first one that popped up was LibertyTown Arts Workshop. Great! There are a number of local artists who have their paintings (oil, watercolor, acrylics) along with weaving, pottery, jewelry, and glasswork here in this 13,000 square foot building.
I'm ashamed to say that I had only visited this gallery once or twice in the 30 + years that I have lived in Fredericksburg. The website had a lot of information. Then one item caught my eye. "Looking for Artists" was a tab. On a whim, I clicked it. An upcoming exhibition called "Feast for the Eyes" was coming up in just a week. The subject matter was "FOOD." Take it to any length you wished, said the prospectus.
Why I DO paint food, and have plenty of yummy images in my drawing portfolio! I immediately thought about the works that I had sitting on the shelves in my artist studio. I decided to enter three art pieces.
The work above is actually 4 different watercolors. I found a nice "window" frame in our local Michael's
It shaped up nicely and I did the necessary paperwork.
Again, I checked my drawing portfolio for works going back over three years. I came up with another three "juicy" images: a pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. I framed that one up for delivery.
My third choice was a given. I had already framed this one and it was on display for sale at Heather Boutique where I sell my artwork. It had not sold so I figured, why not.
Again, these are three illustrations in watercolor framed together.
I completed the artworks for presentation and brought these into the gallery. I was told that the Juried announcement for submission would be in a few days. I received a notice that two out of the three entries would be in the month-long show and be up for sale, as required, The one not selected was the pineapple, strawberries, and grapes threesome.
LibertyTown presented a Facebook live stream the afternoon of opening the exhibit. I luckily was on Facebook and came in as a viewer a bit after it started. I watched as the gallery owner was moving through the entries and described each art piece in detail. As the video was winding down she mentioned a few "honorable mentions" and I realized that the jury had picked the awarded artworks.
WOW! I was shocked and humbled that the "Vintage Botanicals" was awarded FIRST PLACE.
Later that evening my family attended opening night. While we were standing nearby, an employee at the gallery came near the wall display, she walked by, phone in one hand, clipboard in the other. She placed a small red dot on the label. The artwork had been sold.
All this in a range of just a few days. Life is good.