If the internet had been around back when I first began my studies in art it would have made things so much easier. The internet is a library at your finger tips but more than that of course are the videos. I have found them invaluable as I continue my progression in art. but it should not all be intake. Somewhere along the way there should be some output. If I have benefited from others then I feel I need to pass on what limited knowledge I have and so help some other learning struggling artist. So,, from time to time I will be posting some things that I have learned or am learning so as maybe be of some help. This is a two way street. As I teach, I learn. and not just from what I am doing but also from the feedback that I get from others so don’t be afraid to catch me on mistakes or pass on tips you have learned. This can be a fun blog so let’s see what we can do with it.
On selling art
I recently visited an Art gallery in southern California. It really was a very nice gallery and had some outstanding artwork on display. However I was told that the gallery would be closing soon as their lease was running out and they could no longer afford to renew the lease. Typical story as landowners keep charging more and more. When I was working, here in Concord in the late 90’s we were paying about 52 cents a square foot for warehouse space. When I retired in 2016 the same was going for $1.42 for office and $1.20 for warehouse. Costs keep increasing and art galleries are suffering. In Carmel several galleries that had a long standing history have had to shut their doors. So then what is the reason that galleries seem to be struggeling to stay alive and for that matter artists. I think that there are several reasons. First of all think about it. What are the odds that the average homeowner will spend 8 or 900 dollars or more for an original piece of artwork? If they are art lovers they may just not be able to afford it. So who can? Mainly art collectors. People that are buying art as and investment and appreciate quality original art. But I believe that the two main causes is 1; Television, mainly the home and design shows. I see these guys doing remodels, flips or fixer uppers and in many cases I have seen the person doing the work think they are creating artwork and first of all they are designers not artists and just because you smear paint in a canvas it is a long stretch to call it art. But people buy into it. when you can go down to Walmart and purchase some print or worse some design for 30 or 40 dollars and hang that on your wall and call it art you are going to look at real art and say something like “that’s nice” and walk on because you really don’t care about real art. The other thing that I feel is killing the art galleries and the artists represented there is,, well it may sound weird but is the Telephone. You might be surprised at especially the young people today, how blank their walls are. Oh they might have a photo or two or a movie poster but for the most part no art at all. why??? the phone is why. This particular gallery host told me that it is not uncommon for people to come in and be fascinated with a painting and ask if they can take a photo of it, Out comes the I Phone and presto. why pay 800 dollars for it when you can have it on your phone. Never mind the wall. but then it gets back to the cost. When a young family is being forced to pay the exhorbitant rent fees for an apartment or the high cost of a mortgage it is fully understandable why they can’t afford original artwork. Me personaly, I would rather give a painting away to someone who liked it enough that they would settle for a photo of it on their I phone, or Galaxy or what ever they have.
Sharing the Wealth
When I was working for Johnson Plastics, we belonged to a trade organization known as TDMA. They had regular trade shows around the country of which I was required to attend in the western side. which was mainly Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They also had regional mini shows in Reno, Sacramento and Monterey. One year the theme was “Share The Wealth”. You see for too long sign makers, trophy dealers engraving shops, the sort of businesses we dealt with had learned tricks of the trade but were keeping it all to themselves. The program was meant to encourage sharing ideas and tips and the things that were learned from these forums was priceless.
Well let me tell you I have learned a lot about art over the years and am happy to share my secrets. so here is secret number one. Krylon Matte spray varnish. I use this only. on a base drawing, in between layers and for the final protective coating. For years I was able to buy it off the shelf at art stores or hardware stores. Then one year I bought a can and it was horrible. spotty gummy and horrible. I called the Krylon factory to see if they had changed the formula. First question the man asked me was if I was in California. He explained that due to the epa laws in California that they had had to change the chemical make up. He offered to send me a couple cans from the factory to see if they were any better. They were back to the original matte varnish I was used to using. so bottom line here, If you are going to use Krylon matte varnish and you live in California, Either buy it off Amazon and make sure it ships from out of state or next time you travel out of state, stop at a hardware store or Michaels and get your self a couple of cans.
Next, I will tell you why I like this varnish so much