|The Bromeliad |
Watercolor on Paper
I got ready for a gallery show this last week and had to figure out what I was going to do; that is, which paintings to put in the show and what price to put on them.
This part of a painter's life seems a little alien to many painters. It’s not part of the daily painting routine, at least not for me, and I suspect not for a lot of others.
OK. Let’s see, what to do?
Well, first, what kind of a show is it? This show is a group show of like-minded painter friends with different, but mostly traditional styles. We are fortunate enough to be able to have a group show with the help of a couple of pros.
Second, where will the show be held? What type of gallery and space is available, and where is the gallery located? This show is in a gallery that I believe has ample room and wall space, so I expect it will be thoughtfully and artisticly hung. The gallery is located outside the city near a lake, in a weekend get-away type of spot with a quaint downtown area that attracts visitors all year.
Knowing the type and location of the gallery will help you, as it did me, make some decisions on which paintings to choose and the prices. Since the gallery is in a rather casual setting, I decided to select several paintings that I thought were in keeping with a more relaxed ambience.
Since it’s near a lake, I chose my painting of a lakeside shoreline at dusk, very peaceful indeed. In keeping with the water theme, I also decided on a painting of an early morning beachside scene with lots of palm trees.
Enough water already. I decided to put in two paintings with flowers that I hope will appeal to art gallery browsers; however, they’re not typical flowers-in-a-vase still lifes. One is a bright red bromeliad with an interesting viewpoint, and the other is a flower-covered leafy vine on a patio.
I also chose an urban street scene that I hope some of the weekend city-slicker tourists will like (and buy).
The hardest part for most painters is deciding what price to put on your work. Unless you already are well known with a following of collectors, which I am not and do not have yet, too high a price would be laughable and probably turn off someone who may be otherwise interested.
On the other hand, these paintings didn’t paint themselves; I worked for hours on all of them. I think if the prices are too low, then it may seem as if your work is not worth much—well, less than it should be anyway. There’s also the cost of supplies, not to mention the mat and framing.
I determined my prices, more or less, by the sizes of the paintings--the larger ones were more, the smaller ones, less. And since the gallery is not in an expensive urban location, I also took that into account.
Anyway, the decision-making is over. Now we’ll just have to see how it goes.
I can’t wait to get back to painting.