In my last newsletter, I talked about my decision to pull out of brick-and-mortar galleries, to lower my prices, and to participate in a few close-by, juried weekend shows. I also discussed the merits of on-line galleries.
I received many comments on that newsletter. Most were from artists. All were supportive. The following is an informative response from Peter Woolley, a popular artist from the UK. Peter confirms that similar trends are occurring worldwide.
I just wanted to thank you for your latest newsletter, and to say how interested I was in your article on selling online. As a professional artist based in the UK, I can confirm that the state of high street galleries is very similar (many long-established galleries closing down, and new ones lasting only a few months), and that extortionately-inflated gallery prices are no longer cutting it with the buying public. Your article made perfect sense... the world is changing, and that means artists finding more direct means to reach their customers - a good thing in the long run, in my opinion.
I ... have enjoyed receiving your newsletters for some time - I send out a similar newsletter myself, and am always interested in how things are across the pond.
All the very best wishes
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:www.peterwoolley.co.uk
I did two shows since that last Newsletter ... the Beverly Hills Art Show in May and the La Jolla Festival of Arts in June. I was glad to be back in weekend shows after a stretch of selling only in galleries. At both shows, sales were good for me (and actually great for some artists). And the overall quality of art was higher than I remembered it having been. But most importantly, attendance and buyer interest had both improved over previous years. In short, I believe original art by contemporary artists is making a comeback from our prolonged economic depression.
However, the problem that always plagued me at shows is my lack of social skills. I am not a salesman and initiating conversations is usually tough for me. But once engaged, I enjoy discussions ... particularly those involving art.
The last two shows have been different. I really enjoyed doing the shows. And the reason for my improved attitude is simple; it is my wife, Ellie. Ellie is a giver. Always has been. But until this year Ellie worked as an RN at the local hospital. Her limited free time was spread thin over our eight children and their families, including eleven grandkids. This year Ellie retired from nursing. Now with some extra time, she has been with me, setting up, tearing down, and filling the booth with her congeniality and warmth. People just naturally enjoy talking to Ellie. I love having her there and she's made a big difference in my outlook. I love Ellie ... always have.
MORT - The Mother of Road Trips
I just returned from a one-month road trip up the west coast with my wife and sister. We went to Seattle to visit my daughter, then on to Vancouver, and Victoria, Canada. Then we made a u-turn and came home mostly along California Route 1. I took thousands of pictures and have plenty of reference shots to paint. Here are a couple of those paintings.