Money money money

I’m a happy bunny today – I’ve just been told a local gallery has sold one of my paintings. Big smiles. I’ll go and collect my money in a bit – the price of the painting minus their commission. It makes up for the lack of sales last weekend!

Selling art is a funny business. Pricing it is very tricky. I’ve always tried to be fair with my pricing – selling at the price I consider a good amount for the work done and expertise involved. I have a basic hourly rate in my head that I sort of work around to find the price. Its probably a lot higher than the majority of artists in this locale, but I know I’m better than most of them, or at least I value myself higher because I know I can tackle subjects and techniques that a lot of them can’t. I spoke to a botanical artist the other day, who is incredibly talented, and sells his paintings very well. He knows he’s good at what he does. He spends hours and hours and long hours on his artwork and works in directly opposing ways to my technique – he will glaze over and over many times on each area of a flower petal, a leaf or a piece of fruit. He wants the finished painting to look exactly the same as the item infront of him, and I think that’s incredibly admirable. But I don’t paint like that. I use splatter and fluid lines and lost and found edges in my work to show movement and life and much prefer the effect. But should I charge the same price as him? He will agonise for ages over the tiniest piece of colour, I spend ages thinking about the emotional effect my art will convey through colour and line and composition.

A few years ago I joined a local art group and asked the chairman a lot of questions regarding how my art should move forward. He helped me a lot with good wholesome advice based on his expertise and experience. One of the things I asked him was about how to price my work. His advice was “Double it!” which took me aback. “What? Double the prices? Will people pay it”? “Yes”, he said, “They will”. And he’s been right, they have. But then if I join another art organisation which is of a far higher profile (and I’m working on that very thing at this very moment!) do I carry on doubling the prices? I think the answer is probably yes. People expect it. But the work is still of the same quality and calibre as it is now, the only thing that’s changed is the price tag. And people will still pay it. I know of an artist who was selling his work through a VERY famous shop in London some years ago, and was asked his price for one particular painting that a member of another countries royal family was interested in purchasing. The artist named his high price and was told to put another zero on the end of it. ANOTHER ZERO????? Yes – it was expected! The price was too cheap otherwise and the prince wouldn’t have been interested…….. The picture was sold at the higher price. Point made.

So, I think the point I’m making is………. get me now whilst I’m going cheap …….. so to speak……

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

Comments (13)

  1. hornymaleuk
    Aug 31, 2007

    Now that sounds like an offer I cannot refuse!!

    Congratulations on the sale. I’m really pleased.

  2. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 31, 2007

    Hornymaleuk – Oh, do you want to buy some art then?

    Thanks, re the sale. I am too!

    Aug 31, 2007

    YES, MA’AM. I’m proud of you! I do wish that approach worked for the actor, but it wouldn’t. Thre are simply too many to lower the bar.

    Now — how does that affect your outlook on the erstwhile investor? Keep us all posted.

  4. Cherrie
    Sep 1, 2007

    Well, then, we must have gotten quite a bargain from you, Jackie!

    Congratulations on your sale–I’m glad the predicition I made in my last comment turned out to be eerily accurate!

  5. Jackie Adshead
    Sep 1, 2007

    Ronjazz – I’m really pleased you’re proud of me! But doesn’t that approach work for actors when they get into movies?

    I’m still very aware of the erstwhile investor but currently looking at other ways of increasing my profile myself without having to share half my profits with a sleeping partner.

  6. Jackie Adshead
    Sep 1, 2007

    Cherrie – Well I sincerely hope you feel that you got a bargain with the painting you bought from me! But of course, the value of it will accumulate too as I amass more fame and acclaim – so I hope you feel you’ve made a good investment as well!

    And yes, it looks like you were eerily accurate in that I’ve suddenly sold a painting through a gallery this week after the distinct lack of sales at the exhibition last week!

  7. having my cake
    Sep 1, 2007

    Ive never been able to work out how art is priced, I mean how can you put a value on the huge emotion a piece of work evokes in one person that might leave another cold. It’s such a personal thing.
    I suppose you should work out how much time you spent on a piece – in terms of thought and design as well as execution and then award yourself an hourly rate and go from there. If the pieces go out the door without touching the sides, you’re too cheap.

  8. Jackie Adshead
    Sep 1, 2007

    Having my cake – If I charged by the hour for thinking about the design before I painted it – I’d charge THOUSANDS for my work and probably no one would buy them! So I only have a basic hourly rate for the time spent actually producing it and work from there.

    Some of the most upsetting words an artist can ever hear regarding the price of their work is “Is that ALL?”

  9. Lady in red
    Sep 3, 2007

    I am not big on art but I do know what I find pleasing to look at and what I dont but could never define any criteria as each piece is different. But I must say that I do like the picture you have on this post.

  10. Jackie Adshead
    Sep 3, 2007

    Lady in Red – In that case, if you’re not big into art, you’ve given me a nice compliment – thankyou!

  11. Willsibob
    Sep 3, 2007

    Hi Jackie,

    Firstly, I love the passion and flair you put into your paintings. Congratulations on the well deserved sale. I have been watching your blog and site, with deepest interest.

    On your previous post, re the investor, a gallery location is a difficult choice – a gallery by the docks is perhaps ideal for painters of yachts. A gallery in Soho is going to take a high price.

    Just wonder, if maybe exhibiting at related shows would be better – eg. the folsom fair (at least you’d get a trip to the US 🙂 ), the fetish ball?

    Anyhow I’m wandering, well done on the sale, your work is stunning.

  12. Lady in red
    Sep 3, 2007

    you are very welcome 🙂

  13. Jackie Adshead
    Sep 4, 2007

    Willsibob – Thankyou, I’m absolutely delighted you see passion and flair in my work and like it so much!

    You’ve hit the nail on the head regarding the gallery location – and that is one of the reasons I’ve not gone diving into a partnership with the investor yet. I’m also looking into other more suitable locations, with a higher proportion of erotica lovers, similar to the ones you’ve mentioned.

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