Friday, June 11, 2010

Choose an artist who's style you like for your copying!

Little Island Cottage, 6"x6" oil on gallery wrapped canvas, awaiting a new home...
Painting can be purchased from: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

The subject of copying art is old. Most college art students are encouraged to copy the works of master painters and sculptors and some are even required to do so in order to learn valuable techniques. Some art schools even have access to museums where students can copy directly from the masters original work. Copying art is a good way for artists to learn but not acceptable past school years.

So why do I bring this up? Professional artists must develop very distinct styles in order to stand out and prosper in the art world. There are literally millions of artists all over the globe, many of which are very good.

As a collector, when choosing art you should look for an artist who already has a style that you like. Usually you will not get great results if you ask an artist to paint/sculpt/create something out of the vein in which they work simply because you like their prices and perhaps even their "natural" artistic voice but really desire a specific work of art of a gallery artist (aka very expensive). Sorry if that was a long sentence but I think that you know what I mean.

Artists: it's been my experience that when accepting commissions out of my natural vein vein of work causes me great stress and headache so I really try to avoid this. We work in series for a reason and our voices in art are well thought out and not easy to change. And in the end, you may not be able to please clients who really would rather have a work of art from a different artist who they usually cannot afford. Turn these commissions down. There is a saying in the art world: sometimes you make the most money on the projects that you do not accept.

I am careful now to try to only accept commissions that I feel that I can do well.

To see more, please visit my websites:

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

'Poi Pu Paradise' and a bit about how artists price work

Poi Pu Paradise', 6"x6" oil on gallery wrapped canvas, awaiting a new home...
Painting can be purchased from: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

This afternoon I wrote a rather long blog to explain why my reverse painted glass chandeliers are worth my asking price (or why they cost what they cost). If you wish, you can read the entry on my reverse painted chandelier blog here. I thought that it might be good to write something similar on my Mini Master blog to explain why I charge what I charge for my oil and watercolor paintings.

The actual dollar worth for fine art varies depending on the artist and how well known they are, how much time goes into their work, how many works they produce in a year and how expensive their work is to create. Artists who have styles that are very labor intensive to the point where they can only create a few pieces each year tend to charge more for their work than artists who are very prolific and have styles that are quicker. I say 'tend' because there are always exceptions.

Artists also tend to charge more for their work as their career grows. An artist in their prime (who is not one of the super big name people) may charge several thousand dollars for each painting. Also it is mostly true that artists who show in galleries also have higher prices as many of these artists do not do festivals and sell only through galleries or dealers. This is a whole different topic and I won't attempt to answer it here.

There are many reasons why artists charge what they charge and I could probably write a book on this subject but I'd now like to tell you how I personally price my work. My Mini Master paintings here on this blog are collected by people all over the country. They are also my most popular type of painting at my art festivals because they are affordable and because of the high-quality of my work. My small paintings here are inspired by my travels and they are also my study compositions for my larger works. They are quite lovely in person. Many of my smaller mini paintings will indeed become larger paintings at some point. I explained on my reverse painted glass chandelier blog that I've been painting seriously since the age of 15 but that my studies in art began much earlier. And art is what I really did go to college for. It's been my life's path. I am a creative being and I have always been brave enough to follow my dream. My 'dream', as living the artist's life is thought by many, is a reality for me.

So all these years later (I'm not that old but also not that young either) I have built a strong name for myself. I am well known in the San Francisco Bay Area for my island style paintings. Many people in the Bay Area travel to Hawaii and connect with my work for these reasons. My paintings also offer a slice of paradise...a retreat from the daily grind. I am considered a solid mid-career artist at this point. I charge $100 for my Mini Master paintings for the time that they take, the thought that goes into them and for the years of artistry that are behind them...and you will also be able to enjoy them for years and years to come. In many ways, it is a small price to pay for an original work of art. This is actually a steal for art from an artist of my experience.

My medium paintings are anywhere between $350-$850 (again, a steal) and my large paintings tend to be in the $1,200-$2,000 range. Several years ago I decided to sell my works through festivals after being in a Florida gallery that staged it's own robbery for insurance money. That was actually 7 and a half years ago. Last weekend marked my 7 year anniversary in the art festival world. Before that I came out of the gallery world where I did sell my work for several thousand dollars for each painting. It was a different career path and I really was a young artist then (with lots to learn) and my change from galleries to festivals was dramatic but it was for the best at the time. Exhibiting and selling through festivals has also made me a stronger artist and business person. If you are wondering, I sell my works through galleries now at the same prices that I sell them through at my festivals...the consolation to me is that I create paintings with more ease now than I did back then.

Most art festival goers understand that an original is worth more than a print, giclee, reproduction...whatever you want to call prints these days. Most of the work that I exhibit at festivals are original oil and watercolor paintings. My watercolor paintings have a lot of time invested into them. We custom frame each piece and that in itself is very labor intensive. My actual watercolor technique involves a very layered process with masking fluid and I may have a couple dozen layers in any one area. And because of the frame, my watercolors are often more expensive to create.

As I journey further into my career the prices for my works will continue to rise. This is the case for most successful professional artists.

Also collectors, please keep in mind that when you buy a fine work of art that is original that you will have this work for a lifetime to enjoy. It is a small price to pay for something that is truly nice and hopefully the works of art that you purchase from your favorite artists will bring you much joy.

To see more, please visit my websites: