In just about every field of human endeavour there are frauds, fake news, self agrandisement, deception and creative marketing. A touch of calm objectivity brings the realisation that things level out and adjust over time to bring the perpetrators to book. Life is too short and the quality of life too fragile to let such things annoy you. Quality and value will shine through, given sufficient exposure to the market.
DMPrs do not market or promote themselves, singularly or as a group. There are a few exceptions. Why don’t we have a DMP sales page that is independently run but provides a commission to Mark. A membership fee of $50 to $100 each ought to build a great sales outlet. Could operate as a brokerage, with members responsible for content and order fulfilment.
You need to do whatever it takes to sustain a consistent style across the painting.
Bear in mind that British Museum research shows that the average viewer spends an average of seven seconds examining a picture. So, consider how much attention will be focussed on this one percent area of your painting. This factoid suggests that the loose impressionists and abstract artists had something right.
As an artist he should have been well aware that an unprimed hardboard would bow after the application of a water based acrylic gesso. Duh!
His gesso, depending on the quality, will continue to absorb moisture and so will the hardboard. This will contribute to a shorter lifespan. This is why a good primer is essential for both sides before gesso is applied.