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selling

We have approached this subject before and now we have a painting that won't sell, which it should in my humble opinion. Anyway I have wondered about the ebay sales and web sites. Sue, you mentioned that you sell on ebay. Would you be willing to share how you do this? I have looked at ebay and there seems to be soo many paintings on there I had wondered how any of them would ever sell. On web sites, I know there are web sites for artists and you pay to be a part of it. I also know many have their own site but how do you promote it to get it seen. I think the web is the most viable option for us because gallery rep. is very difficult. Just wondered if any of those that have had any success would be willing to share their experience and knowledge. I know David does a wonder job at creating a web site but again, how does this get promoted. Of course, I am, as we say around these parts, ignorant as a hog when it comes to the web or any of the digital age. Don't do facebook, twitter or any of that so maybe I am just too far behind the times.

Comments

  • Wow, Sue!!! I love your paintings of animals!!! No wonder you've sold a lot!!!
    Fantastic!!!
    CharleyBoy
  • Thank you for sharing that Sue. I liked the esty site. Did you design and set up the web page yourself or hire that done? I can see that it is a buyers market right now like everything else. This has been very helpful. :\">
  • Took a look at your website Sue....wonderful paintings! You have a real knack of catching that little 'something' that makes animals special to me. I particularly liked "Abby" and "Joe".....thanks for sharing. :)
  • Thank you, Vangie! gfish, on Daily Paintworks, you get a gallery and that's all automatic, you just upload your images. Same is true on etsy. Like I said my domain name, suedeutscher dot com, just has a redirect that points to my gallery on Daily Paintworks and I do that for the traffic. I have made websites before but just using basic html and nothing as elaborate as what David makes.
  • I forgot to say that I also have a FB business page called Sue Deutscher Fine Art and I also throw images up on Pinterest. If you want to sell as a self rep artist, any way you can get the word out is good.
  • Thankyou again, much to explore. Maybe I can get some of that done on a rainy day in Florida.
  • Are you trying to say you don't go fishing in the rain? That's when they bite!

    So I was feeding the dogs when I thought of something else. I believe that way back when before there were mass produced prints of art, everyone had original paintings on their walls. But now everyone for the last hundred years or something like that has grown up with prints on the walls. Nothing wrong with that but stick with me here.

    Now with the internet, so many more artists can get their work out there instead of vying for gallery space. Now, people can get the real original art work many times for not much more than they would pay for a print of the real thing. So if you want to sell your paintings and self rep it's important to get the word out that people can now go back to having the real thing. It's like having a real piece of pie and not just looking at a print of a piece of pie.
  • Then there is the whole issue of painting what you love combined with painting what you think will sell. As far as I can gather, the old-old masters had to paint for patrons who wanted bible passages depicted. Then the portraits came because they didn't have cameras and rich patrons wanted their likenesses preserved. The artists painted what they were paid to paint.

    I like animals. Who doesn't love a pretty painting of a Hereford heifer? They have always sold for me but I want to paint something that is painted for the love of art, not just for the love of the subject. So I am now leaning more towards that end of the scale and hopefully buyers who buy for the love of art and not just the subject will pay. If not, that's okay. At least I will be happy doing it.
  • They do bite in the rain but I catch so many fish that I stay dry. Thats no bull. I catch Atlantic Whiting, Pompano, Red Drum, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Flounder, gees. I give them away. I have a secret formula that works. :-c
    Really Sue I so much appreciate you info and I think you are correct on the old masters. They worked for a buck. Did you go out in the field and tiptoe through the tulips and piles to get your pics? It appears from your web that you have been very prolific. Did you corner very many commissions or has most of it been your own research pics?. I live in a historic river town and I am trying to get into doing house portraits more. They are not something that is a lot of fun. Actually a pain because you have to correct for photo distortion on the vertical perspective but I hope that it is a nitch that could lead to other work like portraits that most of us are trying for. As I try to set some of this web stuff up I may private message you if you don't mind. B-)
  • I just remembered another place where I've posted paintings: flickr. It's mostly a photography sharing site but there are groups for paintings. And on your profile page you can link to where you sell. my flickr page

    gfish, there is inexpensive software that straightens distortion. You lose a little on the edges of your photo but if you shoot big enough, it won't matter. Some photos of buildings taken in the golden hour are really beautiful.

    I grew up on a farm so I know my way around cattle and horses. I've gone out to a ranch and stable where I used to board to photograph and have other sources for photos of specific dog breeds that I can't take myself with permission and exchange in with the photographer.

    I don't mind a private message at all but if there is something we can share for everyone's benefit, that is better of course.
  • Very nice, I am blown away with the volume of work that you have produced. You animal portraits are very nice.
    What software are you referring to. I have tried a couple but have not been satisfied.
  • gfish on the software, I used it on my other pc that crashed and I don't have it anymore or want it anyway. It was something I just downloaded as a trial and then paid a few bucks for.

    Thank you!
  • I really like these, Liz. I think when it comes to a still life it will sell due to its beauty but when a cow painting sells it's because it's a cow.
  • I agree with Sue I sold them just because the subject!
    Those I did 8-10 months ago while I restarted painting... very scolastic... nothing to do with Tj, Sue, Liz, Valentin and bla bla bla.... paintings
    Ok CharleyBoy does not want to talk about politics and he's right, but the crisis is evident I see undersold paintings of popular artists of all times... 600, 700, 800, 900 ... I wonder if it's just an Italian problem?!?
    Who has money in these parts is building large art collections with these low prices 8-|
    Maria
    CharleyBoy
  • Maria, from what I know about it, which isn't much, art prices can go radically up and down and have done so since selling art began. If you're a gallery or a self rep artist you survive the down times or you don't. Store your paintings if they don't sell because some day the cycle will swing back. What you can do is keep improving your skills. It isn't that there is any less money. It's just that more of it is in fewer hands (my opinion).
    studioania
  • Hi Maria,

    I love the bear and its background!

    Politics? Anything political having to do with the art world is a valid topic. Such as how and why gallery owners and museum curators choose who and what to display. For instance, why the "Modern Art" movement became so big and has lasted so long, why it survives--it's interesting to speculate the role of politics on that. Public funding for art is another controversial issue I will gladly debate or offer opinions on. However, political topics in general can often degenerate into partisan haggling which is best avoided. But I don't see that happening here, thank goodness.
    studioania
  • Thanks for all the input. Like always, find a spot, do good work and get lucky.
    tjsGary
  • @gfish - in reference to your mention of painting house portraits...years ago I was doing house portraits for a real estate agent who was giving them to the new home owner as a housewarming gift. Working from photos was not ideal since the distortion was something to scream about. The ones I liked painting the most were the new constructions that were not landscaped yet. In those paintings I was usually given the liberty to be the gardner and "plant" whatever my heart desired in the painting to accentuate the house. Some bushes got their much needed trimming and pruning. I even painted the same house twice, the original owner took the first portrait with them when they sold the house and the new buyers wanted their own. If you do find that software that Sue mentioned, please let me know. Thanks. Donna
  • Wow Donna! House portraits...never heard of that before. How creative for finding or, perhaps in your case, creating a market. Cool! :)
  • gfishgfish -
    edited January 2013
    So far I have only done houses for individuals. Some of them are just a very loose monotone value sketch that is easy and quick but seems to go over well. They are a bit primitive. I will post one I did for a family member. I am negotiating with a local realtor at this time for doing the same thing for properties she sells. We are discussing a pen and ink with a water color wash. They of course will be more finished than the one I am posting. Anything to pay the rent on my studio I have.
    GaryVangiestudioania
  • gfishgfish -
    edited February 2013
    Thanks, good info
    Gary
  • Liz I just looked at your oranges again and they are so good!
  • Liz I just looked at your oranges again and they are so good!

    Thanks so much Sue!
  • Sue, I think your Borzoi Russian Wolfhound is excellent. I notice you sell prints as well. Do you sell many prints (vs. originals)? Some of your animals would be excellent on greeting cards and coffee cups
    :o3
  • Thank you, Graciella. January was really slow, as expected. I don't keep very good track but maybe 10 to 15 prints a month is average. They aren't very profitable but I have raised the price on the ones that sell well (maybe that's why January was slow, ha ha.) I forget to mention I also sell images on cafepress.com and have sold probably 20 to 25 images in the last couple of months. I only started there in the last couple of months so maybe that will pick up as I add more images.
    studioania
  • Sue, I just looked at your work and I also see why you have sold a lot of paintings as a self repped artist. You do very nice work and you have your name and images in a lot of different places. Well done.

    I am one of the worlds worst when it comes to marketing myself. I prefer to be in my studio or out painting, not dealing with framers, clients, dealers, shows and all the "mechanics"of art, as I call it. So please, no one take my ideas as gospel, but they are what has worked for me in the past. I also have a different take on galleries than many.

    I did shows when I first started painting. Mall shows, street fairs and the like. I sold, but I was spending have my time booking shows, packing and unpacking my truck, traveling, maintaining my display, and still paying promoters in some shows as high as 25%! I was surviving, but barely and I was so busy trying to "crank" out inventory. I had no time to work on improving my work. Recently I ran across an artist on the web that was one of the better artists in many of the shows I did and she continued doing these shows with her husband until recently, say 5 or 6 years ago, but what stunned me is she had not changed or improved on tiny bit from what she was doing almost 40 years ago. This is a very talented lady, self taught and can draw as well as anyone I have ever seen when she puts the time into it. It showed me I was glad I stopped doing those kinds of shows when I did. Please understand I am not knocking her, but the time limitations of marketing ones self as she did.. Oh and her prices have barely increased. They might only be reflecting the price of frames in what she asks now for a piece. But she is cranking them out to the tune of one a day on average. I called her when I found her site to say hello.

    Some time to work on improving myself is one of my thoughts on that way of selling.

    Now galleries, the necessary evil in some ways, but a huge blessing in others. There is a lot I don't like about galleries, but I prefer to focus on the positive, so I look at a gallery in how the owners and sales people look at and treat artists. I try and talk to all the artists they represent as much is as possible, but, that can be a whole new thread on it's own, so let's take a gallery I or you are already in and have some relationship that is working. If anyone goes to my website, they would see that I have information on each painting and that includes the gallery name and contact of where that painting is and available. I will not sell that painting on my own without the galleries knowledge and paying them the commission (40% in my gallery). You may argue this is not fair since I sold the painting (with their knowledge.) I do think it is fair. I gave them the right to sell this and take 40% when I consigned it to them. They pay staff to call clients, get the painting photographed professionally, advertise (this is changing) The gallery is located in the heart of the arts district where all potential buyers are going to when in town or locals. The galleries doors are open from 10 am to 5 pm six days a week and on Thursday they stay pm until 9pm. My studio is 25 miles from the art district and likely hard to find for out of towners. My doors are not open and I do not have a proper "gallery" space. This is a working studio. My time is better spent shoving paint all over a canvas, not talking with clients all day or even once a day. I lose a minimum of an hour or two of painting time. Today, the only shows I do are shows where I send the paintings to the show and I can chose to attend or not (usually not (bad idea though, I know) One is an annual museum show and the others are invited guests and represented artist in group shows held by some galleries each year. Thes shows all have sales people, so I am there to smile and say thank you when given a compliment and once in awhile have a conversation with potential clients (another time killer as the conversations are usually not about the painting but more personal like where you live and do I make my own frames, and their Aunt Maude paints too and shows her work at a popular restaurant, etc. I don't mean to sound cynical, but those are the types of conversations that are in the majority at these shows.

    I have a strong belief that says, I am making money when I am painting. When a painting sells, that is payday. Real simple. If I am not painting or only painting half of my time I have no inventory or half of what I could have. The more paintings of the best we can do (no cranking) the better the odds of a client seeing something they like of mine or any artist. So I am willing to pay a commission to a gallery to sell for me. An artist needs to to see the gallery as the sales department of his or hers company and the artist runs the production end, if you will. We, artists also need to realize that a gallery has a very high overhead in nearly all cases. It is no different than any other retail business would have. Rent or building maintenance, utilities,, pay rolls, insurance, shipping costs, advertising and on and on. So understand this and work with them if they work with you.

    Sue and others have some great ideas, and I can see myself incorporating some of them myself and with my gallery in some cases. Like so many businesses, the internet is making an impact, and I believe the way art is marketed is changing. Galleries no longer have the power they used to, but are a valuable marketing tool if you are in the right one. But so is the internet. I have sold a number of paintings and done two commission that came straight through the website with no gallery involvement.

    In this economy, politics is playing a huge roll in hurting the market and especially art and any discretionary spending item. Some one in this thread said something about there being the same amount of money is out there but in fewer hands. I beg to differ with that statement, and base it on talking to avid art collectors and sometime art collectors I know personally and several are very good friends. The ones that have more money than they could ever spend (and these are common here in the Scottsdale and large art market are holding on to their money since they, like us do not know what is coming next. All markets are very volatile, contrary to what the stock market may look like with its high gains lately. As On collector I talked to just yesterday said the higher the market goes the farther down it has to fall and their are governmental policies and laws already enacted and on the governmental assembly line that could easily and is likely to trigger a crash in the market. Taxes and other regulations coming in will take the money that could have been spent on art and other things of this sort.
    Diamonds are selling very well, but jewelry stores are hurting. In Scottsdale we have seen nearly half of the galleries close their doors for good just in the last four years. we as artists are no different that any other business that is not a necessity of life and must adapt or join the line at the food stamp offices. The internet used lie Sue has mentioned and maybe other ideas for it are just some of the better ways we all must look into. Sorry for the long running off at the mouth. (grin)
  • AZPainter, I completely understand that a gallery has to take a good commission and the reasons for it. I've had many bad experiences though... went to check on a painting and the business had closed, never to be heard from again. Another one sold my painting and never paid me, things along those lines. I'm sure I would have had better experiences had my work been better. Not a good feeling to go in and see your work stacked in the back room :) . If it wasn't for the internet, I doubt I'd ever have sold anything at all.
  • Sue, if you don't mind, how long have you been selling on the internet?

    In general what is thought about co-op's? We have one in my town. You buy in for a nominal fee after the jury process. They take 40% and you are to work 2 days per month at the shop. I believe there is a way to be non-working also. Just wondered if any have had any experience with this.
  • I started selling on ebay around 1998 or 99. I have a friend who did very well in a co-op. It never really interested me though for one reason because I don't want to invest in frames, another reason I'd rather just sell on the internet. I ship paintings unframed. If they want to pick up the painting, I offer to frame it and just add on the price of the frame.
  • Also, like I said, most of the paintings that sell for me are cows, horses and dogs from people who raise Herefords or Angus, Arabian horses, specific dog breeds, etc. Maybe I have the wrong idea but I have a feeling those don't sell well in galleries. Of course if the painting is good enough it will sell anywhere though. Lots of paintings I see in galleries here in Denver are mountain landscapes.
  • LizONeal said:

    I agree that painting light and shadow of any subject should sell. The only two highly sought after paintings I have done were the old typewriter (by far...could have sold 10 times over and had gallery interest) and the one I did of two oranges.....will see if I can load pics of them here. The typewriter was always for someone to give to an author. Oranges maybe because people like oranges? Anyhow, both are very simple and of one object so not sure that is not part of it?

    HEY, I KNOW THIS TYPEWRITER PAINTING SOMEHOW....
  • I sold the very first painting I did. It was a nude. Karen (wife) was my model. Considering everything I think it may be one of the best paintings I've done.

    image
    cynthiagwilsonCharleyBoyLizONealstudioania
  • GaryGary -
    edited February 2013
    Oooh...you are in so much trouble when you get home!! =))
  • Gary said:

    Oooh...you are in so much trouble when you get home!! =))

    =)) =))
  • What is all that noise outside blaring over loudspeakers? Did someone win the Superbowl? .... Oh, no, it's morning prayers.... the sun is coming up here in the Middle East.
    cynthiagwilsonLizONeal
  • I like the hard vertical line support :))
    garrykravit
  • I think Garry's attempts at representative realism have deteriorated since 2010.

    Denis
    garrykravit
  • glad you put the copyright symbol on it
    garrykravitGary
  • Poor poor Karen....that woman is so strong ; )
    garrykravit
  • While reading a magazine waiting for my wife at her line dance lesson I ran across this article. Thought you might find it interesting...I hadn't heard this before.

    "In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs', therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."
    sue_deutschergfish
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