By what is happening outside my front door, it's very hard to believe that it is anything other than some lovely day in one of the idyllic spring months. We've had some snow, and I've been able to get out and paint it without having to add much additional clothing, other than a pair of long underwear and lightweight gloves, to what I would normally wear to paint in the spring. Our temps have been holding pretty steady in the mid 50's to low 60's during the daytime, i.e. painting hours.
I've been painting up a storm, which has led me to take a step that I had to think long and hard about taking. I've opened up an internet sales shop for my small field studies and other small paintings that are just piling up in my studio, garage and storage room. This decision wasn't made without a lot of thought, and some concern. My main concern was, how I could do this without creating problems with the galleries that I work with? Another was, would this kind of thing cheapen how the art is viewed? And lastly, would they sell?
I have answered all three of those concerns. I wrote a letter that went to all of the galleries that I regularly send art work to, explaining what I wanted to do and why. Three of the five that I sent the letter to replied back almost immediately that they completely understood and gave me the encouragement to "go for it"! They understand that they can't do and be everything that one artist needs to do and be to survive, and make a living at this Art thing we do. I'm fortunate to be with some galleries that are owned and operated by wonderful people, who do their absolute best for all of their artists. I'm grateful to them for their support.
As for the cheapening of the art because of where it's being sold... I may be over the middle stage of life... but I'm young enough to understand that the internet can be a vital, a powerful, sales agent for Art. And I'm not arrogant enough to think that any place that can sell my art, isn't a good place for it. There are a few examples of artists who've made very large careers based on internet sales ideas... Duane Keiser, Carol Marine, and a personal favorite, and artist who I met on Facebook... Harry Stooshinoff. All of these artists continue to create very personal, inspiring and original art, while also holding a very large presence selling their art on line. I would venture to say that many of us probably first learned about them because of that presence.
Lastly, would they sell? Yes... I'm happy to say that I have had some success in that area already. I've run a few pretty large projects myself, such as my APRIL PAINTING MARATHON in 2009, my SEPTEMBER NOCTURNES in 2010, and last year I did a brief project that I called MARCH MADNESS. Those projects helped to build a large base of collectors, and artists, who followed and in some cases, purchased the paintings that I painted.
Many artists have large studios which they occasionally open up and have a "studio sale" in. I would do that, if I had that kind of a space, and some day hope to. But for now, this is going to be my 'studio sale' event. An on going one that I will stock as small studies become available. In some cases these are studies for larger paintings, or simply plein air studies that were painted as information gathering studies to learn from. Some of the paintings have been in galleries already, and then sent back to me. In either case, they are not paintings that I will continue to send to the galleries. I'm concentrating on sending larger, more complex paintings to galleries now, not the small studies.
The name of my Etsy page is... MarcHansonArt... My gallery on Etsy is called 'Small Impressions'!
Here are some of the pieces that I just recently posted on the Etsy site... to see more information about them, please click on the MarcHansonArt link above.
On Golden Ponds
Ogallala Rd Crossing
On The Plains
West Of Longmont
Willow At Pond's Edge