For the past four years I had a blog, coxenartwork.blogspot.com, where I post my paintings and offer painting tips, as well as reviews of art festivals I have attended. In order to streamline my efforts I decided to use my new website as my blog and have requested my followers to join me.
I have worked hard trying to market my work, which is difficult since there are so many fine artist and unless you are known the road to success is riddled with potholes. I have sold several paintings at art fairs and to friends, therefore I am an accomplished artist but unable to make a living off my work.
In 2013 I self published at book based upon my grandfather's WWI journal, The Great Promise. It was received well but those who had leanings towards being a historian found fault because it had a mix of non-fiction and fiction; plus I didn't include a bibliography. While trading emails with one historian critic I decide to seek her help and rewrote the compelling story as non-fiction. I tried to find a publisher but like painting an unknown author is ignored. I self-published it as an e-book on Kindle, World War One - An Unkept Promise.
The point is, unless one is very lucky and gets discovered one's chances of reaching a level of success is slim. My immediate problem is my eternal drive to paint has far surpassed my ability to sell and therefore I have a large inventory of paintings. Over the years I have given so many paintings to my children they don't want any more.
The last art show I attended was in St Augustine, Florida, which is an artist community. I thought an art show there would draw thousands of people -- it didn't. I met an artist whose work was OK but not superior, was selling his pieces for thousands of dollars. I talked with him after the show and his marketing strategy was to mark his work up so people think it is worth the money and if they dicker on the price, he still comes out ahead. I have read elsewhere that there are two schools of thought, the first is price your work low and hope to sell several pieces, or price them very high so if you sell one you're further ahead. I sold three paintings and pocketed $900, which paid expenses. He sold only one, but it was $1,700. So who came out ahead?
I still find it hard to ask that much for my work, which is reflected in my pricing. However, I am leaning towards the higher price for two reasons. First, my work is on par with those who sell their work at higher prices, and if I sell just a few I'll be further ahead.
I'll leave you with this last thought; A true artist paints with emotion and transfers it into his painting so it conveys feeling to those who view it. A painting without feeling is just paint on canvas.