The Agonizing Reappraisal

by Lisa

One of my students left my class yesterday feeling she had failed miserably at painting. I told her everyone feels that way sometimes. We have good days and bad days. In fact, during my portrait demo on Tuesday I had those very sentiments and felt downright panicky here and there. I know better than to panic normally when I am painting alone, but in front of 15-20 people including instructors, the room heats up and the oxygen runs out pretty quickly. The crowd wants a performance, and instead of dazzling them with the brilliance of your brushwork, sometimes you feel you might as well be holding a fat stick in your hand. Tip for the day: NEVER drink coffee before doing a demo.

Bill wants me to keep putting my little miniatures up for sale on ebay even though the last one only sold for one dollar above the starting bid. That means there were two bidders. One followed by…two. Bill exuberantly points out that we got a few new viewers to the blog since I published our blog address in the description for my “item”. Yep, go for it Lisa. Spend half a day on another tiny painting that strains the living shit out of your eyes and sell it for peanuts because we just may get a few extra hits on the ‘ol blog. That’s like saying gee Lisa why don’t you go jump in that freezing lake because when you come out the air will feel warmer. Thanks Bill ‘ol buddy ‘ol pal…

By the way, I know what you’re thinking. Neither of the…two, were my parents.

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This entry was posted in On Suffering, Portrait, Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Agonizing Reappraisal

  1. kevmoore says:

    If I know Bill, and I think I have the measure of him now, I sense that he sees your struggle to create the miniatures, and the scant recompense received for them as “character building.”

    ((((whispers))) was that okay, Bill? :-)

  2. lbtowers says:

    The way I see it, it’s Bill’s turn to build some character.

  3. grfxho says:

    Actually, the more you’re linked to by a “trusted site” like ebay, the more your ranking in google will go up, the more people will find you when searching for things…etc… domino effect.

    And… if you sell a few miniatures at lower prices, that’s more people who know your work and will have a piece to show to others who may then want to bid on the next…and drive the prices up.

    Another thought–because I know you want my 2-cents–you listed one painting, in one style, in one color scheme, of one subject. You can’t use that to judge success or failure of the venture when you’re working with something as subjective as art.

    I found the painting to be lovely, and a steal at that price, but I did not absolutely CONNECT with that piece like I have with some of the others, so I did not bid. I hope the winner appreciates and loves it and DOES connect with it. And please don’t hurt me for not bidding.

  4. wrjones says:

    I spend my time scheming how to get what I want without the need for character (doesn’t that involve some church time?) You will note that “building character” always has some measure of suffering included.

    Lisa – stop whining and paint faster. Scott Christensen painted a demo of 48×48 in 2 hours, then repainted another scene the same size in 3 hours in front of 40 experienced painters. That painting will probably sell for > $20,000.

    Think like Duane Keiser and paint 3.5″x4″. Finish it in 20 minutes to 1 hour and then $75 will start to approach what you should make for an hour of effort. And after I take my cut you will, for all practial purposes, be up to near minimum wage. Do be careful with your health as medical benifits are not included.

    I do admire anyone with the courage to do a demo painting. I would unravel like a Wal-Mart sweater. I could do it I suppose if Kevmoore and I hadn’t already finished off that 6 pack and that kid’s codine/tylenol. I hope his earache is better.

  5. lbtowers says:

    It’s my post and I’ll whine if I want to. And I know you’re right grfxho. I should not take my ball and go home yet. Okay. I will put another one up in the next few days. Man you guys are slave drivers.

  6. grfxho says:

    Could you please email that to my mother? Let her know that I am actually right about something? Exclude the grfxho name though… I don’t feel like explaining that again.

  7. lindsey says:

    pardon me if this was discussed elsewhere, but why aren’t you selling them on Etsy.com instead of eBay?

  8. lbtowers says:

    Linsey, I am going to look into that now so that I can give you an educated answer. Thanks for bringing that up since I have never heard of it.

    grfxho you make me laugh!!!

  9. grfxho says:

    I just bought a bunch of prints off of Etsy.com. I love that place.

  10. Janet says:

    Okay … I took a gander at Etsy.com too before making any comments cause I’d never heard of the site either. I specifically looked at miniature oil paintings …

    I suppose it’s a better place than eBay for miniature art … but … well … there really wasn’t a lot of art to look at and … well … I suppose if you’re looking for a bargain …

    Janet

  11. lindsey says:

    janet,

    i’m confused…there’s TONS of art on etsy. that’s what etsy IS. people specifically go to etsy to buy handmade art. unlike ebay…where people are predominately looking for things like socket wrenches and cell phones.

    prints are the bread and butter of etsy because a lot of the artists are just starting out, and prints are affordable to young people who like art but can’t shell out $500. however, lots of people sell original paintings on etsy too. the price is up to you, so if you want to charge more than a “bargain” it’s perfectly okay to do so. i also think it’s classier than ebay. a bidding culture makes people want things for as cheap as they can get it. i prefer an artists’ set price, so i know the artist is getting compensated at a level they prefer.

    better yet, a lot of the design blogs do etsy “roundups,” where they showcase favorite things they’ve see on etsy lately. if you get showcased like that at a site like design*sponge, you get tons of business…and at your price.

    if there aren’t enough miniatures on etsy…then just consider yourself has having a corner on the market if you offer some.

  12. Janet says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    It sounds like I made a “snap” judgment based on just one category, something I dislike when others do that. You make a compelling case! I’ll have to check it out some more, especially the prints. I love prints for the very reason that you mention, they are affordable and, when done with archival quality material, you can feel your money was well invested!

    Thanks, Lindsey!

    Janet

  13. lbtowers says:

    Thanks Lindsey and Janet. Both of your comments are very interesting to us. I still have not had much time to check out etsy but what I have noticed so far is that the catagory of original oil painting (which is what I do) is not broken down much, and it does included giclee prints which I don’t understand. I am not an expert on ebay either though, and need to go back and really look at the difference in the two now.

  14. Janet says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I have sold a lot of “stuff” on eBay but never art. On occasion, I’ve looked at the art section and find that there’s so much, any artist risks getting “lost” in all of it and, much as this will sound unkind of me, a lot of the art on eBay “stinks!”

    I am a sucker for punishment, though, cause I’ve still thought of trying to sell some of my own art there.

    Just putting in a little more of my “two cents worth.”

    Janet

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