I remember walking through the famous L´Orangerie Museum in Paris some years ago, thrilled to experience the power and pleasure of some of the most iconic paintings in the world. Almost hidden from view in a corner there was a small
“wouldn´t hang that on my wall” painting by one of Monet´s students. We´re all unique in what we like. But it wasn´t the painting that stopped me in my tracks, it was the price. €23,000! That set me thinking about how so much artwork is priced way beyond the pockets of so many.
As a professional artist, I paint landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes, the wonderful, vivid colours, and emotions I see and experience in nature. If I focus on who might buy my paintings, I can easily fall into the trap of producing what I think people want rather than painting purely for the pleasure of it.
Google tells me there are formulae that artists can use for pricing their work. Multiply the length by the width, and charge per square inch, plus an hourly rate and materials, for example. If I did that, then a medium sized canvas would cost £480.00. A painting at that price might sell at some point, but at that price I would not be honouring my personal values and aims as an artist. It´s the joyful experience of the world as I see that I want to share.
Does a print of Van Gogh´s Starry Night for £99 from Ikea devalue his priceless work? Or does it mean that his genius reaches an audience who might never have experienced it? People all over the world buy famous prints yet never consider buying an original painting from a local artist. I asked friends and neighbours who, like me, live on a modest income: Why not? They all assumed they wouldn´t be able to afford one, that an original painting was “Out of my league!”
That´s such a pity. And it´s not true.
I feel there needs to be a healthy balance between the price of my paintings and how much I value my skill, experience and expertise. I mustn´t undervalue my work for the sake of selling a painting. Today I have a pricing structure that I´m comfortable with: £50 for a small painting, £95 for medium, £295 for a large canvas £695 for extra large, like The Journey seen here on the right.
I offer prints as an option, unmounted from £12.50. I have also been known to exchange paintings for kindness, a favour, or a bit of much appreciated help.
Buying an original painting is an investment, an inheritance, a treasure, gift.
We all deserve some of that.
Original paintings and prints available from my website. Commissions undertaken with joy. Subscribe to receive my weekly blog via email or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Leave a comment-I love hearing from you!