Monday, October 12, 2009

Questions? See FAQ

I thought I'd take a moment to address several of the most commonly asked questions I get from artists and art enthusiasts regarding me and my work.

1. How long does it take you to complete a painting? (Boy, if I just had a nickel...)
Answer: Seldom am I actually able to give an accurate number to anyone that asks this question. Every painting is different. To quote Norman Rockwell, "Some come easy, some come hard." Also, a bulk of the time it takes to create a painting lies in developing a concept for it. If you began counting the minutes from the point I started working on an idea for a painting, to the finished work, several months may have passed. But, if you really must have an answer — addressing strictly the actual application of paint to canvas part of the process — it can take anywhere from a few hours for a very small painting, to a couple of weeks for a large work.

2. What paints, brushes and canvas do you use?
Answer: For a while I bounced back and forth between Windsor & Newton Artist Oil Colors and Holbien. I've now settled on Holbien. The reason being that of all of the brands of paints I've used, Holbien's quality is the most consistent out of the tube. There's never a teaspoon of oil expelled upon first squeezing a tube and their high level of pigmentation is very consistent. As for brushes, I use Windsor and Newton Lexington Series bristle flats. I've now switched to using linen canvas. The brands I'm currently using are a combination of linen panels made by SourceTek (Claessens #66) and stretched linen canvas (Centurion LX brand).

3. How do you price your artwork?
Pricing can be tricky at first. Some artists price paintings based on how they feel about them. Others take a more traditional and structured 'retail' approach. I suppose I'm somewhere in between but lean more towards 'traditional retail approach'. I've arrived at my pricing by comparing my work with other artists that I feel are of equal skill and work with similar subject matter, as well as artists that have been working professionally for about as long as I have. Doing this provided me a good baseline from which to price my own work. As one looks at my prices, they'll notice that smaller pieces, per square inch, are more expensive than larger pieces — the paintings become less expensive per square inch as they get larger. I keep all common sizes at the same price level. For example, you can expect to pay the same price for any of my paintings that are 11" x 14" — regardless of subject, time it took to complete, or how I feel about the piece. The only real fluctuation in the price would be influenced by the framing, but the base price for any particular size painting remains constant. Basically, I come up with the price, then add the cost of framing.

4. Who are your favorite artists?
Answer: That changes often. But here are some that have always stayed at the top of my list... Living: Bill Anton, Jeremy Lipking, Clyde Aspevig, Matt Smith, Mian Situ, Kathryn Stats, Scott Burdick & Susan Lyon, James Reynolds (to name just a few). Deceased: John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Edger Payne, Carl Rungius, Frank Tenney Johnson (again, that's just some).

5. How tall are you?
6' 6"

If anyone would like me to add to the FAQ, just let me know.

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