The First Friday open studio event every month at The Hungerford is a great party and us Main Street Artists enjoy the opportunity to talk to visitors and show our stuff.
We’d love to sell some paintings, but frankly, that doesn’t happen very often on First Friday. That’s OK; we just hope people will start thinking about the joy of owning original art and remember us when they decide to start their collection.
Some people think they can’t afford art, but at Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio, there’s art for every pocketbook.
Artists really struggle over setting a price for their art. Frankly, most of the artists I know (including me) make little, if any, money on a sale. Many hours go into the creation of a painting, even a small one. “How long did that take?” is a frequent question. (The facetious answer is something like “40 years” or however long it has been since you first picked up a brush. After all, each new painting represents the sum total of everything you’ve learned.) Just for the heck of it, I actually kept track of the time I spent on one of my favorite paintings. It took more than 40 hours – a full work week – and that’s about average for me. OK, I work slowly, too slowly, and I agonize and struggle over every painting. How much is my time worth? Artists should be paid more than minimum wage, in my opinion.
Every original artwork is one-of-a-kind, unique. What would you pay to own something no one else in the world can have? Amazingly, you don’t have to pay very much.
Oh sure, Sotheby’s expects to get $40 to $60 million for paintings by Van Gogh and Mark Rothko at auction May 5 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/the-allee-of-alyscamps_n_7054284.html). Of course, neither artist is in a position to enjoy the money.
Fortunately for art consumers, work by local, living, less-famous artists sells for a lot less.
Some artists set prices based on size, even though a small painting might take more time than a larger one. Size is something potential buyers can easily understand, and it’s not a bad system if you produce a lot of paintings.
Size does relate somewhat to the artists’ actual expenses – and trust me, art supplies are not cheap! A bigger canvas costs more, requires more paint, a larger frame, etc.
Framing, by the way, is a HUGE expense. It costs upwards of $100 to have an 11x14-inch watercolor painting properly matted and framed with regular glass; add on more for museum glass, multiple mats, etc. Sure, you can get a frame off the wall at the hobby store – and I’ve done that out of desperation – but most of those frames are pretty junky (watch out for corrugated cardboard backing) and comparatively not all that cheap.
I believe that professional framing is worth the money, and my framer (Allison Nichols, another Hungerford artist) is fast, reliable and does beautiful work. She knows how to make my paintings look their best.
Well, I could go on and on about the subject of art prices. But what I really want to say, shout, scream is “Buy Art When it Speaks to You!” The value of art is truly beyond price. Living with a beautiful work of art will make you feel good every single day. I’ve been collecting art since I was a kid, so I know this from personal experience.
Kathy Lindsley, who paints in watercolor, has been a member of the Main Street Artists since 2012.
You can talk to Kathy and see some of her work during the May First Friday and Second Saturday open studio events (6--9 p.m. May 1, 10 a.m.--3 p.m. May 9), studio 458 at The Hungerford, 1115 East Main St., Rochester.
She’s also exhibiting work in the following shows:
Twelfth Annual Artist’s Soul Art Show
What: An invitational exhibit of work by 24 artists; proceeds support the Sisters of Saint Joseph Ministry Fund.
When: Through Sunday, May 3
Where: Sisters of Saint Joseph Motherhouse, 150 French Road, Pittsford
Opening reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday, April 24
Show hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays
Penfield Art Association 2015 Spring Show
What: Exhibit of approximately 160 paintings by more than 60 artists
Where: Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, PenfieldOpening reception and awards: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 2Show: Monday, June 1 – Sunday, June 7Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. June 1 – June 4; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. June 5; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. June 6; 2 – 3 p.m. June 7
For more information: www.penfieldartassociation.com