Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Cost Of Doing Business

I've heard it, and my friends and gallery owners have heard it too; "So much?"
People seem to think that because we love what we do, our work should be cheap. They don't realize the investment we make— not just the years of study, art school tuition, supplies, workshops, books, supporting tech equipment— but also the time we spend trying out ideas, making mistakes, and honing our skills. Then our galleries take a percentage of any sale, which is fair— they make the sales, and there's rent and utilities to pay to provide a place for folks to come and see the work.

Well, after the trip north I sifted through the photos I'd taken, and there are a number of exciting possibilities for new works, both large and small. I cropped and resized some of the images and came up with a couple of pieces I'd like to get started on. Since panel is my preferred medium, I contacted the place that supplies me with custom panels, and the quote for them was quite reasonable... but the shipping cost alone was just under $150!

When I did the math for linen and stretchers, the cost was much more acceptable, especially since shipping was free and I can string out the purchase of stretcher bars over time. The linen roll arrived today. It's just under 350 smackers, but I'll be able to get several canvases out of it. The surface is about as smooth as you can expect of linen; it's "portrait" quality and already primed, so that'll make things easier. (Painting on unprimed linen isn't archival— the oil will eat away at the fabric over time.)

An added note: That commissioned piece I finished recently was done on a nicely cradled panel, which set me back 60 bucks before I even put the paint on it. There it is.

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