Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Price tags...

Last night my local town, Gramat, had a marché nocturne for several invited artists and artisans. The old covered market hall was swept clean of vegetable debris and tables were set up. The weather, after several overcast and chilly days, blessed us with a golden late summer evening. It was the first event of its kind in Gramat, and we were all suprised by the large number of people wandering the square and town, including many lively children. Dramatic sparks blazed as an ironworker constructed a sculpture of objets trouvés, a wood turner produced delicate bowls and mustard spoons, while next to me a bookbinder sewed pages together on an old wooden apparatus. We had all been asked to demonstrate our various crafts, so I painted impromptu watercolour coqs, butterflies, cats, cows, goats and even a crocodile dragon at the request of small (and even not so small) children on cut card bookmarks.

I sold a few children's books and posters, but no art. There was a fair amount of muttering over my prices. This is always a difficult decision for artists, and I price my work fairly intuitively. If I think a painting or drawing is special, I want to be sure that the purchaser values the work as much as I do, so I make them stretch themselves a bit financially to obtain it. If I don't have a special attachment to a piece, I am ready to let it go fairly cheaply. I find the painting of the church, which I did in one of my classes last year as a demonstration, rather pedestrian so was willing to let it go for 125 euros. The drawing of the man, however, is much more interesting, so I priced it at 275 euros. They are about the same size.

1 comment:

Bruce Anderson said...

It's the hardest thing for an aritst..pricing your own work. I price my husbands pieces, he would let them go for nothing. But when I sell my pottery, it's hard for me to price them...low price, people think it's cheap and something is wrong with it, high price, people don't buy, somewhere in the middle is where you need to be, but where is the middle? I think most people who don't know art would look at your two pieces and think that the church should be more because it's more coloruful and detailed but I know why you priced the figure more, it's stunning!