Sell Some Paintings!

“Sell some paintings!” say those who want me to supplement our income.

“Easier said than done!” Say I with chagrin.

Abstract swirlThere is the option of mass producing abstracts for quick sale.  The only problem with this is, I need to feel confident that I can sell a sufficient number of paintings to cover the financial cost of time, canvas, paint and stall rental.  For the first time this year I dipped my toe in the group show scene which was a learning curve. Will look to 2015 to be the year. There are many talented artists who show their work at these functions all hoping like me that their work is worthy of recognition.

High on an artist’s wish list is the reputable art collector, or a gallery of fine art offering the opportunity to exhibit. Then there is the wonderful marketplace called Social Media opening opportunity, the hope that someone of some influence may offer to buy/promote them as an artiste extraordinaire .. rather like wishing for a needle in a haystack.

Having spent much of my life as a spectator in the world of all things arty, I have come to understand that selling art isn’t about talent, or skill, or even dedication, it is about who we know, and the ability to get out there and network. This means pounding the pavement, going to galleries, introducing yourself, creating a portfolio and faking it until you make it. How many of us can be bothered doing that? To be honest, the thought doesn’t exactly light my fire. Today, I found a tongue in cheek article articulating the thoughts of a Gallery Owner, (So You Say You Want A Gallery? by Grossmalerman). I have heard this story by Gallery Owners and Artists alike more times than I want to remember, and have come to realise there are no shortcuts.

And so, my answer to the demand ‘Sell Some Paintings’ is,

  • Step One – Find a style = Done Jondalar
  • Step Two – Finish a series or two in that style = Series One – Done… Series Two starting next week –
  • Step Three – Get out there, market your product ….. and pray.

At least that’s my plan…

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About Ellis Burgess

A number of people have said that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is in Ellis’s genes and to some extent they may be correct. Her grandmother painted and so did her mother. Marge Barley started painting when she was 9 years old and achieved some acclaim in New Zealand. In turn, her mother, Ellis’s Grandmother started much later in life more from compulsion than conscious desire. Ten years ago a well-intentioned friend shoved a paintbrush into Ellis’s clenched fist, forcefully moving her hand between paint pot and paper until it moved of its own volition in a frenetic frenzy attended by a torrent of tears born of bewilderment and frustration, unaware of the wild colour patterning the fury within. Ellis’s mother had passed away three years earlier from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From these inauspicious beginnings Ellis began to paint, and for a short time attended classes at the Hamilton Society of Arts in New Zealand. Seven years ago, Ellis and her husband moved to the Gold Coast where she met Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School. With his encouragement, painting became more than just something to do. It became a passion. Another passion is dance. Ellis loves the musical synergy of movement, the human form working with rhythm mood and emotion, sensing the freedom as the dancer soars across the floor with effortless ease. Like a lot of little girls, she was sent off to ballet in a somewhat desperate attempt by her grandfather to stop her stomping around the house. Eleven years later Ellis was selected to dance with NZ Ballet Company in a season of the Nutcracker. Did Ellis stop stomping? No. Ballet was to be her life; that was until she met the man of her dreams. Never the less, ballet has featured in much of her adult life by way of teaching and outlets of involvement. Ellis quickly discovered another outlet was painting. She spent a long time pondering on the skill set required to achieve her vision; how to portray the artistry of movement, the musicality and rhythm of dance, and the genius of the human form on canvas. Attempting different techniques, she learnt she is not an illustrator, but a painter who gravitated towards free movement. In her quieter moments Ellis often wonders what her mother would say if she were still here, left only with her paintings languishing against the wall. As an apprentice in the art of painting Ellis hopes the path ahead will be clear, perhaps meander elegantly at her will. Maybe it will broaden out to a huge piazza where she may sit for a long while, then later choose the many paths that transverse the piazza or continue again down the main road.