Home Studio or Traditional Gallery do art collectors care?

My art work sells well but I wonder if I could do more…

Question: would you be any more likely to buy my paintings if I showed them to you from gallery space rather than my home studio space like in the photograph below?

YES or NO and it would be nice if you could tell me why?

I am asking because 70% of my art sales are from or supported by online  exchanges with patrons, admirers and fans like you. Since January 2010 when I launched my painting and photography work, my collector space has doubled each year. I am set to increase prices of my original paintings for the second time this year due to the volume of sales.  I am also considering other options to bring my work to a larger audience. There are several ways to do this but not all are practical living on a small island.

For example, I could rent Gallery space and show my work. This demands specific store hours from me and overhead costs. Which would be fine but the purpose would mostly be to better show my work to online buyers who collect my work. The local population, even with tourists, is too small to support such an adventure for art work that is already beyond emerging artist prices.

Getting my work in traditional galleries around North America is another option. The challenge of course is the time to secure representation and transporting work to and often from the venues. Ferry and mailing costs make this less than appealing.

So this is why I am asking my question. I want to know if you, as my audience and collectors, care one way or the other.

Again the question is – would you be any more likely to buy my paintings if I showed them to you from gallery space rather than my home studio space like in the photograph below?

YES or NO and it would be nice if you could tell me why?

one canvas still on the easel for still life set up by Terrill Welch 2013_08_14 091

Please feel free to send me a private note if you prefer.

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com

15 thoughts on “Home Studio or Traditional Gallery do art collectors care?

  1. I think this is a great subject and you do well to question. I think that many people have confidence in highstreet galleries, especially galleries with a good reputation. I would think that a lot of people would rather go to the gallery than directly to an artist, even if they have the option of paying half the price. There are simply so many of us artists around that it must be difficult for the public not educated formally in the Arts to make a distinction between good and bad Art. So, it makes sense that for some people, it would be wise to go to a gallery in which artists are being represented because of their standard of creativity. However, this is not always the case in galleries. Some artists are selected purely on current fashions in Art, cows heads for example…….

    I think that if you have real integrity as an Artist, whether you promote your Art yourself or through a gallery outlet, you will become successful in terms of sales. The key thing is that we stay focused and keep creating with integrity.

    As you have stated already, you already have a good following. The term, ‘Don’t try to fix something that sin’t broken’ comes to mind here 🙂

    Keep up the great work.


    • Thank you Andrew and I am not trying to “fix something” of course but wondering if it would make a difference to my predominately online buyers if I had photographs of my work in a gallery setting. I totally agree with you about integrity no matter what it is I choose to do from the many choices we have as an artist to present our work. I also promise that the price of my work is THE PRICE whether in my studio or at another venue. Marketing, promoting and selling my work takes time whether it is done by me or on commission by a venue or gallery. This doesn’t mean a buyer can’t make an offer lower than the list price but we would be having the same conversation from the same starting point whether in the gallery or in my home studio.

      The idea about a Gallery doing the first screening for quality work is I think a valid consideration. To assist with buyer confidence whether purchasing an original work from an artist’s studio or an art gallery I offer seven tips at http://terrillwelchartist.com/seven-tips-for-buying-original-paintings

      I appreciate you jumping into to the conversation Andrew. Your thoughts and considerations are most appreciated!

  2. I don’t think it would matter, if buying on-line. And the photo of your home studio is absolutely stunning. Why would you need gallery space, if it was only to tell your art admirer from far away, that it exists? Beautiful art work!

    • Your response roughwighting is heart warming 🙂 Your are right of course the photographs from the studio do seem to bring the viewer as close as possible to the work. A gallery photo would be much more of a challenge to get the same intimacy.

  3. Terrill – Your work alone sets you apart and will sell regardless of the venue. However, it’s my perspective that your home studio sets you apart — head and shoulders above the rest.

    In my experience, one of the vital elements in Marketing 101 is, “People want what they can’t have; what’s slightly out of reach.” Having a home studio — on an island, no less — is perfect!

    • Laurie thank you for you feedback on my work and for your insight. I had forgot somehow that I do have this unique perspective to offer with my home studio. It is something that not every artist or gallery can offer and it is an aspect that is comfortable and easy for me to share. I have been looking at the shortcomings of the home studio space (no gallery-like walls to show my work) instead of its assets – gorgeous light, aesthetically pleasing, one-of-a-kind, mysterious and a romantic, creative, heaven-on-earth location. I have just put on a different set of lenses thanks to your comment!

    • Valorie I am more and more appreciative of having asked this question. It is so interesting how a person can miss the most obvious. Thank you kindly for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      • Well, and also its says to people, creativity is an organic part of my everyday life. I think more people are discovering that a creative pursuit can be close at hand and woven into each day, a wonderfully fulfilling and healthy way to live. You are helping to show how it can be done.

        • There is that aspect of it as well Valorie. I have just come in from the front yard where my husband is working on a decorative fence. We were talking about this very thing – how doing what we do now is such a natural flow in our everyday life. This is indeed the deep connection I have to my creative process and my online viewers. A traditional gallery space is removed from such organic connections. In fact, if anything galleries have set a culture of going in the opposite direction so that the buyer then must claim the art for their own space on its merit as an object divorced from the artist and the creative process. What I have heard loud and clear today from the various places I have asked this question is that the home studio sharing and experience for the viewer is valuable and it is enough for the art to find new homes.

  4. This is such an interesting post and it had interesting timing. A short time before I read your post today an opportunity presented itself for a gallery/workspace opportunity in our city (almost 100,000 people with NO real art scene). I have been pondering it and then your post made me think more (with no clear answer in sight!).

    My thought process on your circumstance is from watching your work over the last few months that your work is very connected to your surroundings. This is a great and honest thing ( I like it when people are true to their art!). I actually wonder if home studio might be a great advantage. The paintings will be beautiful in any surroundings, but the home studio adds an emotional connection to the work plus a “story” of how the collector visited you and purchased the work…people like to have a good story.

    I think location is a huge advantage, but I do understand that the Gulf Islands only provide a small market. I think if you were to test the waters further afield I would stick to areas that still had the west coast vibe to keep the emotional connection (Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, etc.). I am just thinking that when I look at a seascape and I am on the coast it has a lot more impact on me than when I look at the same image when I am on the prairies of Alberta (which is exactly why I trekked a 4 foot high painting from Alberta to the coast in our minivan!).

    One last thought. Have you thought about joining up with a few different artists of different disciplines and putting on a show in a few different locals? This way some costs could be shared, but different disciplines would mean you are not competing against each other. This site http://artrubicon.ca/ has a lot of calls for submission on it, many Alberta, but also some Canada wide and international.

    Good luck with whatever you decide! By the way I saw your card on BC Ferries….great idea!

    • Thanks so much for pondering this situation with me Deb. I am on the Artrubicon email list and enjoy it very much. I also have done some group shows in the past. However, my primary focus has been to develop an international rather than local physical presence by connecting with a global online audience. But your ideas leave lots of room for thought. Thanks again Deb and glad you got that painting moved safely 🙂

  5. Terrill, your work speaks for itself in any setting, and I can’t say that I’d be more likely to buy the paintings based on where they are propped. But I will say this: the island setting and physical allure of your studio is quite a selling point.

    • Thank you Sam. The home studio work-in-progress and connection to our daily life on the island does appear to be a unique and welcomed approach. I think I underestimated the value this experience has on providing meaningful access to my work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.