This morning as I was painting the edges on two new paintings that are now released on my website at Terrill Welch Artist, I thought of a recent comment I accidentally heard being proclaimed in front of my display at our local Mayne Island Farmers’ Market a few weeks ago – they ain’t cheap are they!? To be fair, the lovely person making the comment was speaking to her friends and did not realize I was coming up right behind her. I warmly laughed and agreed with her – my work is not cheap. In fact, deciding to purchase one of my paintings or photography images is a serious financial decision – one that requires thought, conviction and often planning. As the morning sun provides its gift of bright light into my home studio, I think of all the reasons that this is so.
There are the usual and obvious observations including:
1. Market Demand – in the past few years almost 50 paintings of various sizes have found their way onto the walls of private collectors. (Update: post was written in 2014. Now in 2017 this number has grown to more than 100. Maybe someday I shall be one of the “older women artists discovered” even 😉 ) At some points during the past four years prices had to be raised twice in one year to calm the speed of sales which were happening before work was released or even completed.
2. Limited Supply – I am not a hugely prolific painter. Each year there are somewhere between 30 and 50 paintings completed. At this rate, in my life time there will likely be less than 2,000 original paintings available in the world. Original paintings by a specific artist are limited due to the very nature of being painted by the artist’s own hand. My released landscape and still life photography images are even fewer in number.
3. Broad Market Reach – Due to the breadth and depth of social media, I am able to connect with discerning art collectors on global platforms. Though my local physical community on a small west coast island is just over a 1000 people, my online community has the reach of a good-sized city and is populated by those who love art and who love my paintings. There are fans who regularly leave comments and share my work. There is a team of writers who provide commentary on specific paintings every month. There are fellow artists and photographers who share, encourage and inspire me to push the edges and explore what it means to brush paint onto a canvas. All of this strengthens the market reach and the asking price for a specific painting.
But there is more to it than this isn’t there?
The decisions around pricing art work and purchasing art work are also subjective and emotional. My paintings come through my engagement with life. I instill the canvas or camera with the vitality of my everyday experiences. These experiences are not cheap. They are priceless. They are all any of us every really have beyond family and friends. Frankly, I can never translate and release these renderings for pittance because my heart would break. It would mean that our lives and how we choose to translate our experiences have little value. I cherish life. I therefore act accordingly and apply value to my work that comes from that life. The outcome is long-lasting exchanges and deep connections with art collectors and fans. This somehow completes the circle between inspiration, creation and release of work to a life of its own, in places I frequently have never even been.
Yet, I want and do find ways to share them freely with you and the rest of the world. If you are reading this post you can view my work in detail in my online galleries as often and for as long as you like.
ONLINE GALLERIES include –
Artwork Archives for most original oil paintings currently available
Redbubble for most photography prints
In addition, the images on my blog and website can be saved for personal use as screen savers or printed to be sent as cards to your friends or posted on the fridge for that day when you can make an offer.
It is only when you want to own an original painting or a photography image that it ain’t cheap!
So, in closing, I want to thank the person who said loudly and clearly what we all know and seldom discuss – original art is precious and not always accessible to own but we can still admire it and enjoy its presence in markets, pop-up shows, home studio visits, traditional galleries, online platforms and in museums. In these precarious times, we have access to viewing and enjoying more fine art than possibly any other time in history. Thank you for visiting, enjoying and collecting mine 🙂
More about buying original paintings on my website at Seven Tips For Buying Original Paintings .
What is your favorite answer to the question – they ain’t cheap are they!?
P.S. The new painting released is:
OYSTER BAY LATE JULY 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas
Update September 2, 2014: This painting is now sold.
View all current paintings available in the online gallery HERE.
Enjoy your week and the coming of my favourite season – autumn! 🙂
© 2014 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
13 thoughts on “Terrill Welch paintings – they ain’t cheap are they?”
Terrill you are correct in your pricing, as I have often said before when asked to sell one of my pen and inks or acrylics on canvas, ” I can’t part for it for less than X Amount of $ because I could not buy it back for less than that.”
Thanks Sandi… that is a great answer! I might have to borrow it at some point 🙂
I think you explained your pricing beautifully and agree artwork is precious as it is a strong reflection of the person who has created it and all her experience and expertise up until that point. That is not something to give away cheaply but to be treasured by the artist and anyone who comes into contact with it whether by viewing or buying it.
Thanks Chiarina 🙂 From one artist to another I appreciate your thoughts on the post.
Terrill – What a lovely post and thoughtful pricing explanation. I love the aerial view of your paintings.
You asked: “What is your favorite answer to the question — “they ain’t cheap, are they?!”
I’d have to say, your wise observation: “My paintings come through my engagement with life. I instill the canvas or camera with the vitality of my everyday experiences. These experiences are not cheap. They are priceless.”
I’ve known you since late 2006/early 2007 and consider our relationship rich. In fact, priceless!
Wow! We have know each other for awhile now 🙂 I feel the same way about our relationship… pretty darn special indeed. It is my ongoing connection with people like you that has made my online world so fulfilling.
This is such a precious gift that you offer. “Yet, I want and do find ways to share them freely with you and the rest of the world. If you are reading this post you can view my work in detail in my online galleries as often and for as long as you like.”
Painting can be a sort of mystical subject; it is so wrapped up in fundamental questions of identity, expression and one’s personal taste. It has suffered, as have all the arts, by an invasion of a kind of materialistic thinking that stressed result over integrity, and often devolved into an effort to please a mentor, or “be the same as” someone else’s idea of what was right and proper. I am so inspired by you as a writer and painter–you always leave me in a better state of mind and heart before I viewed your art forms, helping my own personal confidence, reaching to create in my aesthetics, uncomplicated, honest, skilled and consistent–with a sense I can get on this level and learn to share my values. This too is a gift I’ve had no words to explain until I read this:.
You asked: “What is your favorite answer to the question — “they ain’t cheap, are they?!”
“I instill the canvas or camera with the vitality of my everyday experiences. These experiences are not cheap. They are priceless. They are all any of us every really have beyond family and friends. Frankly, I can never translate and release these renderings for pittance because my heart would break. It would mean that our lives and how we choose to translate our experiences have little value. I cherish life. I therefore act accordingly and apply value to my work that comes from that life. The outcome is long-lasting exchanges and deep connections with art collectors and fans. This somehow completes the circle between inspiration, creation and release of work to a life of its own, in places I frequently have never even been.”
I am blessed our paths crossed and am grateful for your art.
The feelings are mutual Kathy! It is always a pleasure to connect. Thank you for expanding our conversation with your reflections and thoughts.
It is very hard to settle on prices for work. You want to sell pieces to people who like them, and want those same pieces to be a lasting image that the viewer can connect with over and over, and love for years. My answer is that people don’t say that when they get the bill for a great meal, show or trip, the price is known up front and the decision made.
True rkb665 we do I think want our work to be a lasting life-time connection with its owner. But this comes with a responsibility doesn’t it? A painting on good quality materials will last at least 200 years and frequently much longer – longer than our lives and frequently longer than the building or home that will house the work. That meal, show or trip is temporary in its material weight. The exchange and responsibility is frequently fleeting. Not so with a painting unless we are buying it as a gift for someone else. This aspect I know causes me to choose art work for my own collection thoughtfully and carefully. On the flip-side a painting is an art work that is most often portable and as you imply can provide a life time of viewing pleasure. Paintings are real property that can be sold if necessary or desired. Paintings can also be donated to museums and fundraising events if you find that you no longer have a home for them.
Not cheap, but you pay for what you get. A masterpiece should hardly be donated. 🙂
Lol! Well what can I say, without wearing a hat that is too big, to THAT Sam? 🙂
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