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 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