Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Original Temptation painting STOLEN!!

I had some very bad news yesterday that one of my favourite paintings has been stolen right off a gallery wall.

I have a large show of work up at the Virginia Gallery in Glasgow, along with some work of invited artist friends. I got the call from the distraught gallery owner, that the little 30 x 30 cm box canvas painting was missing and that they were talking to the police. While they were making the police report, they noticed that a life sized ceramic head sculpture by Margaret Fraser had also been taken.

I just don't know what kind of folks can walk into a gallery and do that. In some ways I should be flattered that they chose that particular piece, but in others I am angry with myself, as I nearly didn't include it in the show, as I fancied keeping it for myself.
Some paintings are just special to you as an artist, and this was one of them. Now it has been taken and I don't even know who has it, or whether it is treasured or discarded in a bin somewhere.

It makes me very sad as someone probably saw the £700 price tag on the wall and thought it was a bit steep. But when you think that I only get 50% of that after gallery commission, then I take off the canvas, paint and  framing costs, travel costs for delivery, then I pay for a studio to be heated and lighted, I pay for models and attend regular life drawing classes for training and it took about 30 hours to paint, that I really don't get that much in the end. I am beginning to wonder why I am doing it at all!

I have a vain hope that maybe the CCTV will show the culprits and the painting will be recovered. If it is, It is going on my wall and never coming down again!

As a two fingered response, I have organised the printing of small giclee prints for sale at the show instead. Hopefully I will recover a little money from the sale of those instead.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Art off the Square- Sales in a small village

So we are well aware that the western world has been plunged into a state of recession and business is very tough for businesses, particularly those selling luxury products, like art. Let's face it, if money is looking tight, you are worried about your job and the fuel prices are soaring, the last thing you are going to want to buy is a pretty picture for your wall. I must admit that I have noticed that the sales in galleries have tailed off rapidly and I did spend a lot of the summer wondering what on earth I was doing trying to make a living at this. Two solo shows and only a couple of sales, was enough to test the nerve of the most confident artist. So I decided to take a few risks. I put work into shows that I would normally not enter, or changed the type of work I gave to galleries and shows.

Fairylights on Ashton Lane, mixed media on canvas, 30 x 30cm

Each year in a nearby village in Kilbarchan is a small 3 day art show called Art Off the Square. I had entered what I thought would sell - small Glasgow cityscapes, in previous years and had no luck selling. I had kind of given up hope, but thought I'd give it one more shot and put in two cityscapes for safety, a figure drawing and a burlesque portrait, although not too saucy a one, as the show was in a church after all!

Miss Hell's Belle, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 cm
 And just when I needed it, a miracle happened and I sold two of the four pieces; the large cityscape and the burlesque portrait of the beautiful Miss Hell's Belle. It was one of my favourites after all, so I am not surprised.