Monday, August 31, 2009

Are your paintings insured?


Recently I had a heated discussion regarding who is responsible for protecting and insuring your work when it is accepted for an exhibition? Let's say a highly regarded group puts on an exhibition and contracts a gallery. The group states on the application upfront about their legal responsibility for artwork accepted for their sponsored show. So far this is a normal practice and no one had an objection. You receive notification your work has been accepted along with delivery instructions, dates for your work to arrive, agreements to sign and additional costs the gallery charges to receive your work (this is a real pet peeve of mine for a later post) and a few more instructions. You are thrilled your work has been accepted and can't wait to get it ready to send. But stop you may not be prepared for what could be a huge reality check on how the art world practices business.

This is where our debate went to a higher level. Once your painting is in possession of the gallery do not assume it is protected by their insurance. Most galleries today do not cover loss or damage on items which they do not outright own, therefore since they are only in essence renting their gallery for an exhibition they are not legally liable for theft loss damage or fire. Not to mention the occasional acts of God that might also happen. It is a business practice galleries have maintained for years and with the economy in a slump it is even more prevalent. Our discussion was only in regards to exhibitions in galleries just to be clear. My stance in the debate is that galleries should cover the paintings of an exhibition. After all the publicity of a show being held at their establishment and the potential added profits to their bottom line through commissions of sold work plus the outside chance of signing on a fresh new talent and added clientele to their gallery I feel backs up my stance.

Since I love to follow things to the end today I investigated an exhibition which I was entering today and made a couple of phone calls to the gallery which was hosting the event. Sure enough I found out the gallery did not have insurance that would cover the painting I was about to submit. This gallery located in an area where storms can be dangerous and damaging did not have insurance to cover their own assets. This is very disturbing to me and if not for my rather Bulldog attempt to retrieve the information needed I may well have sent a painting (if accepted) unprotected and in harms way. So I decided to further investigate my own insurance on my studio and I am thankful to say my work is covered and if I wanted to I could extend a rider to cover paintings I chose to exhibit. This is very costly to add. I am now rethinking a part of my marketing strategy.

It really comes down to if you are comfortable taking the chance that nothing will happen to your painting , which is probably the case, than keep entering unprotected. But I know when you least expect it things can happen. I want people to be aware and know the truth behind showing their work(right or wrong). For me I am still thinking and weighing the pros and cons of exhibiting my work.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Make a Donation.


Some might find it strange to make a donation of one of your paintings during times where paintings aren't selling but I think it makes perfect sense. An old friend approached me asking if I would consider donating to an auction they were holding to help raise money for their Hospice House. I had in the past given painted furniture but now it was a few years later and was no longer painting furniture so I offered a painting. I gave her a list of paintings she could choose from and she picked the one shown. Maybe I will gain some business or a collector and maybe not. What I do know is every time I think of that painting or see an image of it I will have great satisfaction knowing my little painting helped someone to receive compassionate quality care at the end of their life. I am certainly not saying to donate to whom ever asks but a single donation every year or two would go along way. Just a thought to ponder- money pays the bills but giving nurtures your soul.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How networking can help your painting.


Yesterday I posted a small 10" x 10" oil canvas on Facebook and received great positive response but something was nagging me about the painting. Then I received a comment asking if they could make a suggestion. Of course was my immediate reply. Let's face it criticism good or maybe bad is how we can grow as artists and as human beings. I was so focused I never saw the obvious until it was pointed out to me. In the original painting the mountain had formed an arrow effect and made your eye jump up and out of the painting. As soon as I read this I knew that was what had bothered me and started to rework the painting.



To make the composition flow better and to prevent the eye from jumping off the canvas I brought the tree line up on both sides of the canvas. This allows your eye to move up the canvas in a zig zag fashion but now will settle onto the canvas. Your eye does not focus on the dominating mountain top.


I also softened the sky and mountains very slightly with a wash. The composition in this painting works very well now and all thanks to a very kind critique. It is a challenge to see a painting in its real light and sometimes a nudge can make all the difference. By the way thank you to my friend at Facebook for letting me see this painting in its real light.

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