Saturday, February 10, 2018

In my Opinion

Yes, I have an opinion.  Normally I wouldn't share for fear of offending people with opposing views, but this time here it comes.  I think it's important to title your art.  And I don't mean something like "Abstract #47" - that's rubbish.  No offense to any artist who has a piece called "Abstract #47" of course, but what does that tell a buyer?  That you crank out your work one after the other after the other, and you don't care enough to put any thought into naming each piece?  That there are 46 other paintings that probably look just like this one?  Or - I've heard this a lot - you want the viewer/buyer to engage with the piece without any pre-conceived notions?  And you don't put hanging hardware on your abstract pieces because you want the buyer to be able to hang it the way they like best, right?  I won't flat out say that's lazy, even if it's what I'm thinking, but man - what a missed opportunity.

I am a firm believer that when you sell a piece of art you are also selling the story behind that piece.  People are interested.  They want to know how and they want to know why.  For example, the painting in my last post called "Shit Storm" has a whole long story behind why I chose that name, and it's interesting.  If I list it on Etsy I will put the story in the description.  The more information you give, the more ways a potential buyer has to connect with the piece.  You give them talking points they can share, which then helps even more people connect with your work, and with you.  Many years ago an artist we represented at Frame of Reference told us the blue splatters behind the heron in her painting were actually made when her cat dragged his tail through wet paint and accidentally flicked it across the painting.  It was a great story and a great talking point - people love those details.  Give them the story.

Here's another example - the reason for this whole post.  I've got a new alcohol ink piece curing right now and when I was custom mixing paint for the sides of the cradled board there was a moment when the yellowy gold color looked exactly like Dijon mustard.  I don't know this because I'm a mustard aficianado - I'm still trying to figure out how a bottle of the stuff got into my fridge - but that was the first thing that popped into my head and it stuck.  Hence, here is "Dijon Palm" -

HAHAHAHAHA!  Dijon Palm.  It's not much of a story, but it's a part of the piece.  FYI, I took these photos pre resin so I have no idea what it will look like in its finished state tomorrow.  The trunk of the tree started out a lovely shimmery copper and right now it's looking a little more green.  Unpredictability.  I am slowly learning not to get attached to anything until it is well and truly done but one thing's for sure - this piece will always be mustard to me....

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