Thursday, April 26, 2007

getting ready

I decided yesterday that I had better start cleaning up and hanging work for Sunday's Open Studio tour. I had brought in my monotypes and collages weeks ago and now I have brought in some fiber pieces, as well. Spent yesterday hanging the work. I pinned some finished pieces to my design wall and left the piece I'm still working on, just as it is. The place looks pretty nice, if I do say so.

Then, today, I brought in some fabric postcards and scarves. The last time I had some postcards at a craft gallery, I overheard people saying "$30 for a POSTCARD?!!" So I double-matted and framed them in 8 x 10 clip frames; now they look like ART and maybe some civilians will buy them. Right now, they are lying on the table that will hold the wine, cheese,crackers,& fruit on Sunday.The scarves did not make me happy, so I brought them home and will decide whether or not to bring them back with me over the weekend. I don't want to clutter up the place too much.

I spent a good part of the afternoon making a price list - the worst part of the whole deal. Some of my studio mates, most of whom have done this before, insist that people come to studio tours looking for bargains and you have to have $15 things and "studio tour" pricing; i.e. - 20% lower than the would otherwise be. I don't make $15 items and am reluctant to lower prices across the board. My friend Lisa Westheimer, who had an open studio last fall, told me that she had a bunch of $5-15 items she wanted to get rid of. Nobody bought them - they bought the $300 pieces. Is there a lesson here? I continue to struggle.

Got back a little while ago from my artists' crit group - 3 painters,a collage artist, Lisa, a photographer, & moi. A young woman, who is a college student majoring in art, brought two paintings in for crit. She told us she has a university professor who looked at a painting of hers and said "I hate it." Can you IMAGINE? The arrogance! Not only useless, but destructive. We were much more helpful to her tonight.

Tomorrow, back to the pricing thing and I really do have to print some fabric...


Nellie Bass Durand said...

"I hate it"... what sort of teacher instructs with that assessment of a student's work? Lucky girl that she had you and the rest of the group to counter balance that destructive criticism.

Your studio looks great ... so inviting. I most certainly would be there if I lived near. I support you in not lowering your prices. As an open studio visitor, I consider getting to converse with the artist a bonus of the event.

kristin La Flamme said...

Arrogant, yes. And sure, "the composition is unfocussed," or "you need to work on line quality," (or whatever) would be far more constructive than "I hate it." But, I see this as a very male comment. And a male student's reaction would probably either be to think "bite me!" or to go rework the painting and fix whatever the professor hated -- either way he'd move on. A woman is more likely to take "I hate it" as a personal attack, not a reaction to the painting itself and she'd get discouraged with the whole process. I think there's something to be learned in both views.

Linda Dunn said...

A friend at art school got so fed up with the critiques that he brought in a piece, stenciled white on black, that read: THIS PIECE IS FINISHED. DEAL WITH IT.


Your studio looks brilliant. Don't lower your prices. I've played with pricing at shows, and its seems to have no effect: people buy (or don't buy) what they want regardless. There's no figuring.

Judy said...

Go for it Rayna...."no lowering of prices" is my vote too! If they love it, they'll buy it. Is price what really drives the sales? I understand people holiday shopping and having a price point, but not at galleries for heavens sakes!
Love the way your studio looks. Yes, if I lived closer I'd definitely be there.
I find Kristin's comment very interesting, and probably true. I know that I would be crushed if someone told me that they hated my work!

Rayna said...

Kristin - as a matter of fact, this terrific young woman did make the change he suggested (and COULD have suggested without the subjective comment) and said it was better. But geesh - so true about these male professors setting themselves up as gods with women students.

No, I am not lowering my prices.

lizzieb said...

Looking good, Rayna! don't drop prices...people looking for bargains aren't going to pay normal prices any way so don't bother lowering them. They are what you say they are worth! Postcards mounted do sell much better as they have a presentation.

Have fun!

Judy Rys said...

People will buy what they love. Don't set your prices by what other people say or think. Stick with your gut feeling!

Wish I could come. Your studio looks fantastic. Good luck.

kathy said...

Your art looks great and your open studio event looks like great fun---wish I could be there! And never lower your prices!

Sandy said...

Rayna- glad you didn't lower prices! The business of having really cheap pick-up art is fine for SOME places, but not necessarily for everyone. You will set your own 'rules' with your open studios, but I think that is a great way to sell off odder pieces or experimentals, at full price, thankyew verry much. And the studio looks more like a gallery than a work space! Yes, price accordingly! Congratulations on a great open studio- we could read your pleasure and excitement in your words. Sandy

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