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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

BUSINESS OR NO BUSINESS, THAT'S THE QUESTION

Hmmm, this background...may be to stay...
Yesterday after my 100th follower, Paula from Pensacola Daily Photo came in as the 101st. I like to acknowledge her too, because she is the first of the second hundred! Her photos are awesome, and taken with great sensitivity and creativity!

Since I only put art notes on my second blog, I tell some of the story with this smaller oil painting here. Don't know if some of you are wondering why I am not promoting my art as vigorously as I could. No, I am not rich - no one is, after moving in and out of countries four times!

It costs a small fortune to ship furniture or one's car, so when one decides not to do that, it is like starting all over again with a household. Really, ALL over, because every country has a different current of electricity, so one can't use the appliances of the previous country.

Anyway, back to the story, why I do not pursue the business side of my art as much as I could. I came back to art when two of my 3 my children were still in elementary school, and to be there for them was higher on my priority list than to make oodles of money with traveling a lot. Then, when my painting on Sundays started (see post:Sunday Painter), it kept me painting all the time. So, no time for business.


I think the most.compelling reason is the following. I alluded in one of my posts to it, that I received much encouragement in the beginning.  An official sale of my painting, and also I had a couple of solo shows. 
There was this business woman in my last solo show who kept coming back to look at a certain painting. The first time she asked me why it was not priced. When I told her that I had only priced the bigger 24 x 30 inch paintings, she chided me in a friendly manner, saying that the smaller paintings were just as important. 

The second time, when she came back and saw the price tag, she slowly said,
"Is that what YOU want for it?" When there was a moment of hesitation, she told me,
" I want to pay you, what do you think it's worth?" I hesitated again.
She pressed me. "Come on now, I have a business. This is business. What is the price?" 
I was very skeptical that she would accept the price, but I quoted a price three times of the value listed on the tag. 

She didn't blink or winch, or cleared her throat when she wrote out the check for the painting posted on Art Notes this week. This is only part of the painting!!!
FOR THE WHOLE PAINTING, click on my  blog ART NOTES (pic on top)
OR "View My Complete Profile" (right column). On the bottom you see my two blogs. Click on ART NOTES, and it will take you right there.




                                                             © Oil, St.Germain


When I came back to the same city a few months later, she bought another, even smaller painting, because the red in that painting fit her interior.
All these experiences have given me trust  that if I really needed to live from the sales of my paintings, the dollars would come in. 

You see, it is very tempting to paint what everyone wants, when you know that you can make hundreds of dollars with it. I keep myself free from that temptation.

This view you probably would not hear from a business person. Only an artist can hold this "crazy" view!

20 comments:

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Painting for pleasure is more vauable than commisioned I'm sure!

jeannette stgermain said...

Carol,
It may be similar for you -writing is more of a do or die than being published:)

Gaelyn said...

I don't think art for the artist is all about money. Yet for the truly appreciative eye it may be. Whenever I've tried to conciously make money with my art I loose interest in what seems to become a production. However the sale of your wonderful work certainly reinforces your known talent. Nice piece Jeannette, thank you.

BTW, some people do collect sand from around the world. Sort of like we collect bags and boxes. ;-)

dogimo said...

The best part about doing art for the right reasons is that no one can stop you from doing it.

But it's often a sweet feeling when the art you did for yourself finds others who value it highly!

jeannette stgermain said...

Gaelyn,
Thanks, you are always so kind!
Most artists I know (read: I like, LOL) are very un-business like. That's why I'm glad I don't have that conflict - sell yourself out to make a living, or do whatever you feel you are drawn to develop.

Wow,an interesting thing to collect: sand!

jeannette stgermain said...

Dogimo,
Yay, yes, I strongly agree. I am so emphatic, because my parents tried to stop me (their motive probably was that they saw a starving artist down the path), but as you can see, they didn't succeed.
Unfortunately, I was the only rebellious one - my brothers are just as talented in music, but they developed it too late!
I just wrote 4 posts ago about music (Voice of the Soul). There you can see my guitar (only not a ukulele:( ).

Protege said...

Loved this post, as everything you say is true. I think people will recognize the beauty in something that you love to do and you never know what might appeal to whom.
I saw the painting in its full size; it is very beautiful indeed.
xo
Zuzana

jeannette stgermain said...

Zuzanna,
Oh yes, it never cease to amaze me which paintings become the "popular" ones. Thank you Zuzanna!

Whitemist said...

I actually was commissioned once, just before I lost all my abilities to paint anything descent. It is nice when people want what you have,

crochet lady said...

I think of the things I create and the process is so much more fulfilling than the price. However, as a person jumping into a small business, I guess I need to think about those things.

Reader Wil said...

Art and money don't go together, I think . I wanted to buy a small painting of Roy McIver the Aboriginal uncle of my daughter's ex. He wanted to give it to me. Of course I refused as it is his living. Your paintings are very beautiful and difficult to put a price tag on them.
Thanks for your comment. You asked what Rotterdam looked like when I was born. I don't know because that was before the war and R'dam was heavely bombed in the war. Only the White House and the Schieland House were left.

Angie Muresan said...

Jeannette, I love your paintings. And making money while doing something one loves is the icing on the cake.

Sreddy Yen said...

Hi Jeannette~! I'm finally back to blogging again - exams are finished! I love your new header - it's so cool~! How did you shake the camera to get it like that...or is it Photoshopped? I like the new layout/colour of your blog :)

San said...

To paint from the heart and the soul--that is the artist's calling. And when a buyer responds to that, magic occurs.

jeannette stgermain said...

Joey,
I wonder what made the change, Joey? Yes, it is nice to paint what people like, and with that discovery also comes the temptation for many, to keep painting that instead of following one's own heart as an artist.

jeannette stgermain said...

Jen,
I agree, that doing the art is mare satisfying than the pay check. Am very thankful I don't have to worry about the last one!

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
Never have met an artist whose work was good, and stingy at the same time (art dealers, yes!).

Do you think they were intent on bombing Rotterdam so thoroughly (and I had forgotten about that!) because of it's harbor and access to the Rijn?

jeannette stgermain said...

Angie,
You phrased it well, Angie -it's icing on the cake:) But the "cake" is still nourishment for the soul of the artist, so they'll eat it without the frosting if needs must be.

jeannette stgermain said...

Sreddy,
Hope your exams went well?
Did you hear about Joan stopping with blogging?
The header is hubby's work -he took a photo class, and this was taken on a trip at the end of the semester. No photo shop here. It's a certain setting on the camera that makes this look:)
Thanks I've experimented all week, and I think I'll stick with this, because it's a good background for my paintings..AND

I started an art blog (click on the pic on top of the right column ART NOTES). Have a good vacation!

jeannette stgermain said...

San,
How (the method/style/approach) is subservient to WHAT I paint -in my own case.
Maybe I'm still old-world-style, like the 16th-18th century painters - money is not my concern (no telling though how I would think if I had to make my living with it:) )