7 Things I Learned About Pricing My Artwork This Year

Originally posted on The Art of Amira Rahim:

This is a topic that comes up in every artist’s career. If you’re like me, you’ve been drawing your whole life, and painting for at least half of it, and then you reach the point where you decide: you’re going to go pro. 

You do your training, constantly working on your craft and struggle to put your best work out there, and if you’re fortunate enough, people will start to ask to buy it. And therein lies one of the biggest dilemmas every artist must face: what is the value of my work? 

"Happy Not Hippy" 28x28" on canvas Amira Rahim

“Happy Not Hippy”
28×28″ on canvas
Amira Rahim

I’ve been selling my art for a little over a year now in the United Arab Emirates and occasionally, USA and Canada. And while I am still very much a newcomer and learning a great deal from others, I did want to share a few lessons that I’ve learned along the way:

  1. There’s…

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The Joy of Gina

In progress

This is the middle-coat of the face area. I plan to apply a translucent layer of off-white on top of this, (once this layer is dry), so as to mimic the makeup used in the 18th century. These colours and textures will still show through, they will just be a little less contrasting.

‘The Joy of Gina: Let them eat coal’

In progress

Very early stages, but I have a feeling this one is going to be fun. I have taken some inspiration from Klimt’s portraiture works, namely with regards to working on a neutral-blue ground, and building up the skin tones using a mottled, multi-hue approach which ends up giving the face an other-worldly, dreamlike feel.
The idea for this was handed to me in the form of a press-photo of Gina Rinehart, the Australian mining heiress who earns $1,000,000 AUD every 30 minutes, and is the coiner of such inspirational advice to the ‘working class’ as “spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working“; and on the problems with the Australian econmony “… Africans want to work and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future”.
Naturally, the owner of coal and iron ore concerns worth more than $22 billion regards man-made climate change as fiction generated by ‘leftist extremists’ (such as myself).

Gina

Colour chart for mixing paint

Colour chart

So, being a self-taught painter, I spend a lot of time searching the net for tips and strategies from the very generous online art community. I came across this helpful site and decided to create this colour chart using the 6 hues suggested. I didn’t have Prussian Blue, so I substituted it with French Ultramarine which I think leans slightly more towards red / warm hues of blue than Prussian.
You can see that there is no reason to buy many more colours than these 6, (though I do like to have a Naples Yellow lying around). Just add your whites and blacks to adjust the tone or value of the colour as I have done very roughly above.
Another great tip I learnt if you want to take the intensity out of the colour, is to mix it with its complementary colour which has been adjusted to the same value. Explained in more detail here.
p.s. Make sure the brightness of your screen is set to view white as pure white – that way the above jpg should look relatively close to its original, though all screen will display colour slightly differently.

‘And the rider just rode on’…

The joy of Gina

Let them eat coal

‘The joy of Gina: let them eat coal’, charcoal on paper, 61cm x 47cm, 2014.
Inspired by West Australia’s one and only Gina Rinehart.

Yolo

 Digital media

‘Yolo’, digital media, 50cm x 45cm, 2014.

Paper mosaic

Where there's a will...

A few destroyed magazines and a couple of days later, we have a collage.
‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’, paper, 29cm x 42cm, 2014.
This theme was inspired by two artist’s works; a cartoon by the Australian national treasure, Michael Leunig, and  the children’s book, ‘The Red Tree’ by Shaun Tan, an eternal source of awe.

Leunig Shaun Tan

The New Agronomist

Collage

This collage is my response to an article I read in National Geographic, (July 2014) titled ‘The Next Breadbasket’ about land leasing by some African Governments to foreign corporations in preparation for a population increase of 2 billion by 2050. The article can be read here.

The making of ‘Golden fish’ collage

Audio credit: Rhythm & Sound

Collage

Untitled

My studio now looks like a bomb has hit it – bits of paper absolutely everywhere.
‘Untitled’, 29cm x 42cm, 2014.

3d collage

Untitled

Still exploring the collage road, I decided to approach it from a more 3 dimensional perspective this time.

Equipped for the modern frontier

Collage

A lovely afternoon spent with scissors and glue as a break from the past months of painting. Titled ‘Equipped for the modern frontier’, paper and compass, 40cm x 27cm.

They had denial down to an art form

final

‘They had denial down to an art form’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

I am interested in the herd-mentality-denial of climate change as perpetuated by mass media and a lack of real leadership by governments and corporations with vested interests in consumption-based economics. This is the second in my series about failure to act on climate change which I am exploring this through the eyes of animal protagonists. They have somehow escaped the fate of the majority of ‘the civilised world’, and survived to pay witness to the remnants we left behind us.

Finished.

In studio

With great relief, I think I can say it is finished.
‘They had denial down to an art form’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

They had denial down to an art form

Detail

Detail from ‘They had denial down to an art form’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

In progress

Detail

Detail from the right side of ‘They had denial down to an art form’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, in progress.

When I was searching for environments in which to place my animals which could represent a future scenario if we fail to act on climate change, I found this photo of an abandoned theatre in Detroit. I am yet to add some shoes and open cans of beans.

In progress

They had denial down to an art form

‘They had denial down to an art form’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, in progress.
I am interested in the herd-mentality-denial of climate change as perpetuated by mass media and a lack of real leadership by governments and corporations with vested interests in consumption-based economics. This is the second in my series about mass failure to act on climate change which I am exploring this through the eyes of animal protagonists. They have somehow escaped the fate of the majority of ‘the civilised world’, and survived to pay witness to the remnants we left behind.

Detail

Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it

Detail from ‘Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

Detail

'Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it'

Detail from ‘Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

Finally finished

Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it

‘Their delusion had a pathetic sweetness to it’, 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas, 2014.

Homeward stretch

zebra-in-progress

Almost finished. Painting these works feels like what I could imagine running a long distance marathon might feel like (if I were so inclined).

Artist Statements of the Old Masters

The Bathers

ARTIST’S STATEMENTS OF THE OLD MASTERS
I could not agree with this brilliant article more. I am currently in the last semester of Master of Visual Arts and am barely passing because I refuse to reference philosophers such as Foucault, or spout words like ‘materiality, nexus, dystopia, convergence, metaphysics’. I am being graded on my ability (or inability) to play a game which I don’t believe in, not on my ability to paint. I thought I enrolled in a Visual Arts coarse, but it seems ‘Art’ in 2014 is actually another language, and it certainly isn’t visual. I consider it a sad state of affairs indeed when so many galleries are full of work which is merely an accessory to the ‘artist’s’ gift of the gab. It makes me think of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Emperor’s New Clothes

In progress

Detail
“What did you do today Jodi?”
“Added detail to a doll’s head which is covered in decades of grime”

In progress

Zebra
Detail from work in progress. It is slow going, but I am enjoying it none the less. Still trying to decide upon the right name for this which eludes to the concept behind it, without serving it up on a plate so to speak.

The nothing is coming


“…because people who have no hopes are easy to control”

In progress

Untitled (Zebra)
Mid-stage of this painting 122cm x 77cm, oil on canvas.

Rich Man, Poor Man now available on Amazon

Cover

Rich Man, Poor Man published by Tate Publishing is now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Rich-Man-Poor-J-Poulter/dp/1630636495

Work in progress

Sebastian
Early stages of this painting so far. I am pondering names. Perhaps “Sebastian awoke one day to realise he was alone”, or “It turned out they were not overly skilled at planning ahead”, or “They got their way”…

Sebastian

Cow in oils
I feel that I have not properly resolved my ‘style’ when working with oils, so here I have painted Sebastian as a small style test. Also trying a couple of new techniques with colour mixing and paint application.

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