Monday 3 May 2010

Pricing and Getting Ready for a Show

Every two years I take part in a huge open studio event in Dorset in the UK called Dorset Art Weeks.  Around 600 artists exhibit and as you will see if you follow the link to the website, the  work is mostly of an extremely high standard.  I really enjoy this show and this will be the third time I have taken part.  On each of the last two occasions around 300 people have visited my studio and I sold 10 or more canvasses  - by and large a much better response rate than showing in a gallery, with the added advantage of being on hand to talk to people about the work and see their reactions at first hand.

So right now I am beginning to prepare the canvasses I have been working on over the winter - painting the edges and wiring the backs.  I rarely frame them preferring to leave that up to the buyer. Personally, I really like the contemporary feel of a canvas hung directly on the wall.  Occasionally when I do frame I use just a thin wooden strip - about 3 cms - around the edges, usually painted white, which detracts least from the work.

Once all the work is ready, I put a price on it.  Probably the hardest part for a lot of artists, but I go by two rules of thumb.  My Dorset Mentor, artist Clare Shepherd said to me when I first exhibited with her that you had to work out what you were prepared to part with a piece for.  So I look at each individual canvas, think back to the work that went into it, evaluate it from my own critical standpoint and then use Clare's philosophy.  So far I think I have only got it wrong once when I allowed someone else's judgement to influence me and sold a piece too low.


  1. Hi Annie,

    Good luck at your show--I'm sure you'll do well.

    I know what you mean about pricing--I am thoroughly convinced that each piece has its price and its owner. It's just a question of putting them together.

  2. yes, good luck! love the middle painting with the tree lined path.

    just curious what color do you come back and paint the edges? i think the same thing about framing. but if i don't paint the edges at the same time, i can never get the right color when i come back to it months later.

    i've found that pricing by the square inch is the most helpful to me and keeps me consistent.

  3. Angela - not sure how to respond to you....might leave a message on your blog. Sometimes I continue the painting itself on the edges, mostly now I paint them black - or occasionally white, depending on the subject matter. Never hear of anyone pricing per square inch - so I found that really interesting.


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