Excerpt of a blog by artist Deborah O'Rourke
Photographs aren't enough for me because I can only look at them. By painting I can "experience" the color and texture and light, in a whole new way. And then I can share it with you.
I paint because I have to. I see something and I just have to.
And after a while I have a lot of paintings and I try to sell them. And it hurts to sell one of my paintings. I feel a loss when I sell it. What makes it ok is that I know that the person who is buying it looked at it and felt something about it that I was hoping to convey. Maybe they fell in love with the yellows in those lemons or the way the light and shadows fell. I envision the buyer hanging it on their wall and getting joy from it each time they pass by. So that makes it ok to sell. I still miss each painting because there is so much of me in each one.And that is why we buy art. Because we see something that evokes an emotion in us and we want to take it with us.
Almost everyone has art in their homes, but many, many people don't have original art. Many people have prints of old masters and manufactured art that they bought at a store.
The colors go well and of course the famous artists are famous for a reason. But all you are doing is supporting big manufacturers and not the small artists who are trying to sell their art and maybe one day will become big artists. People who are putting their heart into their paintings.
If you see a piece of art you like, you should buy it. Not because it matches your living room or because you have an empty spot. But because you might feel joy when you look at it each day. And your emotions are from you. If you see an artist you like, feel free to like them even if they aren't famous.
The biggest objection I get to buying art is "I have no room in my house". Well, how about rotating your art seasonally? How about getting rid of a piece that you never really cared much about in favor of a piece you just fell in love with. How about hanging art in the bathroom, the hallway, the stairwell, or an unusual place. We've had a piece of art hanging in our garage for over 30 years. We love it there. It fits.
How much should you pay for artwork? At my last show I had a lizard painting which got a lot of attention from a lot of people. The price was $75. People said "I'd buy it but the price is too high". But think about it for a minute..... it isn't a manufactured piece that can be sold cheaply because a machine prints thousands of these. This is an original, hand painted piece. I spent hours designing it and painting it. I had to pay for the canvas, the paint, the frame and the booth to sell it. $75. And you will get to enjoy that painting every day for the rest of your life. It's a bargain! Much of my art sells for more than $75. I price it with a mind to how much I spent on supplies, framing, the size of it, and other considerations, but I can never get paid enough for the time I put in or the years of experience and learning it took me to get to where I can make that painting.
If you look at art in a gallery, remember that galleries typically take 40 to 50% commission on an artists work, so if a painting is listed at $400, the artist might get $200 and if they had to pay $100 to frame it, and $30 for the canvas their net profit on the painting is only $70. There's a reason they call us "poor starving artists". And framing is usually expensive.
So think carefully the next time you pass an artists booth. We paint because we feel. We paint because we have to. We sell because we want to share and we need to paint more. Please support us.