norman rockwell

What would make a person spend thousands of dollars on a painting? Does the painting just make them feel good so they have to have it? Do the colors go perfectly with their new decorating? Is the artist trendy and it’s a status symbol to own one of his or her paintings? Better yet, is the artist dead and there is a limited supply?

These are good questions for an artist to ask himself or herself. Do you feel you are competing for wall space with all of the other artists out there, dead and alive?
These days an artist is lucky to gain gallery space. If they succeed in being represented, an artist has to hope for just the right person to walk by and see their painting. Whether it’s an impulse buy or a measured purchase, there are a lot of artists competing for wall space and for a person to want “that painting”.
I’ve talked to people who have regretted not buying “that painting” that they saw 20 years ago, which now seems inexpensive but was too pricey back then. I’ve talked to people who have bought a painting that they now can’t stand and it’s in the closet. I’ve met people who have bought a painting just because of the artist’s name. Many will buy to match their decorating, and many will buy for the subject matter. All are good reasons to buy art, but hopefully most will buy because they love art and have to have “that painting”.
I am always so appreciative when someone chooses one of my paintings for their home. I know that the odds are against me, for that remaining wall space that needs “that painting”.
I was even flattered when a painting I did of a 1927 Duesenberg ended up in a bathroom. That bathroom wall could have had a Renoir or a Monet, but it had a Beebe! I tell myself, “It’s not where you are hung but if you’re hung at all!”  I’m always grateful and take it as the ultimate compliment when someone wants something that I have painted.
antique car painting
The odds are against us painters making a living. We’re doing it because we love it. It’s too hard for an artist to predict what someone might want to buy, so in the end artists should paint what motivates them. It doesn’t hurt to have business awareness and acumen though, or at least have someone to assist you with the business side of art. In my case, my wife has been by my side supporting me administratively by contacting galleries, working with printers for our notecard and limited edition print business, and developing and maintaining our new website. Without her my career as an artist would have been so much harder. Her involvement allows me to have more time to paint.
Being accepted by galleries and art associations, getting juried into shows, and being appreciated by the public all help an artist feel successful. If we succeed financially it is a bonus and a blessing. I count my blessings every day that I am able to pursue my passion for painting!
*Guest artist/author William Beebe specializes in Maritime painting and beautiful places that have withstood the test of time. William’s paintings have been exhibited in numerous gallery and museum shows throughout the USA.
I hope we meet on Twitter and Facebook and Google Plus…and here is my website to view my paintings. ~Lori ;)

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