Happy New Year – from Poynter Studio!
I have been working away for the past few weeks on several different series. Some bright floral still life studies and now the larger paintings, some daily drawings of blooms changing, opening and fading. And the sketches, compositions and references for the large landscape subjects that are intended for the canvas now primed, tinted and ready for paint. Now its time to do the work.
So this little video shows a painting in stages from start to finish.
When viewers look at my work and ask me “how long did that take you?” I don’t really know what to answer.
This whole process flashes before my eyes. Creativity happens at any hour of my day, in my dreams & half-sleep. Midnight waking hours and sleepless dawns. Doodles sketched on my phone tablet – or a napkin in the cafe. Reviewing years of photos and site sketches. The final painting is a culmination of all this creative brain flotsam + my technical skills (which is also an ever growing tool box of experimentation and happy accidents)
“How long did that take you…?” I like to answer ” it took me W + X + Y = Z ”
W – is the number of physical hands-on hours that it took me to prepare the materials & paint the finished work.
X – is the weeks/months of consideration & contemplation of the subject, thumbnails, sketches, color studies, etc.
Y – my age in years from 8 yrs old. When I began seriously practicing my craft.
Z – is the finished painting you see before you.
These days the answer would be somewhere around a total of 48 years, 2 months and 37 hours.
Pricing my art
Some folks think artists should be paid by the hour or by the inch. But the interesting thing is, the older, more experienced and confident I am with my materials & tools, the less time it takes me – but the better, stronger, more spontaneous and “valuable” the results.
The price/value is kind of an intangible thing…partly based on my experience, reputation and recognition (which has also taken a life time to nurture) …and partly the scale and complexity of the work. I have to start with a pricing structure somehow – so I estimate based on the standard size of the canvas. But sometimes there is a piece – that just jumps and sings. Perhaps appealing more to me, making it a little harder to part with – the price may go up a little.
SO the next time you feel tempted to ask “how long did that take you? think again.
Or you’re liable to get the LONG answer.
I won’t even start to explain the pricing structure of gallery commissions, framing and percentages paid. that’s awhole nother blog post.