Sunday, August 12, 2012

Purple Hibiscus - Sold, and Something I Learned in My First Art Fair

After putting this one aside for a couple of days and work on minor adjustments here and there today, I decided that nothing I do would add to it further, and instead I am just "fiddling", which is a dangerous thing to do and may cause a painting to lose its freshness. So, I signed it, and pulled it from the gatorboard -- another one finished!

Purple Hibiscus, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2012 #44


I was hoping to get it done before the weekend, but was not able to because I had to do a lot of matting and wrapping for my first art fair event -- the "Meet the Artists Day" event held at the beautiful Filoli Garden. It turned out -- the event was totally worth all the effort! I had a blast meeting all the wonderful artists exhibiting in the same event, learned tons of tips and tricks regarding photographing, printing, making note cards and organizing my exhibition booth/table area. Everybody was very friendly and helpful, and I sold several small pieces of painting, including "Across the Bay"...

Across the Bay, 
Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 5"h x 7"w, 2012 #38


I made the interesting observation that most of things sold at such art fair events are items that are simple and "painterly" -- most of my paintings that got sold are very simple small landscape pieces. The more complicated flower paintings got lots of compliments, but not purchases. Is it the price? I did notice most of the items sold are below $40 - $50, and it seems anything beyond $100 tag is a hard sell. Or is it the style? Are people looking more at paintings that look more like "paintings" instead of photographs in an event where painters are exhibiting side by side with photographers like this? I am really intrigued. I have two other art fairs coming up in October this year, so I will keep on making my observations. What is your experience? Please share with me!...


  1. No experience with art shows, fairs, exhibitions, etc. But this painting sure is beautiful, Arena!

  2. I have no experience with art fairs, just local juried shows, which probably attracts a very different audience (and from my experience, they don't buy much at any price). But, I would say that price probably is a factor when it comes to an impulse buy, which I'm guessing most artist's sales are, at an art fair.

    That being said, I'm really surprised you didn't sell any of your florals - they are all beautiful, and that's what I'd buy if I were at your booth. Of course, if money were no object, my house would be filled with original art by other artists and photographers instead of my own :)!

  3. I recently moved from Texas to Florida and did my first Arts and Crafts show. I only sold two small paintings. One lady who was an artist said "your paintings are too cheap and I am an artist" .
    I will never do a show and compete with crafts again. Meanwhile I have signed up for an art show and an art and flower show. 99% of my paintings are flowers.

  4. Arena, your hibiscus is divine - such beautiful colors! As for art fairs, I've done very few. I agree with Mary's sentiment - arts & craft shows are definitely not for fine art!

  5. No experience on art fairs, so I won't be saying anything about it. But, the hibiscus is brilliant, dear Arena!!!!
    Warm regards.

  6. Hello Arena:) The hibiscus is beautiful, so detailed. I love it. Congratulations with selling those paintings. I'm not surprised, they are wonderful!


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