What art sells best?

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
Usually, at our Easter exhibition, I’ve had to race off by Saturday lunchtime because of family commitments, but this year I was lucky enough to be there on the Sunday afternoon as well, and find out what paintings were selling best, as well as what people were voting for in best in show. People vote for different paintings to the ones they buy, I sometimes wonder why this is.

Subjects - What people seem to go for is anything with water – waterfalls, the sea, lakes, ponds or rivers, or a sunset, or water with a sunset thrown in. They also like close ups of flowers and small, dainty animals like birds, and also like clear, bright colours, not muddy ones. Most of the artwork I’ve ever bought myself has been scenes involving water or sunsets or both (one has both the sea and some flowers), so I suppose that confirms it.

Media – Oils and acrylics proved the most popular.

I was art group this morning, and those members who have sold anything would often have spent the proceeds on some art equipment. This was my third year of doing the Easter exhibition, and as my paintings hadn’t sold previously, I’d had some greetings cards made of my work, to help me gauge what people like. I am not obsessed with selling and usually just paint what I like. Still, to sell something does not go amiss, and one of my cards did sell, a copy of the painting of Venice. This particular painting wasn’t on sale – it was part of a display I’d done for November’s trade fair which showed four different stages in a watercolour, and I’d put the display up to fill a gap. It did make me wonder whether, if I I’d had that actual painting for sale, it would have sold – Sod’s law isn’t it? I do have a spare part finished painting from when I was creating that display (there wasn’t enough room to add it in), so am going to complete it and use that on the display board. The original is already on the Artists of Derbyshire site for sale. I’ve uploaded it onto Flickr, so you can view it via the blog widget or directly on Flickr.

And what, you might ask, did I do with the £1.50 I got from my card? I wouldn’t have got very far trying to spend that amount in a normal art shop. Instead, I found some 99p oil pastels on E-Bay – never mind that the postage and packaging blew the budget. They arrived yesterday, and I’ll be using them for my next project, another industrial picture of the inside of a forge in Sheffield.

Any arty readers out there, what sells best for you? And non-arty people what do you buy? Does anyone else feel a bit torn between wanting to produce something that sells and wanting to do your own thing? I would welcome other people’s comments on all this, so that we can share this and perhaps create a thread. Any Twitterers, feel free to retweet this to anyone you think might be interested.

Bye for now


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