My "big" opening is Friday. My first "solo". It is not taking place in a fancy gallery. It is not on Gallery Row in Lancaster where I used to exhibit as a resident artist.
Instead, I have a little room in an old Victorian house. The proprietor requested 40 paintings. I could only fit 29. (A few are on the large side). This is a collegetown coffee house, complete with cappuccino, live music and exhibiting artists I'm told.
The day before I delivered my paintings, she asked if I could supply the postcards. She didn't have the budget to do such things. (I'm missing the Red Raven already). She booked me for this show way back in October. She tells me this on February 26th. I designed and ordered postcards on Zazzle, in between picking up some framing which cost me a pretty penny. Needless to say they arrived two days ago.
When I get to my "room" I am instructed to lay out the paintings to decide what goes where. "She" had to "balance" the colors, landscapes with still lives, so on and so forth.
I had two abstract mixed media paintings framed for this event. They looked phenomenal after framing.
Proprietress P was not impressed. "The room is not feeling the abstracts" she says. Well okay then. "And this community doesn't appreciate nudes..." (I just framed that one too).
Then she asks if I have labels to specifically fit on her little Victorian moulding that some of my paintings are sitting upon.
After seeing my prices she exclaimed, "I hope 'your guests' are going to spend lots of money here." After adhering the aforementioned adhesives, I proceed to the coffee counter to buy a cup for Doug. My beloved husband, who Proprietress called my grunt. Meanwhile, Ms. P. was conversing with a customer, discussing why she prefers working with musicians over artists. (Musicians are more organized and businesslike apparently).
During this week, I decided to email Ms. P to ask whether they will be providing refreshments for "my guests". Or Should I provide something and by the way, what did you tell me you wanted in commission.
She tells me she makes no money unless the art sells. (She implies that she is doing me a "huge" favor by letting me use her wall. Her commission on any work sold is 40%. There will be two "barristas" selling coffee and pastries. I can't provide the customary wine and cheese because it conflicts with her restaurant. I should provide prints for $40.00 because people can't afford my paintings. I tell her it costs me $35.00 to make each print. If I sell them for $40.00, less her 40%,well, you do the math.
So if I sound a little less than enthusiastic, now you know why. I paint because I love to paint. I am definitely not in it for the money. My paintings are generally priced in the $300 to $800 range. I have to "up" the price a little because galleries take between 25-40%. Framing is expensive as well .
I had gum surgery today. I have been prescribed Vicoden. I am no longer feeling pain. I am quite "HAPPY" at the moment. So please do not feel bad for me despite my rant. When it is all said and done, I can now put a solo show on my resume! I suppose she will bad-mouth me if my paintings do not sell. I'm okay with the fact that my paintings are not selling off the walls. I am in no hurry to "get rid" of them. I just want people to see them. I get much better feedback from bloggers than I do at any gallery. I am happier when I give away a painting. (I will just go broke doing it) I donated two prints to a charity this month as well.
So please! Don't buy any of my paintings from Proprietress P.