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Alternative marketing for artists?

While “known” for marine art, my interests as you dear blogreader will be aware are wider, much wider.

I invested quite a lot of time while in Plymouth exploring this topic with some distinguished professional artists including Tim Thompson, Adrian Phippen, David Folley, also several of the more promising young bloods including Rob Cordingley.

I also spoke with very experienced people in the trade including Darren Gardner of the Art Centre at Kelly Bray who’s company have been supplying art materials and framing  all over GB for 40 ish years.

“Tarnais Tarnaises” ~ Thus,  I have been following the preperations and exhibition of Alan Ansell and Chris Boddington, paintings of “Tarnais Tarnaises” landscapes with particular interest for the wider artist community.

I meet many artists who don’t seem to see further than Galleries and galleries.

I am very sorry to write I have a very poor opinion of 99% of galleries as viewed from my easel.

If an artist does become established, promoted and to some extent protected  in a gallery he is lucky, more so if the price they ask is reasonable and I am not only refering to their commission which I do not begrudge provided the artist has a piece of the action.

Beware though my friend, galleries are fickle friends, apt to “forget” to pay, over charge for framing, fail to return work unsold or return work with frames so damaged as to be unsalable and of course if they can make more with out effort on another atist you will be marginalised then dropped.

All this while we are expected to stock their gallery for free, some times expected to pay to show and share our mailing lists etc etc.

I would LOVE to show in a reputable gallery but…

Hence alternative marketing.

Ansell and Bodds to try and sell some of their years labour in the fields and villages of the North Tarn, bravely cleared out a friends large Barn, a barn in (almost) the middle of no where, fitted picture rails, lights, provided drinks and mince pies and invited everyone they knew and some people they did not.

Publicity was as far as I could tell, limited mostly to about 500 copies of an A5 flysheet and personal contacts.

A result!

Some 150 people turned up and not all of them curious artists and art teachers!

They both sold paintings, mostly in the 150 to 450 Euro / pound (same thing now or good as, thank you bankers) and have follow up interest.

Even a banker turned out ~ he did not buy though…

So, what else have you found that works?