Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blogged Down

I told myself that this year, I would do my best to post weekly on the blog, maybe more. It is a good exercise for both discussing art and in maintaining my curmudgeonly reputation. I have failed in that promise to myself and to you. Although you were not really I made that promise to you, so...... anyway, I will try to post more.
For all you that watch this blog anxiously awaiting the possibility that I will finally post my nude self portraits, that isn't happening anytime soon, but I do have a list of topics I hope to cover.

Why have I been so remiss? Well, first I have been working a lot: Painting scenery at the Cincinnati Playhouse, trying to catch up on illustration work and painting in the studio as much as possible.

The main reason, I have not had time to write in my blog is because I have mostly been spending a lot of time reading other blogs. There is some great stuff out there to read, and as it takes a lot of effort to write good stuff for this blog, especially in this economy (I had to lay off my entire staff of writers).
So what have I been reading?
One of my new favorites is the blog by James Gurney. I have no idea how this guy has so much time to post on his blog. They are all great discussions, he posts quite frequently, and it is all well thought out, well written heavy stuff. I mean, I think he writes books and illustrates them too, unless he has elves or robots or robot elves doing some of the work. Anyway, check it out.

Another blog I just found is one by my artistic uncle Stapleton Kearns, a Gammell student (Gammell is my artistic Grandfather). In addition to being a successful east coast landscape painter, he has a wonderful blog that covers a lot about the Boston School way of painting and thinking. He is also gifted with a biting wit that he uses to discuss the business of being an artist in this market. Just today he posted about the audacity of charity auctions that prey on artists on a regular basis. I will post one of my favorites here, where he answers a woman's request for smaller, more affordable paintings;

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 8:57 AM, Linda Larynxslicer wrote:
How 'bout you-guys whipping up some quickies that can go for cheap as compared to your masterpieces? I read that Mary Kaye and other cheap make-up companies are thriving right now, stock going up, because (apparently) women get a boost out of using it, for but little invest. Not clear, however, that this theory might transfer to the art world.
xo xo xo Linda

The art market is different, Linda. Thanks for asking for the quickie though. People often imagine that art is expensive because of the enormous hubris of the artists or our lack of understanding of how the business model actually works, They are vile crustaceans. Here's why.
Lets say I make a painting to sell for $500.00 The dealer earns his half, ( and deserves it too, retail is a lot of work and overhead ) that leaves me with $250.00 A frame will cost me 50.00 I really can't get a frame for that, but lets just suppose....Now I am down to $200.00. If I then back out of that, a very reasonable charge for canvas, paint, stretchers, driving to location ( often distant) and some marketing, accounting, shipping and incidental expenses, let's call all of that
$ 25.00 , (again in the real world it costs more)......Now I have $175. Now lets assume that Mr Obama (oh most merciful! ) and that cheery band of tax cheating thugs in congress , were to take, say $25.00 for some stimulants, I am left with $150.00. That's assuming I am in the 10% bracket. Which I am not, because my goddamn social security tax alone is 15%, by it Ponzi scheming self.
How many 150 dollar paydays must I then receive to earn 100 thousand dollars a year? With my mortgage, health insurance, kids in college, debt, medical bills and secret heroin habit that's what it takes for me to live in the sparkling wonderland of the greater Boston area.
Assuming that every single painting I do works out and then sells without exception the number of paintings I must sell at $500 a piece is 666 per year, that is, no kidding the actual number ( and oddly enough the number of satanic completion as well ) . That works out to about two a day if I take Sunday mornings off to get down on my knees and thank God for those hundreds of sweating, Mary Kay opaque gypsum foundation plastered housewives buying $500.00 paintings like there's no tomorrow, in the heart of a recession, rather than a Tom Kinkaid bathtub strainer at K-mart. Fat chance, Screw em!

PS. Thanx for asking though , this will make a swell post for my new blog on art, I will expunge any reference to you of course and place the question into the mouth of a happy little cartoon lobster with a droll Jamaican accent dancing to a churning yet harmless and lighthearted calypso beat.........................Stape

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