A question of price

I have to say; that I haven’t really been looking forward to writing this blog, but it’s something that has to be done I’m afraid.  It is, as the title says, a question of price, or should I say, a question of increasing the price of my work.

'Towards the Mamores, a showery summers day'

‘Towards the Mamores, a showery summers day’

Ever since starting to work professionally back in 2009, I’ve tried to keep my prices at a level that matched my then newly emerged status as an artist ….in other words, a little on the low side .

Of course, what you can ask for and what you can get for a painting, may not match and so at the time, it seemed best to be realistic  ……people had to find my work, and, as it is rather different from so much Scottish landscape painting ……they not only had to like it, they also had to get used to it and gain confidence in it.   I have over these last almost 7 years, worked very hard to increase the quality of the paintings I create and I’ve also put almost as much effort into promoting both myself and my work,  in as professional a manner as possible.  This all takes a huge amount of time and time, as they say, is money.

As you know, I have a severe visual impairment and this doesn’t help when it comes to running an efficient small business.  Everything I do including the actual painting, takes much longer to do than if I was fully sighted.  As such I can not only produce less paintings but I have to spend much longer promoting them and so I tend to spend money paying others to do  this side of the work for me.  In short, my business expenses are quite high and my production levels are quite low.

I was however, fortunate enough back in 2009 to have my work win the prestigious £20,000 Jolomo Award for Scottish Landscape Painting.  I’ve used the award money very carefully to cover some of the increased costs I incur. It has also allowed me to continue developing my very distinctive style of work rather than be tempted to try and produce more “sellable”, more traditional Scottish paintings.  This has been great for me as an artist and it has been great for my work.

Now, 6 years on from the award and from my first steps into self employment, my work is being recognized and its quality and individuality  appreciated and sought after, both in Scotland, the rest of the UK, and to an increasing level, internationally too.    My prices however, do not reflect this and sadly despite all the hard work and time that I put into it, I am still not able to make a living or even a wage from it at present.  I either need to produce a lot more paintings ….which I can’t do, due to my very poor sight, or I have to increase my prices considerably.    This is good of course for those of you who have already purchased paintings, but not so good for those who haven’t!  I am therefore going to give six months notice of a general price increase so that people have an opportunity to purchase work at the 2014 level.  Any work commissioned in this period will also be at the current levels regardless of when the commission is completed.  So;

I will be increasing my prices by 40% as from 1st September 2015. I tend to work in standard sizes and so below you will find both the current and post 1st September 2015 prices:

Size                                       Current price                    Price from1st Sept 2015

 210 x 148mm                     £325                                      £455

30 x 30 cm                          £485                                      £679

76 x 23 cm                          £720                                      £1008

80 x 80 cm                          £1250                                   £1750

During the six months between now and 1st September, I will be holding exhibitions and showing work at the following locations.  My work can also be obtained at the same prices directly from my studio or website.

April 24, 25, 26th 2015     Glasgow Art Fair

May / June 2015              Wild Space, John Muir Trust, Pitlochry

August 2015                      “the gallery on the corner”, Edinburgh

I am also in negotiations to show work in two further locations in Ayrshire during this period.  Watch this space for more details.

Right then, that’s it.  I hope this hasn’t been too much of a shock and that you understand my reasons for this price increase.   I do however genuinely feel that the new post 1st September 2015 prices, still offer very good value in today’s art market.

I am also looking into introducing a larger range of prints in the future and will announce news on this front later this year.

After all is said and done, do remember that my studio is always open when I’m working and it doesn’t cost anything to come in and just look at the paintings and have a chat ….everyone is welcome.

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One Response to “A question of price”

  1. Hi Keith – good for you! I mean it; it is a necessary step towards making a living from doing what you love and what you have a unique talent for. I often think buyers walking into a gallery don’t often think of the costs involved…They see a work for £1,000 say and ask “how long did that take you?” Despite the 50% gallery commission, it is nigh on impossible to quantify artwork in terms of man hours…the research, the travel, the sketches, the paintings that didn’t turn out right, the years of developing your practice…! You know all of this, of course.

    The price of an artwork has little to do with it’s value: I wish you all the best for the future and continued success. Onwards and upwards!

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