Friday, November 29, 2013

Ouch! Never Read The Comments!

Just for the fun of it, I read the comments on the CBS News article posted on their website.
I was warned by Seth who did the interview and Jennifer, the producer, not to read the comments!
Now I have read the comments on other news articles, and I am always shocked at the level of stupidity of the average person I expected no less on a story about me.
I do however want to clear up a few points that I think might be a reasonable misconception to anyone who stops by here.

The question of time came up quite a bit. People commented about making paintings in fifteen to twenty minutes. It takes me an average of six hours over two days, to make a painting like "Three Persimmons". I usually do about a twenty minute drawing in oil with a brush, then I slowly begin to fill in paint from the deepest darks to the lightest lights. Very often, I will spend as much as ten hours spread out over three days, on one, especially if they have grapes in them...grapes take a while for me to paint. These paintings are not meant to be considered "finished paintings". They are studies, and when my galleries sell them, they are sold as studies.

Next the price was mentioned. Some people were shocked at a $500.00 price tag. Let us break that down. $500.00 is gallery retail which means that I get a check for half of that. Most galleries do not split the cost of a frame, so that comes completely out of my cut. Next, I have to make the panel it is painted on, and of course paint and brushes. I use new brushes for every painting so my materials cost per painting is about twenty dollars. If you add up insurance, rent, shipping, and other life expenses it doesn't leave a lot of money left.

Next, to the people who said "I can do that in an hour" - No, you can't.

I do have friends who can paint wonderful paintings in a very short amount of time, and they do sell them for hundreds of dollars...but they don't need to boast about it on news websites.

As far as me making prints of my work to sell. I have thought about that for a while. Prints are an investment. It usually costs about $80.00 just to have it photographed by a professional. Print on demand companies are usually of lower quality then having a large print run made all at once and large print runs are very expensive...If you think you know of someplace that does high-quality prints for a reasonable price, by all means let me know!

I own the copyright to my work, regardless of whether or not it is signed. If the Chinese had gone to a store and bought their own persimmons, nothing would have ever been done in the first place.
But they didn't, they stole an image off of my Blog and passed it off as their own work.

The quality of the copy is not even close to the original. If you look at the two side by side, I spent alot of time making sure the drawing was right. There is something wobbley about the persimmon on the left in the Chinese painting. Also, the "random" strokes in the background, in my painting, aren't random at all. I actually spend quite a bit of time making sure those strokes are well placed. There is something about the way they were copied which just isn't right. And the bottom is a powder blue, which I don't think works as well as the grey.

And lastly, there is no glazing in the Chinese copy at all. It was painted in one sitting with straight paint. They way that I use layers is what makes my work bright and vibrant, which is what most people really like about it. I realize in reading the comments that not everyone can see the differences between the two, and that is OK. Recognizing subtlety is what makes life fun. The differences between wines and cheeses, music, literature, and art are what make us unique. Having opinions about the differences, and our preferences gives us something to talk about during and after those events...

I'm sure I will thing of more to add to this but until then....


  1. To paraphrase one of my favorite movies: "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never read the comments!" - Vizzini, from The Princess Bride.