View Full Version : A show!!!

03-05-2008, 04:52 PM
:clap: :eek: :D :lol: :o :wave: I'm all hysterically excited, I've been asked to exhibit my paintings, a solo show!

The place is a culture center, and their gallery is in the foyer -- Gallerie Foyer (French pronunciation, if you please) :cool: .

I was invited to a creative networking group last Sunday, and we all told about ourselves and the type of creativity we do. I brought two smaller pastels, talked about being a 'professional' amateur in all I've done in life, and about my thoughts on starting a pastel group, and how I loved the thought of every person getting to express their creativity, without degrees and fancy titles, about wanting to share how to use pastels.

That cultural center is all about people expressing creativity, so immediately when we had a break, the lady from the center grabbed me and steered me into a corner and asked me to do a show! Isn't that smooth? We'd never seen each other before. I'd never heard about that cultural center, either.

Tonight we reached an agreement: Exhibition is during two weeks, starting April 24, and I get to show 10-15 paintings, depending on size. I also get a Saturday for inviting people, what I call a Vernissage. The rest of the two weeks the stuff just hangs there, and people coming to cultural events will see my paintings.

Conditions is that they are not responsible for my paintings (no insurance), but they only ask for a 10% commission. That is very little, compared to commercial galleries. I don't have to sit there for two weeks, either.

This is the second person who's asked me to do a show! Remember I mentioned a church asking too? Well, they can't make up their minds, as they fear that the whole "money thing" is not of the Lord... I told them I don't have to sell, I'd be happy to show, and if they don't want a commission, well, it is their problem (I know their chairman real well). But now, well, I have an *agreement* with that cultural center, so even if the curch board agrees on Sunday when they meet, I fear they just have to wait until I have enough paintings to show. The early bird, and all that. :smug:

The big question: Pricing. What on earth shall I ask for? I know, I know, it is a veritable jungle of advice, that already exists on WC. Many methods. But I have to *decide* on one. Eeek!

And now I'll go and faint! :D


Donna T
03-05-2008, 05:47 PM
That's great news, Charlie! :clap: Do you still have to get all of your paintings framed? I hope you'll take a photo of all of them hanging on display. As for pricing, can you visit some galleries in your area and compare sizes and prices? I know there probably aren't a lot of other pastel artists in your area ( I think you mentioned that) but maybe you can get a general idea. It is hard to decide - I wish there were some rules for us to follow but it seems that there aren't any. Best wishes!


Tracy Lang
03-05-2008, 05:47 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Congrats, Charlie...I'm so excited for you!!! I know your beautiful paintings will be flying off the walls!


Merethe T
03-05-2008, 06:01 PM
Congratulations Charlie, that's great - and well deserved!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


03-05-2008, 06:12 PM
WOW!!! Great, Charlie! that's what you might call serendipity, I hope you have lots of success, and sort out your pricing - don't undersell yourself!


David Patterson
03-05-2008, 06:20 PM
Great news Charlie...congrats to you!! That's really "smooth"!:D


03-05-2008, 06:33 PM
Thank you! I'm still in shock. Of course I'm not ready for a show, but then again, I have never ever done anything in my life when "ready for it". It has always been a "close your eyes hold your nose and jump, and you'll discover if there is water in the pool when you land" experience.

Hubby thinks I should ask for proffessional artist prices. I want to sell, and am rather aware of being an amateur, painting for my own pleasure, so I think way lower prices. But that is "little me"-thinking... Begone that! Diane, you're right!

Would watercolour paintings be equivalent to pastel paintings, price-wise? Matted, framed, glassed, and on paper -- there seems to be several similarities. Or should I go for oil-painting prices?

I've already framed all my pastel paintings! Real cheap poster frames, and I cut mats myself. I've got about 10 paintings ready. So I'll be hidden in a rainbowcoloured dustcloud for the next few weeks, in a painting-frenzy (unless I freeze up totally!), getting at least five more ready. You guys have seen them all, but for sure, I'll photograph the exhibition. Gotta document it for the historians 200 years from now, who'll write books about me. LOL!

03-05-2008, 06:56 PM
Congratulations! Yes, you will be in a tizzy for the next couple of weeks. Donna's advice is good. Yes, my opinion is that you should price about the same as the "good" watercolors in your area, especially siince they have to be framed similarly. Keep us in the loop and blessings on you for your planning.

03-05-2008, 07:55 PM
Hi Charlie,

Congratulations !
Here's a link with some articles (scroll down to see the list) that I hope may be of some help.
Don't forget to take some business cards.
And remember that a smile opens many doors.

Kind regards,


P.S. I dunno if you'll be abble to understand swedish though:p

03-05-2008, 08:22 PM
Way to go Charlie!!:thumbsup: Good luck.


03-05-2008, 08:32 PM
Charlie! YEAHHHHHHH!!!!! I'm so happy for you. This is so exciting! Please let us know how it goes and don't forget those photos of them hanging on the walls. For no other reason that to have a visual memory of your first showing!


03-05-2008, 09:10 PM
Great news Charlie! Congratulations!:clap: :clap: :clap:
I'm so happy for you and I'm looking forward to hearing you tell us how many paintings you've sold.


03-05-2008, 09:39 PM
Hi Charlie, Congratulations on this excellent opportunity! So well deserved, and it will be so amazing to see a body of your work hanging all in one space.

I would like to pipe in here.... do not sell yourself or this medium short. Your work is just as valuable as an oil painting of similar subject/provenence and experience of the artist. So don't just limit yourself on watercolors for price info.

You have worked hard at your craft and are talented in your own right, so be proud of your accomplishments and enjoy this wonderful time in the spotlight!

03-05-2008, 10:21 PM

How exciting!! Congratulations!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


03-05-2008, 11:03 PM

Congratulations! This is such an honor! You must be in a frenzy. We are all your cheer leaders! Be sure to have something there explaining about the quality of pastels, and educate our public for us. It's not only an accomplishment for you but for all of us struggling to get pastels up a notch in the art world. Your work will shine. Oh how I would love to see all of them hanging together.:clap: :clap: :clap:


03-05-2008, 11:27 PM
Oh my this IS exciting!! Congratulations!!! You must have made a great impression at that meeting.. WOW.. Truely a blessing & chance to show how beautiful pastel paintings can be.. I bet you will knock their socks off with all your gorgious colors!! Keep us updated on all the details!

03-06-2008, 12:31 AM
How exciting! Congratulations Charlie! Let us know how the show went.


Deborah Secor
03-06-2008, 12:54 AM
Congratulations, Charlie!!! This is terrific news. :clap:

A smart cookie like you will figure out the pricing and not undersell your talent! Be prepared to do a little demo and have a flyer for your new pastel group and you'll be on your way with that, too. :D


Adriana Meiss
03-06-2008, 01:41 AM
Congratulations Charlie!
Take a deep breath (do not pass out)!

If you have time, do some research. Check galleries to get an idea about prices. Take framing into account too. I price my paintings higher than watercolors since the framing requires more care (spacers or something between the pastel and the mat) and special frames (1/2" rabbet at least).

I do my own framing, which saves me a lot of $, but when pricing a painting I add what it would had cost me to have it framed in a special shop (with quality of the materials being equal).

In my opinion, pricing depends in part on the area where you live. Big cities, higher prices and vice versa. Also remember that it is best to raise prices than to lower them later on.

You have a very distinctive style, and unless you ask for outrageous prices, you are likely to sell. However the show goes, you'll learn a lot!

Buena suerte! (Good luck!)

03-06-2008, 09:26 AM
This is such great news Charlie! Congratulations!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

I know others will love your work. It stands out with luscious colors....right now I am thinking of an adorable green frog, big juicy strawberries, and a wonderfully colorful waterlily. I remember seeing those and others in your gallery.

I'm sure you'll come up with a pricing system that works for you. I sort of played with a couple different methods before I found the one that works for me. I think this is an individual kind of thing.

We are all looking forward to seeing photos of your show!:D


03-06-2008, 09:47 AM
:clap: THats wonderfull Charlie..and well deserved!!! I am very happy for you//:heart: :heart: You are a true giver here on the WC...your advice and
time that you give people is amazing to me...and now the universe is giving back!!!! your art is definitely worth what you are.....put a good price on it Charlie...and then if you really like someone and they are really nice...give them a discount:lol: :lol:

WC Lee
03-06-2008, 10:14 AM
congrats !!! :) hope everything goes well and you sell them all :)

03-06-2008, 10:25 AM
Hi JosÚ, thanks for the link, many fun articles! And it seems like what I think of as sky-high prices is around the lower end... good to know, then I won't be so chicken!

No problema about the language, Sweetie, soy Sueca, albeit of Finnish origin. I learned English in school, and a bit of Spanish too, and French, and two words of German. Only language that stuck was the English, as I've gotten way more exposure to it and immersion in it.

P.S. I dunno if you'll be abble to understand swedish though:p

03-06-2008, 10:50 AM
:grouphug: Thank you so much for the congrats!

I'm still petrified... I've only painted seriously in pastel for 6 monts or so... I'm just a beginner... but so has every other arstis been, including Picasso!

Alicia, you're so sweet! I know now why WC calls itself "cyber living", it is addictive in the extreme. And I think there is a little teacher hidden within me.

Deborah, smart gal, thanks for the advice, I'll follow it, --a demo, and have samples of papers and such. I'll even let people try! And smack wallis on the back, so people can see how "delicate" a pastel painting is! And people will get to know a lot about why pastels are *paintings* as good as oils (or *better*).

Adriana, gracias, I live in the capital, where the major cultural institutions are, and large paintings in oil by living top-rated artists sell for 40-50 000, dollars, but that is the 2-3 megastars. And unknown artists sell for ca $300. And anything between, depending on degree of fame. Amateurs usually go for $150. But that is oils, so I will research the watercolour prices.

Thank you all, and pardon me for not replying individually to all, I've read and treasured every comment!

Terry Wynn
03-06-2008, 12:37 PM
Congratulations, Charlie. So well-deserved! Sell bunches and have great fun and joy!


03-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Hi JosÚ, thanks for the link, many fun articles! And it seems like what I think of as sky-high prices is around the lower end... good to know, then I won't be so chicken!

No problema about the language, Sweetie, soy Sueca, albeit of Finnish origin. I learned English in school, and a bit of Spanish too, and French, and two words of German. Only language that stuck was the English, as I've gotten way more exposure to it and immersion in it.

ah si ? pues yo tambien hablo un poquito de castellano, et je parles quelque chose en franšais und ein bischen deutsch, aber ich habe alles vergessen.
Oh ! Did I mentioned that I have a portuguese/swedish dictionary ?:p

Kind regards,


03-07-2008, 12:02 AM
Congratulation Charlie! I wish we could all come to your show. Hope you will let us know how it is going each step along the way.

As to the price, it seems like there is as much advice as there are different styles. I got some great advice from a very successful artist in Alaska. He told me to price my art to sell, then when I sell EVERYTHING I paint then and only then, do I raise my prices. Last year I sold it all and my prices are now going up. Now this advice ONLY works if again this summer season I can sell everything.........more later this summer on that......

My prices tend to be lower than other artists in my gallery which totally drives them nuts. I do not value my art less than they do, I simply see myself as just getting started really and the sales keeps me going money wise, even if it is not making me rich. Having lower prices only means that I get more people included in my market, people with money and those with less money.

Art is the only market in the world where we don't price according to what the market will bear, but by comparing to others.....and they might not be selling.....so whats with that?

03-07-2008, 06:24 AM
Hi Donna, yeah, it is a bit of a mystery to me -- if other artists don't sell, why should I ask for the same prices and not sell too? Sort of, what is the point of that? In the articles JosÚ gave a link to, there is an advice similar to the one you got: when you sell a good portion of your work within a couple of months from when they hit the market, then you can raise your prices next time. That guy also advices you to hang on to some work from each year, as you can sell them for high prices when you've become famous.

JosÚ, (or is it JoŃo?), I've seen a Spanish-Swedish dictionary, with phonetic pronunciation -- I've never laughed so much in all my life! I guess yours would be as fun! My father had a tourists dictionary from the 30s, Swedish-Spanish. It was taken for granted that the tourist was a man, and that after dinner, he would have the company of a se˝orita, and the tourist got helpful sentences like "dame un beso". :-)

03-07-2008, 09:46 AM
Charlie, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:
I think what you've got is an awesome opportunity, and I think you should enjoy it as your first life experience of this kind!
Don't be too stressed out about making money now, just be proud if people want to own your art! it is sad if somebody comes, looks at the painting, and says: "it's beautiful, I wish it could be mine, but I can't afford it..." what do you do then? but the painting back in a drawer, once the show is over?

Dot Hoffman
03-07-2008, 05:27 PM
Charlie, how wonderful!!!! I'm so happy for you!!! Congratulations:clap: :clap: :clap:

03-07-2008, 08:28 PM
Wahoooo Charlie....congrats!!!!

03-08-2008, 10:20 PM
Wonderful! Congratulations!!!

03-09-2008, 05:55 AM
Thank you so much!

03-09-2008, 06:11 AM
Brilliant news Charlie, I'm so pleased for you :thumbsup: I hope you manage to take some photos once you have everything set up. Good luck and enjoy it

03-09-2008, 01:20 PM
It's great news!! Your on your way.... i would think that once you have your 1st show you'll feel more confident about your art! So the next one should be easier. I love the colors that you are putting in your paintings!

03-09-2008, 11:05 PM
Aw, thanks a lot. Whaddyaknow, a church has asked for a show too! Today! They hesitated for over two months, so i went ahead with the culture center, and now I don't have enough paintings! We have a saying, "when it rains manna, the poor have no spoons"... I may have to ask the church to wait until fall, as I doubt I'll paint enough paintings for two shows, one in April and one in May. I can sell at the April one, but the church isn't comfortable with "the money issue". On the other hand, with such a rush, I will *have* to loosen up and be way more painterly, which is what I want to anyway. :-)

03-12-2008, 03:38 AM
AWSOME Charlie :clap: :clap: :clap: Pricing well probably not much help here but what ever the market will bear :D :lol:

03-12-2008, 03:40 PM
I don't know how I missed this posted when it was originally posted...Congrats!!!!

Go for it they will all be amazed at your talent and what you have to share with your art....You will color their world!!!!


03-12-2008, 06:15 PM
Thank you, Richard and Scott. As far as I know, I'm the only person in Sweden painting in this style (in the US there are plenty). It will be very interesting to see how it is received. Swedes used to have a 'colour phobia' (would that be 'chromaphobia' ?), everything being beige and navy and pale blue... but it is much better these days. Very exciting!

03-13-2008, 02:12 AM
Wow! CONGRATULATIONS, Charlie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: