As an artist, I see many notices about art show openings at galleries. Exciting as they sound, I don't often make it to the receptions. I seldom see the show mentioned again, and I wonder how sales were. Why don't artists talk about their sales? Well, some do and are obviously excited and in love with the world after a successful show, but usually it's silence. If you're wondering how mine went, here's the scoop....
Earlier this year I was invited to have a solo show at a wonderful gallery in my state. I've had a long career and more than a handful of solo shows, but I've never had one that was wildly successful. Never a sellout, like some artists I've heard about. The best results were six sold at a solo show in North Carolina, but I've had one or two-person shows that sold nothing at all—yikes. (Blessed be the group show, where all the pressure and attention is not on you!) So this time, I had no high expectations.
I had several months to prepare the work, and I was able to deliver twenty new paintings, mostly large, to the gallery in June. They had arranged a painting demo for the morning of the show, which I enjoyed very much. After two hours of talking while painting, I was completely exhausted. Nice group of people though, about half of them artists. Here's the painting I did:
That night's reception went very well, and I was so pleased at getting to meet people who'd bought my work. My husband and I really enjoyed the evening, and as a treat, we got to meet a celebrity who happened to be in town and is a friend of the gallery! Bob Schieffer and his wife came to the show opening and it was a real pleasure to talk with them. He's an artist and is quite good! Here's our picture:
As for sales, it was a thrill and a relief to have sold the largest painting the day before the show. Another piece sold at the reception. But I have found, to my utter amazement, that the gallery has gone on to sell most of the paintings from the show in the two months since! This is wonderful and definitely a new experience for me. To other artists, all I can say is that I work very hard at painting; I try to do excellent work; I am receptive to what gallery owners say about my work and what they'd like to have; and I give most of the credit to the galleries and their wonderful collectors. And to buyers and fans of my artwork, my most sincere thanks!