|Above: In Box LXXV. Unframed 15" x 11"; |
framed 19 1/4" x 15 1/4". By Susan Lenz
I want to own a piece of your art. I saw your post about your boxes series and wondered what price range and sizes for pieces in hat series. You know I adore everything you make and I want a piece of your work hanging in my house. So tell me how much so I can start saving up. A REAL price! You know what I mean.
She replied with what I thought was an excellent response that all artists and quilt makers and crafts persons should read. With her permission I have posted it here.
|(Above: Window XVI. Unframed, approximately 11" x 9 1/2"; |
Framed, 17 3/4" x 15 3/4".) By Susan Lenz
Anyway, I'll professionally answer the question! My "In Box Series" come in two basic framed sizes: 19 1/4" x 15 1/4" for $225 and 35 1/2" x 23 1/2" for $525....plus tax and obviously plus shipping. These are the same prices that are charged at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville. The "Faux-stained Glass" pieces come in two framed sizes: 17 3/4" x 15 3/4" for $265 and 64 1/2" x 24 1/2" for $1200.
The mentorship started the day after I fired my head mat cutter. I went to him for advise....questions about "how to become an artist." He was one of my framing clients....and still is. He paints incredible, impressionistic landscape oils from memory, not from actual locations unless he's "in the field".
His name is Stephen Chesley and his studio is now across the hallway from mine at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. He's been self-supporting for over 25 years.
|Open studio in Stephen's studio|
In a sense, we are all artists by the fact that we are alive and must make creative decisions everyday. Some people decide to make art; they are professional artists. Some decide to get an art degree, but that piece of paper doesn't make one an artist. It is just a statement of fact about a field of knowledge.
|Stephen Chesley and his art|
work" is a priority which becomes as essential as breathing or eating. For me, it is also a spiritual practice.....doing the work that God meant for me to do. Lots of people now say that I'm very prolific....but....I'm just DOING THE WORK.
At that very first mentorship meeting....sipping tea over Stephen's kitchen table....he also gave me a few brochures for rather local and state-wide juried exhibition opportunities and showed me his inventory book. He told me to keep track of everything I ever made in an ordinary ledger with a thumbnail sketch, the date, the price, the measurements, a catalog number, and any other notation about interesting materials or shows a piece has been in. Fortunately, I took all his advise.
|Susan Lenz at Grovewood Gallery|
The next week I told Stephen about this. He laughed and said, "Did I forget to tell you that I keep a ledger like this because, 'if it were good enough for Hopper, it was good enough for me' ?"
Then I laughed...because I had been doing this because "if it was good enough for Chesley, it was good enough for me"! So....I'm unwittingly part of Edward Hopper's legacy....not bad!
|Sister Support from Decision Portrait Series by Susan Lenz|
Stephen went further and said, "The artwork itself should determine its own price, not the framing, not the hours spent, not the supplies.....but the quality of the artwork itself. Clients should be able to buy with confidence."
Basically....I only have a "real" price! Quality, professional artists SHOULD only have a real price. I am so very, very lucky to have a mentor like Stephen Chesley.