Saturday, March 27, 2010

Naples Art Fair

Watercolor, 2 x 3"

Ruth made me go to the Naples Art Fair (I think she wanted some peace and quiet). For the first 5 minutes I was all churned up, thinking I should go back to doing art fairs again, the excitement, etc. Then I remembered why I don't miss them. Too much work for too little return. Realistically, an art fair is an afternoon of entertainment for patrons, a place to walk around while eating ice cream cones. Not really a place for showing or selling original art. The vendors of photography, prints, and jewelry do quite well, however, because 1) they can easily make multiples of the same image; 2) production fabrication is possible; and 3) you really don't want to buy anything bigger than your pocket or purse, because then you have to carry it. Throw in the heat, the smell of fried food and the length of time between breaks for the port-o-potty, and I remember quite well why I don't miss doing art fairs.

On the interesting side (to me), it seems that not much has changed in what is being offered at art fairs, even in a place as posh as Naples. It could have been any art fair in any town, with the exception of being heavy on the Florida color schemes and landscapes. Pretty much the same old, same old. What was very surprising was that the prices seem to be about the same as they were 10 years ago for original paintings, but with lower cost giclees and digital prints being offered now as well. What was really depressing was talking to a few artists whose work I admired tremendously and finding their work priced very low and sales somewhat stagnant. So I guess I won't pine for the good old days.

After I got tired and depressed, I took a shade break and painted these two ladies sitting across the courtyard. Even though I tried to paint very fast, I wasn't quick enough to catch their gentleman friend and had to omit him from the sketch.

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