The Ups & Downs of Trying To Sell Art

I first began this series of paintings more than two years ago. I've always been a fan of Pop Art. A few years before that, I did a series of paintings that I called "stick paintings" - where I literally smothered the canvas in paint and then stuck objects into them, letting the paint seal those objects into place. 

First, came Nuts & Bolts - featuring about a hundred hand painted screw nuts and their accompanying bolts. The canvas was a bright blue. The nuts and bolts were painted yellow. The whole idea for this concept came from a visit to The Tate Gallery in London where I was amazed at some of the modern works of art. One work of 'art' really stayed with me. It was a black canvas that had a tear in it. Underneath, there was another canvas that was white. 

That was it. Modern art so awe-inspiring that it ended up in the Tate Gallery - which is also home to a few Magrittes! 

So I set out to create my own modern art. I followed Nuts & Bolts with Salt & Pepper, Nickels & Dimes, Sticks & Stones and War & Peace which featured plastic Army men and peace sign buttons stuck into an orangish-brownish mix of paint. That one actually sold.

I always loved the word plays of the painting titles and decided to do more - but this time, I wanted to get away from the 'stick' painting and get more literal. "Rock & Roll" was the first one I did. A rock. A roll. And an ampersand. 

I liked the end result. So I created another one called "Fish & Chips". I was happy when a collector bought "Rock & Roll". But also somewhat disappointed as I had just started in on "Jack & Coke". My series of ampersand paintings had been deleted by one. So I decided to create another version of "Rock & Roll", this one dubbed, "Rock & Roll Version 2". It's the one you see on display in the photo above.

I continued the series with "Salt & Pepper" and even added a fifth, "Black & White" which isn't shown here. There are probably more to come as I enjoy the challenge of painting objects as realistically as I can, all set on two bright colored backgrounds and linked by an ampersand.

Now, they're all on display at a group exhibition called Coalesce sponsored by B Extraordinaire at the Missouri Athletic Club-West. It's the first time, (other than in my basement) where all four paintings have been featured together.

Will they sell? Who knows? I do know that if you like what you see, you can either buy the original via the show or purchase prints via my website. These paintings aren't small - they're 24" x 48" - but now you have the opportunity to order one, two, or maybe even all four in a variety of sizes. 

There's currently a 24" x 48" print of the original "Rock & Roll" in the offices of The Factory - the new music venue in Chesterfield, Missouri. So if you're in the metro St. Louis area, I invite you to stop by the MAC-West anytime between now and September 30 to see these paintings as well as works from four other awesome artists. 

Selling art has its Ups & Downs. There's Good & Bad. Highs & Lows ... whoops - those may all be future paintings!