SLO Plein Air ‘07, QuickDraw Event

We had perfect weather for today’s Quickdraw event at San Luis Obispo Plein Air.  As happens in many events like these, there was a mix of adult part-time, learning artists and collectors.  I gave away lots of cards, advice to early artists and set up a snow scene near my easel so passerby would see my finished work at a larger scale.  You know how paintings go through an “ugly stage” at the beginning (not unlike newborn babies…parents excepted :-)….I didn’t want a collector to see that and walk on. I think it worked.  I got lots of praise for “Thanksgiving Day Snow”, which I painted plein air last November.  But alas, no buyers.

I struggled with my painting of the mission for a while, and about half way through the two hours thought that I may not be able to pull it off. Panic.  After scraping a section that wasn’t working (and simplifying…always think about simplifying areas that aren’t coming together), was able to finish something I was very happy with.

Luckily, a wedding was held in the mission church that day, so given I painted a view of the door and steps–complete with wedding garland–I had a nice little bidding war for the piece. I sold for a respectable price to a member of the wedding party.

No luck later that night, however, at the reception’s silent auction. I’ve doubled my prices from last year, but don’t think that was the problem as paintings next to mine at 1/4 the price didn’t sell either.  Sales were terrible.  Following the auction, which didn’t seem nearly as successful as last year, someone mentioned “we’re definitely in a recession”. I don’t know if “The Fed” would agree, but let’s face, art’s one of the first things to go when you’re thinking about your mortgage payment going up and whether your job will be there if a recession does hit.

Oh well. I’m just honored to be here and meet so many talented artists and truly wonderful, giving people.

We’ll see, maybe sales tomorrrow, the last day of the show. I’m painting Morro Bay in the morning for the joy of it.  No competition or sales worries, just painting.

8 thoughts on “SLO Plein Air ‘07, QuickDraw Event”

  1. OK – so what happened last night?

    Next – your comments about the sales does not surprise me. I’m hearing it from a lot of artists working in all media and across all price ranges. The credit crunch is happening……..

    Finally – I shall wait eagerly to see your painting of Morro Bay – I never saw it. Just a big old clode blotting half of the rock at Morro Bay – see here for pic!

  2. @Katherine: I guess my post was confusing…I was describing both the QuickDraw live auction and the opening reception, which was a silent auction. I had no bids in the silent auction–in fact, the roup of 12 artists on my wall (36 paintings), only 3 sold. Yikes!

    BTW, I probably won’t paint Morro Rock…I’m thinking boats this morning. i did paint this a couple years ago….sorry your day there was foggy!
    http://www.edterpening.com/images/art/1162-Morro-Bay-Harbor-MED.jpg

  3. Ed,
    You know I have been reading all your posts, but frankly “the mission” I think is one of your best works I have seen this week..in not for awhile. The variety and balance of color is great, and damned if we know, it is hard to get some of those curved gateways in correct perspective.

    I know you read my blog…and we just finished Seasons of Martis…I had a little surprise at the end…Peoples Choice…no sales.

  4. Wow, thanks Donald. I guess at times I can work well under pressure.

    Congratulations on your People’s Choice award. Sorry to hear there were no sales. i think it’s tough for people to but art right now, with the uncertainty in the economy.

  5. That is a wonderful rendering of the San Luis Obispo mission. I love that place, and you added a very unique mood to the piece. Great timing with the wedding – congratulations on selling your plein-air painting on the spot!!Sales are very low indeed, all over. I guess it’s the right time to paint for the joy of it.

  6. Ed, Great handling of that delicate light that happens through the leaves and onto all those wonderful surfaces. Very convincing and gives the eye lots to look at! Lots of energy in this one.

  7. This is a lovely piece. I can see that you finally got into the groove. I HATE when I can’t paint. I went to the Cape two weeks ago and wiped off three times in one day. Could not get it right.
    As for the silent auction events, I think they’re getting over done and if the Host entity doesn’t have good connections aka folks who are sure to bid and buy, there’s no action and it’s humiliating for the artists.
    I loathe the pressure of having to produce and I’m trying to get over that.

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