Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Quiet Side of Nature ~ Snow Scenes

Impressionist Snow Scene Landscape

Impressionist Snow Scene Landscape, painting by Jan Blencowe

Jan Blencowe

About This Painting: See detail photos of this painting below to get a better look.
Title: Early Snow

Media: acrylic
Size: 24 in X 12 in (61 cm X 30.5 cm)

Price: $550, unframed, shipping and insurance included in the USA

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How to Purchase:
send me an email

Showing and selling your work on-line gives you some interesting information. Information you would not get from just having your work in a gallery or advertised in a magazine. Many Internet companies offer services that allow you to track statistics on your blog or website,things like how many people visit, how long they stay, how they got to your blog or website, which links they used to leave etc. One of the places that I show my work on-line gives me daily information on how many people clicked on my painting vs. clicking on other people's paintings. The total number of paintings shown are broken up in to 3 groups and you either fall into the popular group, the middle group or the low group. Further, you will know where you fell within each of those groups. This is very interesting to watch and gives me some thoughts to ponder. One of the first things I noticed is that paintings with high contrast or the color red do very well. That's actually how I got started doing painting poppy paintings. That started out as an experiment to see if red really was a power color. It was an immediate success and I've sold almost all of the poppy paintings I have ever done. The small $100 paintings go right away and even if the larger more expensive ones don't sell immediately they are always in the most popular group. Subject matter can make a difference too. And there have been some surprises. I thought that abstract paintings I posted would not get many looks among all the realist work that is posted in this gallery, but because my colors are usually vibrant in these they are always in the popular group too. Now here comes the rub. A lot of the impressionist work I do is really tonalist. If you're an artist you probably know what that is, if not a very brief description could be a painting with loose painterly brush work like an impressionist painting but with subdued earthy color and often depicting low light situations like sunset, twilight, dawn. I love painting these types of evocative paintings, they are at the core of my visual voice. However, they tend to be soft, gentle and atmospheric. They depict the quiet side of nature. In person people are usually very drawn to them because their subtleties are easier to see and appreciate, but on the Internet they are lost. Which means that they are often in the middle or low group and overlooked by many visitors. This is a bit discouraging. The good news is that the stats also show what percentage of people who click on the painting go further and click through to here to find out more about the painting. That percentage may be as high or higher than on a painting that fell in the popular group. I think this is because people who really like these quietscapes can recognize them even in a thumbnail and know that they need to get in for a closer look. This is one of the reasons I've been posting detail shots of these paintings, to help people get a better idea of the surface quality of the piece.

The reason I bring all this up is because many artists struggle with painting what they love versus what sells. My advice is always to paint what you love, period. But it doesn't hurt to try and find a way to incorporate some elements of popular styles, subjects etc. into your work. But if that fails I still would recommend falling back on the old adage from Shakespeare "To thine own self be true". If you're moved to create it, someone else will be moved when they see it. Rather than compromise invest your energy in finding and connecting with the people who love what you love to paint.

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