Saturday, August 30, 2008

Successful Artists

I had to blog this , I will soon post the names of artists who I am certain, make a good living from their work. I ponder this idea quite a bit. It seems the lay public just doesn't want to accept the fact that visual artists are doing very well all over the map. The local press in Denver will cover the entertainment world like mad and they neglect the many painters , sculptors,photographers,printmakers and other visual art disciplines. There are some newspapers that do a very good job of being champions of visual artists. The Tenneseean, The Santa Fe New mwexican, The Friday New York Times, The Taos News,The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Constitution Journal are the newspapers that tell informative stories about artists in their cities. I try to read at least six newspapers each time I go to the library. I am a newshound for art information.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Abundant Art Press

WOW!!!!! There sure are a lot of art magazines in circulation. I go into book stores and the art magazines are numerous. i mention this ,because I am sometimes baffled by the lack of knowledge that people have about art and artists. Geeze, with this being the information age you'd think people would be more informed . Oh well, horse, water and all that. Just an observation.

Market Or Starve!!!

Any artist that thinks some one will rescue them needs to understand that won't happen. Sitting in the studio and not getting out to circulate is not a good idea. The amount of information that one can garner just by walking around is remarkable. The world is a big university. I get so much data by walking and paying attention. I find money on the street often on my walks, I try take different routes , just to see something new. Getting new information helps one avoid the starving part of being an artist . I embrace the marketing/business component of my art life. Denver is ground zero for the DNC and there's so much energy in the city, there are several artists from other cities here and I have had a chance to find out what else is going on in other places. This is part of my market or starve mission.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I see giclees that are priced at as much as originals. People who don't know any better get ripped off all the time.I say people get the art they deserve. There are artists in communities who have originals priced at less than two dollars a day. People who have one dollar a day to spare can buy original art. Artists always have small works for sale. Reproductions were originally made because the original work was out of a person's price range or unavailable. The market is completely out of whack now a days. I have rebelled against the giclee thing by offering originals for one hundred dollars. I have been an artist for a long time, my mission is to get as many original works in circulation as is possible. To have something unique, no matter the size is special in my opinion. I am certain that people who are operating at warp speed will go out and spend thousands on cliches. Dang!!!!!! too bad ,to sad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Art Buying 101

Art gallery guides that do not put art education data in them are missing the boat. There's always a freshman class of art buyers. Often the art system forgets that. It's just wrongheaded and cost us artists sales. If I ran an ad in a gallery guide , I would state that I had a time payment plan in the ad, yes I would. The ads ain't cheap, so why not get one's moneys worth out of the ad. Art education is like a work of art in progress. Smart galleries should remember the freshman class of art collectors and buyers. They should write basic 101 stuff down.

2 Million Artists

The NEA has released a report that states there are two million artists who report that they earn their living as artists. The report can be down loaded from the web. Or it can be acquired by regular mail free of charge. I am an information junkie, it helps me cope with all of the artproof people in the world. Knowledge is power. I don't intend to go back to my salad days, I am building a skill set to not have to visit that part of my life ever again. I am doing this with great effort and fore thought. So far ,so good. Cheers,
Bob Ragland

Art Won't Fly

I have not shown in an art gallery for a number of years. One of the reasons is, I can market myself 1-2 hours a day. Many art galleries hang an artists work and hope that some one will come in and just write the check. That ain't gonna happen to often. Galleries have to churn the business to get business. I operate with out too much financial stress these days, this allows me to cherry pick my buyers. I do want to get as much of my work into circulation as I can. I like to sell work as well as the next artist. I am not a victim artist. I designed my art life to be independent of the traditional system ON PURPOSE!!!!!!! The best galleries are the ones that earn the commissions they get . My friend Richard Schmid decided a while back to slowly with draw from the traditional system and do his own thing. He's a virtuoso painter , but more importantly he's a very smart businessman.

Monday, August 25, 2008

People @ Warp Speed

Dang!!!!!! Some people operate at such a high rate of speed they don't have time to notice anything. It's difficult to have conversations with some artists that I meet at the art supply store,because they are always in a rush. I guess it's just the way life is these days. Life goes by rapidly, artists get paid to slow down and notice things. We all need to do that once in awhile.

It's Dumb/no business cards?

I recently had a conversation about artists who don't keep business cards on them to be contacted. I hope those people do not ever carry business cards. I will get their money. I carry my postcards all the time .I want people to be reminded that I exist. I won't ever be so rich and famous to not carry a business card. Business matters in the art game. All the time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

No Art 101 Info

I was attending an art gallery opening last evening and I noticed some things. They are as follows. In the age of everyone going green,there's a lot of wasted paper produced. The price lists for the art had nothing printed on the reverse side. I always thought some art 101 information could be printed on the reverse side of price lists, for example some books on art appreciaction, some basic buying data, some art terms, and all kinds of other cool educational stuff could be printed in these blank spaces. Dang!!!! Maybe people would hang on to the price lists a little longer, the shelf life certainly would be longer. The green movement would benefit, all kinds of good things might occur. All it takes is some imagination, which seems to be lacking in many instances in the art world. It seems to me that there is a lot of room for improvement in the art game, if people would use their heads. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 22, 2008

People Tolerate Artists

I have a artist colleague who is a diligent worker. Recently one of his drawings appeared on a neighboorhood publication. Guess what????? He wasn't offered one dime , and he didn't think to ask for some compensation-DANG!!!! Double Dang!!! I have recently formed the opinion that people tolerate us artists, but they don't love us,not so much. Geeze- you'd think that the publisher of the little news paper would have offered the artist something. I could hardly wait to post this. This kind of stuff is just dumb. Artists should get paid, and artists should be smarter about asking for money. The public thinks that we artists are dumb about business, so they try to get over on us all the time, we be havin' so much fun. I am going to note here all of the slights to my profession every time I get achance. MO' Later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dean Mitchell- ARTIST

I have to brag here about one on my art brothers. Dean Mitchell is an example of what an artist can do to be successful. A lot has been written about Dean and his work. Anyone who sees it is impressed by how well made his art is, but what people don't know is, this artist is a planner of how his art career shapes up. The business acumen that Dean Mitchell has acquired is primo. When an artist does the right things at the right time and place, good things happen. Business matters. Dean is an artist who also happens to be free of financial stress as an artist, and by the way, there are many visual artists like him. If you the reader of this would like to see examples of Dean's art, get him by Google. You will be pleasantly surprised. Now that I have this forum to write , I will tell you about more commercially successful artists in the future. The press ain't interested in commercially successful journeyman artists, so I will do the reporting.

Artists Who Don't Respond

Recently I ran into an artist that I was trying to be in touch with. When I saw the person they were very casual about my trying to get ahold of them. This set me to thinking how not smart it is when you try to reach some one and they are out of reach. The artist, who shall remain nameless had a good article in the local paper and I wanted to congratulate them, Well that didn't work. I wonder how many missed opportunities people miss just because, they are too busy to slow down to return phone calls etc. Bad business practice indeed.

Money For Art

I have a report that says people spend $2,500 0n Latte a year. Bottled water about the same. No wonder we artists have a tough time selling art to some people. DANG!!!!!! I tell people that an $500 artwork is less than ten bucks a month from their budget. I sell my work on the Installment plan, so even at $500 acquiring original works of art is not is not impossible. I know a lot of people who don't have any extra money for art. On the other hand there are a lot of people who do. Thank goodness for them. Me , I continue to find those people. All I iwant is, five hundred dollars fro those Latte budgets. Just an practical observation.

Missed Opportunity

I read some where that the artist Marsden Hartley lived in a rooming house and wanted to give the owners paintings in exchange. well, some people being art proof, didn't take the work. Hartley was a contemporary of Georgia O'keeffe. Now those Hartleys are worth a fortune. At proof people are always in the mix, and there's more coming.


Sometimes I wonder why the certain art magazines fail to say in dollar amounts, that many artists are living very well from their work. They don't have to disclose exact mounts of income. I just think the public needs to know artists are not broke and begging. Some artists could buy and sell some art illiterate people ten times over. Thank goodness for the people who appreciate original works of art enough to buy the work. There are so many wimpy art people in the endeavor, it's a wonder artists have any fans. Money matters, there's nothing wrong with the public being told about artists going to the bank on a regular basis. I just don't get the it, people want to support successful people, we artists deserve it. We make our work and hope some notices it in spite of a wimpy people in the art game. Mo' Later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Old Fashioned Art

There's something to be said about vintage works of art. The magazine American Art Review is a great champion of the works of the 19th century. It is so reassuring to read about art and artists of that time. The shock art trend of the past few years is always something to behold. Gosh, at one time Picasso's art was so surprising, well that is so very much a part of the art world these days its accepted. i still like to read stories about artists of certain regions. They weren't superstars but they all made a difference in the world , with their old fashioned art. Good for them and us in the present day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

English Painters

There's a magazine ,titled Artists and Illustrators, I see it at the art supply store and I buy an issue once in awhile. I am struck by the unpretentiousness of the artists who are featured. Many of the artists are not slick in their technique, they are straight forward in the way their works look. I am a big fan of Whistler's small night paintings, in the book about his small works , a paragraph speaks of his painting kit being able to fit into one of his overcoat pockets. The artist was soundly criticized for the way he painted the nocturnes. Ha! a lot of good that did. Any way I just wanted to note the cool simplicity of english painters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Art Life Can Be Very Good

I am at a very special place in my art life as of this writing. My house is paid for , the car also and I have no crerdit card debt. Yipppeeeee! I have been able to make the art that I want without trying to find a audience right away. I have always made the art and found the audience later. I have a series of small oils going and by series , I mean for example, if I am painting say,heads I do a lot of heads until I get bored, then I move on to something else. This way I never run out of subjects to paint.I have toiled in the art trenches for quite awhile.I guess something is to be said for persistence.