It takes time

I remember 4 years ago I wondered, how am I ever going to sell any paintings? I was just beginning to paint seriously, by that I mean on a mostly weekly basis, and I was anxious to get some paintings “out there” and see if they would sell.

Four years ago I started selling my paintings when a friend invited me to join her and another artist in a group show at her house. I sold 4 paintings that day. Over the next four years I did two church shows, rented a booth in an antique mall, sold a few paintings by word of mouth, and painted a handful of portrait commissions. Each year I sell more and more paintings, it just takes time. I guess that is my message today; it takes time for people to get to know you and your work, and to purchase your paintings.

Four years ago I started out by selling those 4 paintings at my friends house and those were my total sales for that year (!), the next year I sold 15, most of those at a church show. And this year I have sold close to 50 paintings. I think 50 paintings is some kind of fluke and I don’t really expect to sell that many next year (especially in light of the fact that I haven’t painted since before Thanksgiving) but I’m certainly happy about the direction of my sales.

For 2009 I’ll have the one goal of improving and praciting (oh, is that two?) my figure painting. I won’t be painting as many still lifes or landscapes so I don’t expect to sell so many paintings next year. I have three portrait commissions scheduled but truly, I am just happy to be able to paint and practice what I love doing.


  1. December 18, 2008 / 5:21 pm

    As a fellow artist, I have to tell you Joan, this (to me) is one of your very best and most inspirational posts. And it doesn’t even have a painting in it!! (: Your paintings are selling because they are gorgeous and you’ve persevered in enough “venues” to MAKE that happen. To even suggest it’s somehow a fluke is totally ridiculous! I can’t WAIT to see what you paint in 2009!

  2. December 18, 2008 / 8:29 pm

    Sarah thank you for your comment!
    Diane, I am so flattered to hear that my post was inspirational to you, thank you. I am so inspired by you and your work!

  3. January 7, 2009 / 4:37 pm

    I too think this post is inspirational and I thank you for writing it. I needed to read it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *