Breathe…Almost There

Here we are, just two weeks out from the Art Expo (Sunday 21st October 10-4pm UWA) that I have been madly working towards for the last…well…many, many months.  It feels almost surreal as I haven’t painted for nearly 2 weeks.  I’m calm,  mostly organised and have just a few logistics to put together,  such as pricing and hanging systems for the paintings that are not framed.  I can’t do much more and I knew a few weeks ago  that it would be crazy to try to cram another painting just for the sake of it.  Besides…I’m a little tired and have thoroughly enjoyed taking the school holidays off to be with my girls, mentally and physically.

I have over ten paintings available for sale.  A mixture of still life and life portraits.  I have absolutely no idea if any will sell…but I live in hope!  For me though, just getting to this point has been a huge step.  A real accomplishment in conquering fears of not being good enough to display my work with other more established artists, organising myself to work creatively and smartly  amid the busy world that is motherhood and to achieve a body of work that I can be proud of in this, my first year of letting the world know that I paint!

It’s been an exciting year; planning and working towards the Expo, entering 4 art prizes, having a win with one – ‘Look Before You Leap’Mia Laing - mymiasart.comand 3 acceptances.  (‘Vintage Roses’ has been shortlisted but final judging hasn’t been done yet…wish me luck!)

The Royal Show exhibition ended on saturday…I had a phone call in the late afternoon from a lovely lady who was considering buying “Joy”. Mia Laing - She loved it and could see it being her daughter playing with the bubbles in the sunlight…but was having a hard time convincing her husband due to the price.  I understand…truely!  It’s a big purchase and often a lifetime purchase to pass down through the family.

Fine art is expensive and sometimes its hard to see where the larger price tag comes into it.   There are costs involved in just starting a painting…premium stretched canvas, professional quality oil paints, paintbrushes, framing.  Then there are the commissions that are taken from a sold painting from the various art prizes…(The Royal Show’s commission is 33.5%) and…Time.  A lot of time.

I have started keeping a log book of the hours taken on each painting I do…it can be very surprising when it’s all added up.  ‘Vintage Roses’ took 35 hours! Mia Laing - My Mia's ArtI rarely work longer than 4 or 5 hours at a time as painting can be very exhausting on the mind, body and eyes! And I rarely work more than 4 days a week because of my delightful family and their need of my taxi, catering and hospitality services. So…good art takes time!

The jury is still out on the best way to price art…some price per square inch of canvas size using a dollar figure they are happy with (and how I have priced in the past. It works well when doing a similar set of paintings, such as still life. ) Some artists price  by materials cost x 3,  plus an hourly dollar rate. (Which for me is little more than what you would pay a cleaning lady per hour!! LOL!) I have just started pricing this way…it often comes out on par  with pricing per square inch…until you have a very complex piece (such as ‘Vintage Roses’) or a portrait which are always more time-consuming.  Commissions are different again…as its hard to know how long a piece will take, but they are always more expensive due to the involvement of getting a commission piece just right.

Tomorrow, when the girls are having a sleepover at Grandma Min’s and I get some quiet time, I will price 10 paintings. I will grab my trusty calculator and spend the day number crunching until I feel happy that I am not working for peanuts but am still priced fairly as an emerging artist,  and hopefully priced to sell.  It’s a fine line.  I’ll be ripping my hair out by the end of it that’s for sure!  Any tips?   LET ME KNOW!!! ASAP.

In the mean time…I have signed up for a 12 module, online photography course with The Photography Institute.  Wow…brain cells getting a good work out.  I’m only on the second module and feel a huge learning curve taking place. Watch this space…hopefully you will all notice a vast improvement in my blogs photographs over the next few months…I think I am going to submit this as my first photo for the course.  Still deciding.Mia Laing - My Mia's ArtBusy times…

Rewarding, fun, challenging, awesome busy times.

In two weeks time,…I will give myself a big pat on the back with the purchase of a new camera.  It’s been my motivation…an Olympus OMD.  Such excitement!!

Then…I get straight back to work.  Dudie needs a 2 metre long panoramic beach painting for his new offices…plus a few more!


Mia x

6 thoughts on “Breathe…Almost There

  1. I always wondered exactly how artists price their work…. and now I know that it’s really a very delicate process! Congrats on all your accomplishments so far, it looks like lots of fun (and stress, I’m sure). 😉

    1. Stress yes! Had nightmares last night…in my dream forgot to take my paintings to the Expo!!!! Hilarious…not!

  2. virginia@lifeonthecircus October 8, 2012 — 1:44 pm

    Amazing effort Mia! You should be very proud of yourself. I am sure they will all sell. Vx

    1. Thanks Virginia..still need to see you!! If not…just come to the expo!!! Hope your holidays are going well? X

  3. Hello Mia – thank you for sending me your ‘posts’ I love reading them – you write with much passion and invite your readers to travel paths with you, I can feel the anticipation and the excitement building up as you do your final preparations for the 21st.

    It seems to me that you are taking a realistic approach ( especially in the early stages of setting out) in regards to valuing your work – it will not be easy, but I am sure that you are bearing in mind that you do want to sell your work and at the same time build up a following for future exhibitions whilst allowing buyer to feel that they are purchasing something very worthwhile.

    Maureen and I are looking forward to coming to the exhibition at some stage. Who is going to launch it – do you know the person?

    Fond wishes


    ph: 61 8 93120531


    1. Hi Joyce, thank you. I am so glad you are receiving my posts. The expo is just running for the one day and is more like a fair than an exhibition, with 50 artists selling their work individually. Please come and say hi. Mum is coming in the afternoon sometime. It’s on 10 – 4 just for the one day. X

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