A few months ago I was invited to participate in an art show to be held in China. I had to scramble because the deadline was the end of May and I had very little inventory available after my rough year last year when I managed to complete only two new paintings.
Ten other artists were invited to participate and we were each asked to submit up to ten paintings for the gallery owner to select from. I managed to cobble together eight pieces, and last week it was confirmed that four of those had been selected. Heading overseas are: “On the Edge”, “Three Pelicans”, “Morning at the Oasis”, and “Black Tusk”.
Typically a gallery will take paintings from an artist only on consignment, with an agreement on how the sale proceeds are to be split between the artist and the gallery when and if a painting is sold. If the painting doesn’t sell, it is eventually returned to the artist. However, with these paintings going to China, that’s probably a bit too risky for the artist, so in this case the gallery is actually buying the paintings outright. Whether they sell in China or not, the artists will have all been paid, a refreshing approach.
The gallery is in a city near Beijing called Tianjin, which has a population of 15 million, almost three times the size of the Greater Toronto Area. The opening of the show is in September and three of the artists shall be attending. The gallery owner is already talking about doing another such show next May, so it will be very interesting to see where this all goes. As exciting as entering a brand new market is, I have to admit to more of a feeling of loss than I usually feel when a painting sells. While I may never actually see a sold painting again, I generally know who my paintings have been bought by and where they are located, but in this case I know I shall never see them again and it is highly unlikely I shall ever have any sort of contact with the buyers. Going international requires a different level of letting go.
What all this means is that my inventory of available paintings is now extremely low and my challenge for the rest of the year will be to build up my stock of paintings, but first I’d better update my bio to mention that my work is sold internationally. Could a pricing increase be far behind? Heh, heh!