Saturday, October 17, 2009

Picking a Winner

Is an itinerant art show life in the cards for us?

Before we can earn a buck selling photographs, we need to figure out what, exactly, we’re selling. Rick has ramped up his underwater photos in the last couple of years and he has some jaw droppers, but do people put fish on their walls?

How about iconic images from Egypt? Caribbean sunsets? Flamingos? Me sleeping on the couch?

According to the two bibles of the industry, the The Art Festival Handbookand the Art Festival Guide, it’s not enough to pick your favs; you need a theme, a specialty. You can do Tuscany, or you can do birds. Flowers, or cute kids. Not both. No mixing and matching. And don’t even think about trying to sell your snow-capped mountain shots in Florida, or your sailboat photos in Oklahoma – it doesn’t work that way. (I find that last bit a little hard to believe, but then again, I’ve never been to an art show in Oklahoma. For all I know, oil rig scenes are all the rage.)

So we decided not to decide, and instead picked a couple of promising photos and had them blown up on canvas. If we can’t pick a theme, maybe a theme will pick us.

Those first two were underwhelming, so we started over. I picked my favorite – a wildly colorful assortment of spice sacks Rick spotted in the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo. It’s the kind of photo that makes you do a little happy dance just to look at it – or get started cooking some aromatic Middle Eastern recipe.

The spice sack photo showed up on Friday, and I am happy to report that I am apparently an art-picking genius: it’s spectacular! On the canvas, the edges of the sacks melt into the background and the softened colors seem painted in oils. It looks good on every wall, in every light. We have a winner!

But wait - does that mean we have to do our art shows in Egypt?


Linda Tate said...

I love that photo, and I can only imagine how great it looks on canvas.

I'm curious: what kinds of photos have you seen for sale at other art shows?

Nancy said...

Hi Linda - thanks for the comment! We're seeing a few different kinds of things at shows, including destination pix (especially Italy and Greece), flowers, and Jimmy Buffetesque beach scenes (one artist had a nice shot of an old row boat with the name Row vs. Wade - he said it was a favorite). One thing was clear - these aren't just snapshots. One photog had an arresting shot of a valley in Italy with a tapestry of fall colors. He said he spent three days trying to get that particular picture.