I've been using my studio time for the last few days to reprint my Mississippi River painting. I realized that I needed a way to calculate how much to charge for them for when I offer them up for sale.
When I started doing them during my MFA program I was able to create without time limits and any consideration for selling my work. My goal was to create bigger and deeper than I had before. I did and my rivers flowed beautifully from my brush onto the canvas and turned into altars when I added a shelf with found objects. The altars were part of a discussion I was striving to have at the time about the sacred and embodied quality of making art that I am drawn to.
But now I want my rivers to stand on their own so the altars are being removed. I realized that the energy that the altars held can be expressed in the form of meditation events.
The challenge of bringing my work into a professional space has asked me to put a market value on my work. Which I realized I had no idea how to do this. It's been easier to gauge a price for my Beautiful Bodies because their creation has been pretty straightforward. But the rivers poured out of a long and winding journey which I don't know how to quantify.
So I decided to recreate one. It's been really great to journey back into this creative space. It opened up all kinds of memories and feelings from my 3 year California experience.
The Mississippi River was the first one I created so it seemed like the right one to repaint. It took about 20 hours total to recreate which feels about right. This puts the price for the paintings at about $700 in my mind. I also on the verge of making prints of a few of my river paintings so that I can have those available for people who would be interested in a cheaper option.
It feels real good to be letting my rivers flow out into the world.
Mississippi River, 2010
(photos by Glen Graves)