My son now thinks that my bedroom has the appearance of a hospital ward. He's not speaking to its cleanliness - too much stuff crammed in there for that - but speaks to the light that I now have in my room. I purchased the $18.75 20 watt Daylight bulbs for my overhead lights from MisterArt.com. Here's the difference, yellow first:
I might point out that the yellow bulbs are high quality bulbs from GE, not just your run-of-the-mill incandescent bulbs. But boy, are they ever yellow. Amazing, the difference.
So what difference does this make for the artist? Take a look. Here's my unfinished painting... again, yellow light first:
Notice how washed out the yellowed picture is. The colors are drab and muddy. Especially in the blue of the sky - lifeless in yellow light. But the white light brings out the color accurately and vividly. Exactly as it appears in real life.
I've thought a great deal during my week-long vacation about my art and I've come to a conclusion. My people'd cards don't sell, and I like people too much to give them up to paint subjects commercially for cards alone. I'll continue to paint for cards, but not with the fecundity that I had before. I'll start going into portrait work more, emphasizing family portraits on a larger scale that work to capture the essence of the people in them. (Read: no portrait posing.) And I'll charge a few or several hundred dollars for each original work because that's honest for my effort and respects what I put it into it. But no signed prints for hundreds of dollars. All originals.
I'll continue to offer my art on cards for the cheaper price, but I think I'm going to tweak the pricing and perhaps buy a commercial quality printer to do these myself rather than print them in large quantities through a print shop. This way, I can customize the messages inside the cards for small productions. I might also approach businesses to offer a unique and artistic card for them.
I don't know how I'll maneuver as I go forward, but I've learned in my cards experiment what sells and what doesn't sell. And I've learned what I'm willing to do and what I'm not willing to do. What I do at work is just a job for me - it is not my passion. I can't have my artwork become a job for me. It should instead continue to be my passion and free expression, and if people come to value what I do enough that it can sustain me economically, then I'll get to do what I love doing for a living.
Drucker said that efficiency is "doing the right things right." I have to focus on the right things for me. And for me, I love people.
ETC: I spent part of my time this fall taking pictures at the farmer's market so that I could continue my work on this. I'll get back to this eventually, but it's on hiatus for now.