Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pay What You Think It's Worth Sale - Recap

After closing my Midtown studio in 2014, I wanted to start having home shows again but hadn't gotten around to it.  When I resumed publishing my newsletter a few months ago, I promised my collectors and followers I would have an event so they could see the new art I had been creating, and decided to turn it into a sale they wouldn't forget.

Last Saturday I hosted a "Pay What You Think It's Worth" sale with my original art at my home studio.  An invitation was sent to everyone on my newsletter list, and about 50 people attended.  I have had many studio sales before, but this was an event to remember for many reasons.
Sign made with found objects by Robert Gordon - hung outside my gate
I got the idea of doing a "Pay What You Will" show after listening to a podcast and decided why not try it with my art?  I spoke with several artist friends about this and they thought I was crazy.  What if the attendees offered some ridiculously low price?  What if some of my collectors got upset because they had paid higher prices before?  What if a bunch of people came; ate the food and ran off with my art without paying a dime because they felt that was all it was worth?

Prior to Saturday I heard from several people asking how the sale would work, so decided to print a handout with my retail prices of the various canvas sizes.  My helpers and I let each visitor know the retail pricing was for reference purposes only, and they could make offers based on what they felt the piece was worth to them.  I also let them know as my guests, they would not be allowed to pay more than wholesale pricing for the art, which meant a minimum of 50% off the retail price.

Here's a copy of the price list that was posted at the show

(Since I'm not actively showing my paintings in any galleries at the moment, I felt comfortable with offering the wholesale pricing, and a lot of the glass art that did sell were seconds or old inventory that needed to go bye-bye.)

A triptych and small works in crates under the umbrella on the patio

Lots of glass art, clay ornaments and wood pieces on the table in the studio

In order to beat the heat, I held the event on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  I put carpet tiles along the fence and wall of my patio, and displayed the paintings on top of the carpeting.  Small cards with the canvas dimensions were placed above the paintings, and copies of the retail price chart were hung in several conspicuous places.  

Here's a few highlights of the "Pay What You Think It's Worth" sale:
  •  In a four-hour period, I sold 53 paintings and a lot of glass art
  • 5 of those paintings are headed to Alabama to be used in the models of a new home development
  • An interior designer (a guest of one of my friends) purchased 6 paintings for a project he is working on in Modesto, CA
  • Several people insisted on paying way more than the prices I suggested
  • I pre-sold 3 paintings from my website the day before the sale, and 4 more paintings the day after the sale
  • I reduced my inventory by about 25% which means I still have a lot of art but I also have a lot of estatic collectors
  • I added several new names to my mailing list for future shows
  • A large percentage of work sold were my small paintings (12"x12" and smaller) and works on paper which were matted and ready to be framed
  • Two people want to commission me for making art for their homes (one wants glass art and one wants a painting)
  • Several paintings that sold had been very old specimens and doomed for makeovers - now they're hanging in happy homes
  • My helpers were way better negotiators than I ever could be 
  • Two wonderful buyers left positive feedback for me on my Square account 
  • A lot of my collectors told me they loved this concept and are looking forward to buying more art in the future - sale or no sale!

Larger paintings stacked against the fence in the driveway under tents for protection

Smaller works lined up against the house wall on the patio
I think it's safe to say the sale was a huge success, made possible with the help of six wonderful friends who were on hand to prep food; greet visitors; explain the sale process; collect $$$; wrap and package purchases; and lend a helping hand in whatever way they could.   For me, it felt amazing to release so many pieces of art and to make a lot of people happy with their art purchases.

One tired but happy artist!
Now that the sale is over, it's time to start prepping for my December show at FE Gallery and the Sac Open Studios event in September.  But first - I'm off to the coast for some long-overdue R&R and a touch of inspiration.....I can't wait!

P.S. -- Sign up for my newsletter at or

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Studio Sale - A Little Something Different

This week I'm getting ready for my first Studio Sale in over 5 years.  I used to do one or two a year  but once I had my Midtown studio I stopped having them.  With the Midtown studio closing in January, 2014,  I've managed to amass a huge collection of inventory, and what you see in these photos below is just a drop in the bucket.  I've got paintings stacked in my hallway; my bedroom; my inside office and my shed outdoors.  Did I ever mention I am also a glass artist?  Yep - lots of glass goodies too.  Time to purge.  I need to release these little gems and decided to do something really different.  Are you ready for this??

Here's the deal:  No prices -- people will tell me what they want to pay and it's theirs. 

My artist friends tell me I am crazy for doing this and perhaps I am - but I truly believe each and every person who attends my sale believes in the value of hand-made creations and will pay something to own an original piece of my art.

Why am I doing this?  I've got many reasons but a few of them are:

1. I have managed to create and collect a huge collection of my work which represents my half-century journey as an artist.  This means I have a TON of work I just can't throw away and there's simply no room to store it anymore.  I'd rather let it go to someone who would love it versus tossing or donating it to the Good Will (I did this recently and a friend of mine unknowingly gave me back one of my sculptures as a hostess gift - I SWEAR!)

2.  Since I began concentrating on my art career, I've been blessed with friends, family, collectors, and students who have supported me beyond my wildest dreams.  This is my way of giving back to all of you for your love and support of my journey.

3.  I believe when you let things go, you are left with an empty space that allows new things to come into your life.  I've experienced this with people, relationships, situations and "stuff."  I'm at a point where I'm exploring some new directions with my art plus I'm ready for some changes in my own life, and you're welcome to help me make it happen!

I've posted a lot of work in past posts on my blog, and there's even more on my website.  

And today I've decided to extend this special deal to my blog readers -- that's YOU!  

Just check out the sites and if you see something that interests you, make me an offer.  If the painting doesn't have the dimensions or you want to know more about it, just ask.  You can email me at:

And if you already know about the piece and want to purchase it, just tell me the name of the painting and the price you feel it's worth.  If it's reasonable (don't worry about insulting me - I've got thick skin) it's yours plus shipping costs.  

I take PayPal, VISA/MasterCard, and of course cash.  I will even arrange payments if you want -- let's make a deal!