Pricing – How and what to pay for an Artwork.

It is a truth universally acknowledged ( as in the book of Pride and Prejudice) that artwork is expensive. It is a luxury that not everybody can afford.

There are different kinds of buyers and different kinds of art but how to know if you are paying the right amount for a specific work?

To be able to discuss this properly I am going to divide Art into 2 categories. Outsider art and Insider art.

Let us start with Insider art  -These are artists who usually have paid for their education and are formaly qualified as artists.

Outsider and folk art are artists who are not formally trained and usually do art as part of a ritual or  as an obsession  etc…

Before we start getting all pumped up defining which of these 2  categories is the best and most true artist , please lets keep to the point.  We are discussing prices not artistic merit. Therefore one must look into the artist’s background to be able to define the price.  Qualifications alone are not enough to sell artworks at very high prices.

Then we have to look into the artist’s longevity in the business.  How long has the artist been doing art? Has he/ she been doing art for a long time? Are they part of important collections? Have they ever worked with a gallery? If not working with a gallery are they managing on their own?  The most pathetic response by even members of artistic cultural entities  is that they equate an artist as more of merit if he/she lives off his/her art only.  Well that would depend on the individual. I  met artists who go crazy in the studio locked up on their own and have been prescribed to work part time to keep their head in check by their psychotherapists. Not everybody is the same. Generalising is not the way.

When buying artwork from a gallery usually the artist has to pay between 30% to 50%  commission to the gallery. Then there are taxes.

One  also has to keep in mind the price of materials. Has anybody ever tried to walk around an art material store? A stretched canvas can cost up to 500 euros( massive one) and even more nowadays.. Framers nowadays sometimes  feel like they deserve to earn more than the artist himself.

There are some oil tubes that cost around  60 euros (on the average) The brushes can go very high up in price as well. Studio space is usually rented, we have to pay for the electricity used , WIFI and count in the hours.

So basically when asking for the price of the artwork , the artist gives you the list of materials so you can understand what you are buying and how long it is going to last.A painting on linen will last 500 years, on cotton much less.

Also are you buying artwork as an investment? As part of a collection ? or to decorate your house?

Then you have to keep in mind the term- Art dealer and dealing.  Prices are usually negotiated.







Safety for children in an art studio

My parents passed by my studio and showed a little bit of concern regarding my artist materials and the health and safety of my son.

Their concern is totally understandable so I decided to write a post about the health and safety  and  art materials I use around my son so maybe it can help other artist mums out there.

Spray paint-  The best solution is to use Liquitex  water based spray paint . I have checked and it is ideal for educational use , although Montana have smaller spray cans for children which one can see my son play with in one of my instagram videos here


This Link here  is about the level of toxicity and safety of Liquitex,

I recommend them strongly if you work inside.

The Montana water based spray cans are too small and are ideal only for children not to actually work with although colorfastness and coverage is good  it is not as good as Liquitex.


As for paint I am using acrylics.

Acrylics should adhere  to the guidelines of ASTM D 4236 to be safe for children . Most acrylics are but as stated below  in this  health and safety label for Golden-

Children  should always be monitored as they do tend to put everything in their mouth, although I doubt  one will ever eat a whole tube of acrylic paint….when under supervision.


Hope  this helps a bit.