Monthly Archives: October 2009

Plastic Wall Salon 2 – How to Price Your Art

Wednesday evening @ The Plastic Club, Anders Hanson hosted a lively discussion of how artists should price their art.  Many familiar faces were present in the Tea Room, all with the same concerns – how do artists price their work.  Off the Wall Gallery @ Dirty Frank’s curator Jody Sweitzer shared lots of good advice from deciding how much you should pay yourself to pricing works in a range that is reasonable yet profitable.  Ben Cohen shared a great idea from his last one person show – he priced figure studies done in workshops at really low prices with a raffle coupon attached for one of his framed paintings valued at around $300.  Ben found that people bought more than one drawing with hopes of winning one of his paintings and he earned enough to cover the “loss” of the painting and generated good will.  Other ideas included pricing by the square inch (Francis Tucker, the great painter and teacher does this – he charges $5 per square inch, you do the math), keeping track of hours and material costs, not giving away work to friends, no undercutting yourself when a client asks the price, keeping your price consistent (don’t price it one way for New York and another for Philly), think like a business person and pick up on buying cues, be present at your openings and follow up, follow up, follow up.  On a recent show on PBS called Craft in America, one of the artists said to not count on your gallery to promote your work and keep your own mailing lists (snail & e-mail).

Jody visits artist studios to learn more about the artist and their body of work, picks works she feels will sell, learns the background of the work, techniques, materials, style…so when a patron asks she’s armed with info to share.  Off the Wall has a terrific sales record and does great promotion with posters, cards and parties.  Rick Wright shared that he has a range of product priced from very low for his famous cell phone photos (phone-to-grams) to higher end large scale works.  By selling some works cheap he makes friends and collectors who return and often buy more.

Sweitzer recommended the book “How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul” by Caroll Michels.  DoN recommends “I’d Rather be in the Studio” by Alyson Stanfield and “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  As a former sales manager, DoN has a few tips: watch for buying cues (how much is it?, how did you make it?, how long did it take?…)  Use the acronym QRISP – quality, reputation, innovation, style and price.  Notice price is last not first – don’t spend your collectors money for them, after all, you don’t know how much they have to spend.  In this feverish economy, it’s important to remain thick skinned, engage your customers, pick up on cues, have a story to tell, value yourself and stick to your price.

Photographs by George Krause @ The Plastic Club

George Krause / Photographs @ the Plastic Club

George Krause / Photographs @ the Plastic Club

The enormous photographs of football players by George Krause in the Plastic Club‘s Tea Room are thoroughly engrossing.  The tough stares emitting from the players eyes, the sweat and grit on their faces, the glossy texture of their uniforms offers the viewer the opportunity to examine up close the epitome of masculinity, competitive aggression and stolid determination to win at all costs.  DoN spoke with Krause as he installed the works and learned that the prints were created by scanning film negatives and printing the photographs on huge sheets of matte paper.  Rick Wright, another great Philly photographer, pointed out how each of the photos are not exactly black and white but saturated with purple, green and maroon giving the images a lively glow.

George Krause / Photographs @ the Plastic Club

As you enter the front door of the historic art club, a large book of over-sized portraits is splayed out on a table.  At first DoN thought it was a unique way to present some photos that didn’t fit on the wall but instead discovered a book filled with intensely personal portraits of a wide variety of faces from hippies guys with earrings and greasy hair to stern women in power suits.

George Krause / Photographs @ the Plastic Club

The exquisite gelatin silver prints beautifully presented answer the question of whether photography is true art is answered with a resounding,”Yes.”

George Krause / Photographs @ the Plastic Club

George Krause was born in Philly, attended PCA, received the first Prix de Rome and the first Fulbright-Hayes Fellowships ever awarded to a photographer, two Guggenheim Fellowships and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The entire Plastic Club is filled with Krause’s photos including an extraordinary group of life-sized nudes in the newly refurbished gallery in the basement – it’s hard to believe such a treasure is so easily accessible to all at the low, low price of free.  The exhibit is on view through October 24th, make the effort to wander over to the Avenue of the Artists and experience a truly unique exhibit of world class photography.

DoN Brewer – Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2009

DoN Brewer & Arthur OstroffDoN Brewer with artist Arthur Ostroff @ DoNBrewerMultimedia, POST – X, 2009.

Mina Smith-Segal


Artist, Mina Smith-Segal checking out DoN’s central command post.  Mina leads the studio workshops at the Philadelphia Sketch Club.


Clif AndersonArtist, Clif Anderson visited DoN‘s open studio with his lovely wife Henny.  Clif is a terrific musician and artist, his work will be on display at Bryn Mawr Rehab Center’s annual exhibit, Art Ability fearturing work by artists from around the world – opening 11/7/2009.

POST 2009

Neighbor Melody, DoN & artist/framer/teacher Rob Stauffer @ DonBrewerMultimedia POST-X 2009.

POST 2009

Photographer, Morris Klein @ DoN‘s POST open house.  Klein is VP of The Photographic Society of Philadelphia.

Saturday afternoon, DoN hosted more than 25 visitors to his studio – art dogs KaTy & Doofie (the St. Bernard/Chihuahua mix)  guarded the gate and made sure all visitors are dog lovers.

DoNBrewerMultimedia – POST-X 2009

DoN Brewer

DoN Brewer, self portrait, acrylic, collage, 1976.

Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen, pastel, 2008.

Kim Martin

Kim Martin, oil, 2009.

Mike Guinn

Mike Guinn, pencil, 2009.

Karl Olsen

Karl Olsen, oil, 2009.

Paul DuSold

Paul DuSold, oil, 2007.

Alden Cole

Alden Cole, oil on wood, 2008.

POST 2009

Michael Tantaros, pencil, 2009.

Participating in the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours means really putting yourself out there for all to see.  Being an artist model also puts one under a focussed gaze, the experience inspired DoN to ask some of his artist friends to contribute works created when DoN modeled at The Plastic Club and the Philadelphia Sketch Club.  Thank you to all the fine artists who provided their work, it feels so narcissistic but DoN LoVeS the attention!

Legacy of Leonardo

DoN Brewer, self portrait, charcoal, chalk & conte on paper @ The Da Vinci Art Alliance.

Alden Cole – Family Reunion

Alden Cole - Family Reunion

Alden Cole - Family Reunion

Alden Cole - Family Reunion

Alden Cole, Rob Stauffer, Heinz & DoN made a road trip to Maine visiting Acadia National Park – the Ends of the Earth.  Alden is attending the memorial service for his parents who passed away last year, members of the Cole family are traveling from all over the country to attend the service.  Alden prepared three wonderful books of family photos chronicling the lives of his parents – something we should all consider doing.  All four of us missed visiting our artist friends for POST East, but the spectacular beauty of the rocky coast of Maine was inspiring and lifted us spiritually.  Today is the Cole family reunion; send a prayer, think good thoughts and share some love.