Monday, March 28, 2011

Tending the Garden: Agricultural Art Marketing

I like to think of marketing as tending a garden.  Yes, the metaphor is a bit trite, but it fits.  You can't just Rototill up last year's garden and throw down a few seeds.  You've got to get out there with the hoe and pull out the dandelions and Johnson grass, cull the stunted plants and mound up the soil around the healthy ones.  Then you have to be vigilant for cutworms and - well, you get the picture.

Marketing workshops and new paintings is a lot like that.  (Only usually I get to do it at a desk with a cup of coffee and in the shade.)  You can't just design a website and place an expensive ad in a glossy magazine.  Marketing is a lot of work.  When I talk to professional artists, most agree that the bulk of their time is not spent painting but in seemingly-peripheral tasks like marketing.

There should be something similar to the USDA's Cooperative Extension Service for painters.

With that in mind, I leave you with the following painting while I go off to sharpen my hoe.  It's a painting I did over two sessions in the field plus a little studio time for tweaks.  This is a more muted palette than some of you have seen me use, but I was trying very hard to get the color I saw matched exactly.  Sedona's not as garish as you might think!

"Warrior" 12x24, oil, $1500
Available through Windrush Gallery (800-323-0155, )


Cindy Michaud said...

so true, so true: both comments, the marketing tending and the color of Sedona. Thanks for the reminder of both.

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

Great and true post. Love the colors in this one. Great work!

Ray Hassard said...

Good comment, Michael. It seems that whether we have a day job or are professional artists, we end up painting in our spare time! Gardening season is starting up here in Ohio; more things to do! See you at IAPS?

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Cindy, Happy and Ray! Ray - No, I won't make it to IAPS this year. I'll miss it, as I enjoyed it in 2009. But I will be in Lima OH in May teaching a that close to you? Maybe you can come visit.