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Art On-line Sales and Galleries

with 8 comments

This past Tuesday I attended a lecture and discussion panel with three gallery owners who talked how they got into the business, what they see their role and relationship to the artist is etc. Someone in the audience brought up Internet sales and did they work with artist who also sold their work on line.

If you are currently doing both, selling via your website and through a gallery, what are the agreements that you have in place with the gallery? Do you sell certain types of work on-line but not through the gallery?

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Written by Bob Martin

January 18, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Art, Artists, Galleries, Painting

8 Responses

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  1. Funny that you should write about this today. I was getting ready to send you this link (saw it mentioned on Craigslist) about a gallery in New Mexico that offers online exhibitions. However I wondered “does anyone even sell art online? Does it count as having a show? etc” Check it out:


    January 19, 2007 at 4:11 am

  2. I have almost given up belief that anyone sells paintings online. Even if someone does see a piece they are interested in, if it were me I would travel to see it in the flesh before purchasing. So I really don’t think online exhibitions or works offered for sale on a website are serious competition for a gallery.


    January 19, 2007 at 3:46 pm

  3. Jeane, I believe the artist that are able to sell stuff on line consistently are the “A Painting a Day” artist who have a following. I want to expand my audience but obviously I don’t want to cut off my hand while doing it by offending galleries that might be interested in showing my work. The Panelist did not say very much about on-lines sales. One did say she has collectors that she works with outside the country who have never set foot in her gallery and purchase work from her site, they trust her judgement.

    Bob Martin

    January 19, 2007 at 4:00 pm

  4. Auntiecarrie, Some work is being sold via the net, I just can’t a handle on whether it is a meaningful amount. I think one thing the net can do is to help drive a market for your work.

    Bob Martin

    January 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  5. I do not have the confidence I need to actually sell my graphic art. I have been told that there are items good enough to sell but I can’t see it. I wish my confidence was higher.
    Austin of Sundrip Journals

    Austin of Sundrip

    January 20, 2007 at 12:31 am

  6. My experience–I have 2 sales sites online…one is my regular website, from which I’ve only sold a couple of my smallest paintings, that were under $200. I don’t really expect to sell the pricier stuff to anyone actual sight unseen. (The work on this site is mostly priced 1-4K and prices aren’t posted.) Mainly it is an online gallery and reference. As for my galleries, I’m careful to link all the paintings that they have directly to the right gallery, so if someone makes an email inquiry they get it. And they do get inquiries–although I’m not actually sure if any of those have turned into sales. I’m also careful to keep the sale price of current work the same no matter where the painting is, whether it’s at a gallery or at my studio.

    The other site is a blog on which I’m selling my oldest work for low prices, most under $350. My galleries don’t object–probably because the work is so clearly different from what I do nowadays. It’s all pre-2004, when my work underwent a major change–and most of it is way older than that. My idea was to clear out some of my piles of older work, and to offer it at prices people could afford.

    This site has really done well for me–at first it was just sort of an extension of my open studio that I hold once a year…the people visiting and buying were mostly people who already know me. It’s an easy way for them to browse around. But now I’m getting quite few hits and purchases from other people out there in cyberworld. So I’m really pleased about this. But I think it’s the low prices that make this work, and the low prices only work (as far as the galleries are concerned) because the work posted is so unlike what they have.

    If anyone wants to see this blog it is


    January 20, 2007 at 5:09 pm

  7. Hi Austin, have confidence, we are incapable of evaluating are own work. We are critical of what we do and therefore poor judges.

    Bob Martin

    January 21, 2007 at 12:10 am

  8. Rebecca, really solid information!!! Thanks

    Bob Martin

    January 21, 2007 at 12:11 am

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