Sunday, April 26, 2009

Do You ACEO?

What is an ACEO?
ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. They are cards of artwork measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches, about the same size as a standard playing card. These cards are very collectible since they don’t take up much space and are an affordable way of collecting original art.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions from fellow artists about selling online in this economy. (Which is kind of funny because I wish I had all the answers!) What I can tell you is, since the DOW took a dive last year my ACEO sales have picked up to the point where I can’t paint them quickly enough.

Posted here are two of my most recent ACEOs. While these were created using two larger paintings as the basis for them I will also paint these outside on location. They are especially handy when I want to try out several compositions before I start a larger painting.

If you haven’t tried painting an ACEO I highly recommend giving it a shot!

2.5 x 3.5 inch ACEO/ATC original oil painting on canvas paper.
$18 (Shipping $1 within the U.S.)

To purchase these ACEOs and see more of my work log onto

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Few Sales Tips

8 X 6 inch oil painting on linen panel.
$140 (plus FREE shipping in the U.S.)

In the last two months my son has caught two colds, one of those colds he passed along to me and this week he is out of school because of Spring Break. Needless to say, I haven’t painted at all (except for that terrible little street scene that I wiped off and would like to forget about). The painting above is one I’ve posted before and is titled “After The Storm.”

Several of you requested that I share the sales tips I learned at the outdoor Mission show.

1. Say hello to everyone that stops to look at your work (it sounds obvious but a lot of artists weren’t sitting anywhere near their displays and they didn't sell anything).

2. Get the viewer talking. Ask where they are from, are they here to see the show or did they come to see the Mission, do they paint. The idea is to be friendly and keep them there long enough to get a second look at your work. Often they will notice a painting they didn’t see the first time they looked.

3. If they live anywhere near a gallery that you have your work hanging in be sure to tell them about the gallery. Potential collectors like to know that you are a gallery-represented artist.

4. Don’t ask if they would like to sign up to be on your mailing list because they will always say no. Instead, if they show an interest in your work, tell them you would love it if they would sign your book (make sure your book has clearly defined areas for name, address and email). It took me a while to figure this one out.

5. Have a stack of postcards with your work on them for people to pick up. Most people who showed an interest in my work picked up the postcards instead of my business cards. Be sure your contact information is on the back of the postcards too or at least put your web site or blog or Etsy shop on the postcards.

6. If a portion of the proceeds from the show are going to be donated to a worthy cause, let everyone know. This information is great to use when you’ve run out of things to say and the person viewing your work seems to be on the fence about a particular painting.

7. If a potential buyer comments on a particular painting and you’ve been given a display area in the shade, take the painting off the panel and show it to them in the sunlight. This helps the viewer get a closer look at the details and color in the painting.

8. Look at short outdoor shows as an inexpensive marketing opportunity. Compared to an ad in Art Collector magazine or other art magazine these shows are very affordable. Additionally, they reach your target market – people who like art and people who buy art. At the Mission, I was amazed that nine out of ten people I asked said they came to specifically see the art show.

9. Be yourself. I’m not a high-pressure sales person so my goal for the show was to have a good time, meet some new people, learn the ropes and get my contact information into some new hands.

I hope this was helpful to you. If you’ve participated in a show like this and have sales tips, I’d love to read about what lessons you’ve learned!

To purchase this painting and see more of my work log onto

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Display at the 2009 Mission Show

My first outdoor show and sale at the San Juan Capistrano Mission went well. Amazingly, I didn't forget to bring any supplies or equipment. The grid panels went up smoothly with the help of my husband.

Considering the state of the economy, the show had a lot of visitors. At one point there was a crowd of 10 people at my display asking questions about my work. It was very interesting to see which paintings people responded to. Because I'm a new face at this event my sales were slow but, I was able to listen in on the more seasoned artists, many of whom had sales techniques worth taking note of.

Below are a few photos of the displays with the Mission in the background. If you are ever in the area and enjoy touring historical landmarks with stunning grounds, a lovely chapel and two fountains with large Koi, I highly recommend you see the San Juan Capistrano Mission. It is an absolute jewel! If you are a painter, bring your camera and easel along because everywhere you turn there is a painting waiting to happen.