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"Did j'all make this"?

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Earlier this year I was asked if I would trade a painting for a pound of weed! This was in Tucson, AZ.

Wow it wasn't Colorado?... I bet it could become the new "greenback" . Lol, well it was green but not the green you were hoping for...depending on how bad the show was...

I have a theory that 1 in 5 people you encounter anywhere anymore are stoned to the bone on alcohol, dope, pharmaceutical OD's or mismatches, or other illegal drugs of various qualities.

Some of these people have been doing it for years and are as comfortable stoned as I am sleeping.

Emily Post would tell us it's our job to make them comfortable :)

Do you buy your fabric at JoAnn's?  (I'm a weaver. Sign in booth says handweaver.)

Really? But then, upon reflection, you may be on to something there.

So Brian, did you do the trade?

Just in monetary terms - that's a nice price isn't it?  What does a pound of weed go for anyway?  In practical terms, probably not a great deal though.  But he or she must really have liked the painting.

I would imagine that a POUND of weed would be worth a lot of money.  I think they sell it by the oz.  Then it would be risky to sell the weed. You might even be escorted out of the show.

So practically not a great deal - not realistic to convert the weed back to cash (in most states).  However it does sound like it was at least a very flattering offer.

Walmart and Target are exactly right -- unless you can find people who really appreciate the creative spirit and the time and energy one pours into their work, it's very hard to compete with canvas prints at the big box stores that sell for $20.

Every so often we'll see an ad on TV for a "Starving Artist Artwork Sale" at a local Holiday Inn or somewhere like that.

There is absolutely no way any local artist can even think of competing with that.

Starving Artist Sales.

Over the years, you’ve seen the TV ads, "Buy a framed, sofa-sized oil painting for only $49.99!" Initially, you think to yourself, “Well, for only $49.99, no wonder the artists are starving.” You temporarily consider a quick trip into Center City to check out the art offerings at hotel or convention center hosting the deep discount sale. You return to your senses, yet you’re still curious.

Your fantasy image of a handsome young artist standing at his easel overlooking a snowy landscape creating a masterpiece just for you is--a fantasy. Most of us don’t think that there is a connection between overseas labor and a $49.99 painting. On some level, we like the emotional image that artists are starving for the love of art!

With this reality check in mind, here is all you need to know about the starving artist paintings. The $49.99 sofa sized starving artist paintings are products of outdated printing plants and Asian art sweatshops. The inexpensive offerings at starving artist sales are either cheap oleographs or paintings produced in repetitious assembly line manner.
What is an Oleograph?

The oleograph or imitation painting is a print. For instance, an image of a fruit bowl is machine printed onto a piece of canvas instead of a piece of poster paper. After drying, a clear varnish used to simulate brushstrokes, like clear nail polish, is applied over the printed still life image. The oleographic process dates back to the 1800s. Its name refers to any imitation graphic work just as the term oleo is used to describe imitation butter.

While printed oleographs rely on machines rather than artists, the starving artist sales keep the age-old sweatshop in business. These budget paintings are produced by groups of underpaid and overworked factory laborers.

Starving Artists: The Process

Factory workers stand, for hours at a time, in front of machines that support a long roll of blank canvas. With brushes and paint, each worker is responsible for painting one image or portion of a painting’s entire composition. For instance, when producing a landscape painting, Artist #1 will paint a tree, Artist #2 will paint a bird, and so on. At intervals and without warning, the canvas is automatically repositioned by machine to expose the next blank area of canvas to the workers who will paint it. The workers repeat the painting process. During the process, Artist #1 paints that same tree over and over again for the next 14 hours straight.

Well, just like Artist #1 whose job it is to paint that tree, there is another artist in the starving artist sweatshop who signs paintings. Despite their country of origin, the signed surnames on the majority of the paintings are not Eastern. Marketing dictates that westerners expect to buy paintings signed with western surnames like Smith, Worthington, or Jones, so the producers sign all of the paintings with a few of the most common western surnames. This piecemeal art process continues until hundreds of look-alike paintings are produced. Completed paintings are cut from the end of the canvas roll, stapled to a wooden stretcher, framed, and crated for shipment to a hotel lobby near you.

Now that you know the inside scoop on the starving artists sales, don’t you think that your $50 would be better spent on a good pencil sketch by a student artist at your local college or university? I certainly do.

Oh yes! I did go all those places... Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest, Agra India, Rio, Mumbai, Chennai. Yes, I get asked that a lot. And did you take those Lego photos too?

Can you do better? (pricewise)


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