Written here as much as a note to self. I may explore deeper at a later date:
Seeing people looking at, enjoying, and buying work from the studio was good.
The dangers/difficulty of operating in the middle ground
People are buying works they’ve previously wanted but cannot afford. The challenge for artists is to sell work at 100s of dollars or for tens of hundreds of dollars. While I imagine there is room in the thousands of dollars range, somehow, I think (I have no evidence) there are not as many collectors (or there is not as much available money) in the middle bracket.
People have hundreds of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars to spend. Not the thousands of dollars. (Again, I have no evidence for this!)
The challenge of “pay what you want.”
People were often unsure what to spend when I said, “pay what you want” for work, even after I told them what pieces were previously priced. Putting a price on a painting makes it easier for people to decide if they can afford it.
Make it as easy for people to buy work as possible
As an artist, especially without representation, making it easy for people to buy work is smart. And yes, that means putting a price on the work; it means making it clear the work is for sale and making it as easy as possible for someone to buy it.
Reactions to destruction
I found reactions from people when learning I was going to destroy my work interesting: several were in the “Oh you can’t” and the “Let’s find a way to save or use them”. Once we’d talked, others could see my rationale and the possible liberation I was hoping for.
I do not want to continue to carry my work around with me. Psychologically, financially, and physically it is draining.
The work has already lived a useful life in many ways. I’ve learnt plenty from doing the work: improving my technique, testing compositions, playing with colour relationships, etc. Making one piece enables me to make the next piece. That a painting can find another life is lovely.
All up, Everything Must Go was a fascinating and valuable experience!