Everyone--artists, galleries, and laypeople alike--have ideas about what's "sellable" and what's not. There are certain things that we take for granted are going to be a hard sale (for example creepy dolls), and things that we take for granted are going to be an easy sale (pretty young women looking all pretty and young). Even I had thought that the above painting, in spite of its bantam weight price tag, would be a struggle to sell. It just goes to show that you can't know what will sell and what won't, so it's important to just paint what you want to paint. At the very least, even if the painting doesn't sell, you will satisfied with being true to your artistic vision.
I'm a sucker for making unsellable paintings. I mean, I made this unsellable painting too. Creepy doll missing an arm, again with the bird wings, ratty quilt, obscure symbolism.
Oh but, wait, it sold too. Perhaps it's time to launch a series dedicated to dismembered dolls with bird wings? The painting above is called "Icarus Ascending." It is 27.5x17" and was painted on one of my home prepared dibond panels. The influences that inspired it come from all directions and can be read about in the PDF below if you're interested.
The only really new thing about my approach with this painting is that I tried out the use of a grid to get the set up drawn out. I assembled some very large stretcher bars, carefully marked off ticks along each side, and strung the stretcher bars with thread to make a grid. I hung this up in front of the still life set up and drew a grid on my drawing paper too. It went very quickly--about five times a fast. And I can say that with authority because I actually had to draw this exact set up twice--once in my old home studio, and then again when I packed up and moved into my temporary studio while our new studio was being built. It was a pain to have to disassemble and restart a still life, but it gave me the motivation to come up with a better way of drawing out a large set up. Small ones are easy, but I find large ones just drag out. Of course, the grid is just there to help. It's not the boss of me. After plotting out the set up I had to take the grid down and give the whole drawing a critical look compared to the set up. Following a grid mindlessly can lead to stupid mistakes.
Below are some in progress shots. My temporary studio was my parents' basement, hence the concrete walls and dim lighting. It was kind of hard to get any work done while I was there because it was so easy to just wander upstairs and sit down in front of the wood stove and have my parents pour hot chocolate into me.