Plein Air Podcast 244: Alvaro Castagnet’s Biggest Turning Point

In this episode, Eric Rhoads interviews the great watercolor artist Alvaro Castagnet.

Listen as they discuss:
– Thoughts on competing and winning art competitions
– Alvaro’s “do’s and don’ts” of painting
– Painting with technique and poetry, and doing so for money vs joy
– The number of paintings he typically does in a year
– And much more!

Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, shares creative strategies to sell online and ways to bring new business to you as an artist.

Listen to the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Alvaro Castagnet here:


Related Links:
– Alvaro Castagnet online:
– Plein Air Magazine:
– Summer Publisher’s Invitational:
– Fall Color Week:
– Plein Air Convention & Expo:
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram:
– Plein Air Today newsletter:
– Submit Art Marketing Questions:

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FULL TRANSCRIPT of this Plein Air Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Plein Air Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Eric Rhoads:
This is episode number 244 with one of the world’s great watercolor artists and plein air painters Alvaro Castagnet.

This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air Podcast, we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint and this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher, and painter, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:00
Thank you Jim Kipping and welcome everybody to the Plein Air Podcast. I’m Eric I’m happy to be here. Today we’re going to be introducing you to a phenomenal artist in just a minute. Coming up after the interview. In the art marketing minute, we’re going to talk about some creative strategies to sell online and ways to bring new business to you as an artist that other artists are not getting something kind of new, so hang in for that. By the way, the plein air podcast is number one Art Podcast two years in a row now with Feedspot speak Feedspot and we just learned this week that our has been selected as one of the top 25 art business and marketing blogs on the web. Hey, if we’re not number one yet, we got to work on that. Just sayin. Okay, so I have been so busy lately getting outside to paint. This year in Texas, we have had the best bluebonnets we’ve ever had. And bluebonnets are basically like lupins there and we get fields of them. So it’s like looking at water only there this iridescent purpley blue. And they have lasted normally they last about two weeks. And then they kind of grow and get leggy and you can’t really see the blue anymore. This time. They lasted a full month and so I was out painting every single weekend doing Blue Bonnet painting whenever I possibly could, because it’s just so rare and it’s such a fun, fun and challenging thing to do. I was also trying some new materials. So Holbein sent me a whole bunch of paints they sent me their watercolor line, their gouache line, they’re super high end oils, they’re water based oils. And so I’ve been trying them all having a lot of fun. And gouache is really hot lately. So I’ve been really trying to learn gouache teaching myself gouache. I had a gouache painter here in for a video recently. So I’ve been kind of watching what she was doing. And so I did my first plein air piece and gouache, I’m kind of happy with that. That was fun. In case you missed it. We did our first global paint out in my backyard. That’s been a while now a couple of weeks now, but we did it here because we we needed internet to be able to pull this off. And internet had to be close by and so the backyard made sense because they had Wi Fi in the house. And we had 30 painters here mostly from the Austin plein air painters group. That’s pretty great group. And then we had painted the view, which is the mountain and the trees and we painted the world famous artists cabin I had special guests. I had Albert Handel here and he did a demo Mary Garrish and she did a demo. Quang Huang was here. He didn’t do a demo, but he was here. We interviewed him and then I did a demo which is something I don’t normally do. So anyway, my painting ended up going home with Albert. That was kind of cool. I want to thank also people from Daniel Smith, they sent me their new gouache to try. They also have by the way, it’s marvelous to and they also have signed up as a sponsor for the plein air convention and they are sponsoring. Alvaro Castagnet’s on that on stage when he’s on stage at the convention, so thank you to them. If you’re not aware of the convention, plein air convention is coming up. It’s five days, five stages hoped to be about 1200 people. That’s how many people we had signed up pre COVID We hope they come back. It’s going we’re already 20% bigger than last year we have a big expo hall of art materials plein air specific and others frames everything and at top painters on stage teaching in the field and on stage and we’re going to paint together They’re in places like Rocky Mountain National Park. And this is historic because it took mega special permits took us a year or two, to get special permits to get a group in the national park because the national parks don’t allow more than I think 10 or 15 people to ever paint together. And I think they’re getting more strict about that. So we were able to get you know, where they’re going to be potentially 1200 of his painting together in the Rocky Mountain National Park, famous where Albert Bierstadt, painted and many, many others. So it’s coming up this May, we’re getting excited, and we’re going to be in Denver. You can learn more at Our guest today is also going to be on that stage as I mentioned. So that’s cool. One last thing before we get started, I want to let you know that though I have a public what I call publishers Invitational, except there’s no invitation required anymore. It used to be by invitation only. But the whole idea is just a painter’s retreat, and I do one every spring in the Adirondacks. And that is sold out. But we did have somebody dropped out last week. So if you want to get on the waiting list, somebody instantly was on the waiting list and got in so if you want to go get on the waiting list, just go to But we don’t have we’re not sold out yet at full color week, which is also in the Adirondacks this year. The last time we’re gonna do it the Adirondacks in the fall, which is spectacular color. And then we’re gonna move on to other places, but check it out. There’s still room for you at Now my guest today is one of the great artists of all time and one of the great watercolor and plein air artists of all time. Alvaro Castagnet is coming to us live from Melbourne, which is not where he lives anymore. He lives in Mata debe de Valle in Uruguay. Alvaro welcome to the plein air podcast.

Alvaro Castagnet 7:00
Hi, Eric. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Eric Rhoads 7:03
It’s nice to see you again. I haven’t seen you for a while I’ve seen you all over Instagram and Facebook. It seems like you’re traveling the world constantly. How do you do it?

Alvaro Castagnet 7:13
Well, yes, indeed. I’m traveling the world, but I’m enjoying it and meeting new people. In the meantime, obviously, I’m painting every day on site as I’m traveling. It’s a pleasure. very pleasurable. I do enjoy it. Yeah, oh, go ahead. Now, obviously, traveling the world going being here. There. jetlag is the only thing that he’s a bit of a problem. But other than that, he’s very enjoyable. And

Eric Rhoads 7:47
you seem like you’re you’re very energetic. And so I can’t imagine you being tired.

Alvaro Castagnet 7:54
Yeah, no, I don’t know. I don’t get tired. No, no. Every day something exciting a new to do.

Eric Rhoads 8:01
So I you know, before we dig in, I’m curious about something. You have, you have become positioned as one of the world’s great watercolor artists, I would say there are two or three or four that are in the world that are at your level. How did that happen for you? Is this was this deliberate? Was it accidental? How exactly did you get to be so prominent as an artist because a lot of people become really good but don’t get to be so prominent. But you did both?

Alvaro Castagnet 8:40
Yeah, well look life sometimes, I’m obviously you plan your life I want to always to be a painter, but I do believe on on natural ingredients. So the universe, let’s say luck and coincidence plays it plays a role and also coming to the right place at the right time, Melbourne, by the time that I can Australia in the night in the 80s it was actually booming economically. And is also Australia was was especially Melbourne was was the city of watercolor, don’t you believe? I mean, my dad told me to paint watercolors when I was in primary school and for different reasons I ended up coming to Melbourne Australia and and you see it took over from there the reasons I can well as I said to you before, you know being at the right blog place at the right time, and Mingo with very up and coming prominent artists, you know the end up then like you don’t have time to be also one of the best so, and I was lucky enough to become friends of them. So we used to go and paint on site. And it’s one of the things in the world that there is no rational explanation perhaps but it was a bunch of artissima on Australia that we all come at once, and we took off together. And induction of knowledge between us was was effortless because we were friends, we played outdoors. So I think that is one of the things that he was creating this certain group of watercolor artists from Melbourne, Australia that then later on, shows the quality of their work all over the world. And, and I was lucky enough to be able to mingle and be amongst them, you know? And so I think that, yeah,

Eric Rhoads 10:38
why do you think that Melbourne became a watercolor center? Was it because of those artists? Or was there there’s something that happened earlier? I

Alvaro Castagnet 10:46
some time, plenty of time. We talked to my mates here, sometimes, not all the time. But the reason why I do my biggest brands here is Herrmann, pickle and Joseph exclude region one comes from Croatia, the other one came from Netherlands. And so we weren’t Australians, and, but also there were a couple of very, very prominent Australian wedding colors like Bob Wade, or Greg Taylor. And so was all at the same time, I really cannot wait none of us can work it out what was the reason it? I truly believe it was totally coincidental. And what happened is plenty of these guys, it has such a talent, such a talent, you know, that we need in order to, to make, even though the friendship to make a little bit of a distance, because obviously, we were competing to each other. So need to, we need to be better all the time. I mean, knocking off a tremendous amount of calories in winning a prize, like Joseph Herrmann or Greg, or Debbie Turner with was probably one of the biggest motors. So that, that pushes me to be more competitive, and more competitive and more competitive after winning prizes. And so I think it’s almost like if we make an analogy of football, soccer, you know, I come to play the in the best league, by coincidence, you know, come to play in the best league of what a gallery time. And so then if you want to be competitive, you need to be available. So that is, I think one of the one of the reasons is totally coincidental luck and coincidence. And, and also, I finished this by saying, I remember, in the 80s, not only Australia was, was really booming economically, and you do anything and you sell it. Plus, also, there are two big cities that they polarize they have they compete between themselves in Sydney and Melbourne. And I remember in those days, they were called mental the home of what a garden. He was very popular in this in Australia, the whole country, that in Melbourne, were the best word calories. So from that, from that city, and from that time took off.

Eric Rhoads 13:19
And, and you guys are competitive. But you’re all very good friends. If I remember correctly. From the last time you’re on the podcast, it seems to me you told me that you made a point to get together annually, your group of friends and paint is that right? Am I remember? Yeah,

Alvaro Castagnet 13:34
absolutely. Look, I met I met all these guys, like maybe 40 years ago, 35, 40 years ago, we used to go to university to teach masters University in New South Wales. From that time, we become even more united. And then we were so happy having so much fun in the university, whatever, you know, at night, that we decided this up from now on, why don’t we get together once or twice a year, and go and paint together. And we did every year, we start painting all over Australia. And then after that, we we go to Europe and the five of us were five. And the good thing about that is that were you playing with friends and you’re playing with competitive artist, the induction of knowledge in the exchange of knowledge is becoming such a natural fashion. You know, because you paint with your friends, you put their paintings on the floor, and you you criticize each other. So, so the induction of knowledge that we share with each other, it was actually one of the most important things I record in my career to become more and more professional because imagine we paint all day together and there are nights that we used to play pool. You know, I was playing we Herrmann and how am I against you? Have a nice week. And then to the wee hours of the night playing pool drinking beer, we know the painting we were doing throughout the day we’re on the floor, and then I put them on the floor. Then after that, we’ll say, hey, why don’t you do that, you should put a little bit of more red in that walk. And you should put a little bit, maybe it’s just dotting your painting in here, we’re gonna use more or less than fascinated. So imagine being in that kind of atmosphere, in totally relaxed. That’s why a specified induction of knowledge can be totally effortless to us in order to catch up. It’s not like you pretend to learn Chinese, you know and make an effort. We were just simply painting today you I think that I always stretch these out because it have to be honor and honoring that encounter of us since 34 years ago. Even until now I mean metal now and I’m painting with them. You know, by the way, Joseph on the street, and they are yesterday I was we have on paper, which is an extremely good painter. And it obviously worked we’ve gone beyond simply being colleagues of art, we love each other because these are friends with our friends. We definitely don’t need to paint or we just need to fall for drinks so or the other day we just meet these always a competition playing pool.

Eric Rhoads 16:24
That’s what do you guys all you guys still critique each other’s work 32

Alvaro Castagnet 16:30
All the time, all the time I was painting with the other day, just come to pick me up, we went to paint on the streets of Melbourne. In Melbourne, you cannot predict the weather because sometime it is it looks sunny, but they have an hour later there are some clouds coming from nowhere here becomes a rainy day fill. We’re big in a rainy day without having the equipment. So. So we we rushed the painting, and I remember that that we got on the cover, and then we start talking about a child’s painting. Yes, I mean, maybe it’s not the time to say specifically what we discussed. But yes, we’re going to talk about our own paintings. And, and any My case is very good. Like it probably just have to because because it when we travel the world. And we did you know these you only hear opinions that are, you know, applauding, you know, manifesting or how good you are. But when you want your mate, you know, he could tell you the truth. Yeah, they tell you the truth. We tell the truth to each other. So, and hammer harmony. So it’s also very opinionated, in the good way have a good sense of the world. And harmony is a guy that he has a very deep, profound knowledge of of art. And listening to him is such a such a, it’s a pleasure. It’s a blah, blah, blah. So all artists are kind of individuals, you see what I mean. So there is a kind of uniqueness to them. The way they behave, the way they talk is, is always when you are amongst them is so catchy and so interesting because because you can tell that we all have certain peculiarities that lucky enough. We are very compact compatible with one another but

Eric Rhoads 18:29
what’s your style? We’re all very realities

Alvaro Castagnet 18:33
in personalities. So it’s almost funny. You know, it’s great.

Eric Rhoads 18:36
Was that hard for you and your left Melbourne? Was it hard for you to to leave that that support structure of your friends?

Alvaro Castagnet 18:44
Well, yes, yes, it was hard, but we still make it once or twice a year somewhere in Europe. Plus, also we are all the time constantly constantly on the on the on the internet, we dog and we give up that goes when also we sent images to each other. There’s another friend of mine that I haven’t mentioned yet but he’s a very good friend of mine. Terrific according to my my point of view about him as our colors for me is is beyond us, which is bulging bowl bowl, Jean Borgia, Chinese friend of mine, and we’re going to be exhibited by the way Italy together amongst in a museum amongst many other very very prominent RP from New York and and we pulled which is our galleries that he worked is beyond what we understand so far is gone into total total obstruction, but I was lucky enough to be a in inside and ensuing the saying his own philosophy, which I do understand that and for me, it’s actually a so inspirational, inspirational bulging Borg No, because I love his work, and we will be exhibiting together. I was I was on the phone from New York yesterday. And when we talked, we talked for hours, you know what I mean? And, and it that’s another source of of growing up that he comes to my account to my my soul, let’s say, let’s say when I because he in small doses, but for instance I was talking to to Paul yesterday and he has to do for this museum in Italy. They got he has a commission, he paints things in there so, so big, and it’s about RJ and so I was talking to Paul about it and because I’m putting some painting, he’s putting some paintings all our Peggy had to have a thin according to the place physically where we’re going to be exhibited. And I remember Paul saying, you know, gallery you know, I’ve been reading and I’ve been reading and reading this Jay Leno what I mean and people behavior and people in what they do in the way they were treating them and blah, blah, blah, like no, and all that kind of reading that Paul was doing, I find extremely unnecessary in I do understand the guy because in order for him to make a painting that is not the J itself, but the jail but is about that is the purpose of painting in order to be superior on the subject itself, he needs to be informed in all kinds of ways, you know, what I mean? He need to read like a book about the journey. So, he gets all invaded himself, he quickly jump into a pool of knowledge. And then he does the tide. And then also there is something that I say plenty of times that we need to discriminate and and especially for all those people who enjoy painting what God has done, I always say the same thing is there are two things activity versus action, I think we need to make our discrimination of of, of the meaning of both of them, you know, getting a nice like this in the case of ball, he doesn’t go into action, straight away and thinking okay, well, here it is how to go that particular subject, and I take some photos, I have some photos of I go and paint it, you know, that is will be a devotee. Action is a man also is an artist that he needs to be involved in something, especially in painting. Because we are aspiring, we are aiming to beat Nigeria to beat what we see to be the reality. We only beat it by by inflicting in our painting a great deal of mood, and ambience. And that’s why Paul is embarking himself in all that kind of knowledge that later on, he goes into action when he’s ready, you’re actually I was I was just talking to him the other day. And in I found that very good, very good. We took about the subject doing, I think it’s important to stretch that to stretch that out. If I have to do an exhibition on New York, I have to spend at least three weeks just simply walking the streets of New York, walking Mel in it, sit down and have a coffee and look at the people passing by to hear the noise. Which is something that we love to do.

Eric Rhoads 23:31
I’m really glad to hear you’re talking about this because I think that we all get caught up in technique. And of course, that’s what you teach, you know, when it’s at least initially why people may go to a workshop, but there’s something about you and the artists that you’ve mentioned that go beyond technique, it’s it’s, it really is about emotion.

Alvaro Castagnet 23:56
Totally boy, but it’s a must, is a must there is no way you can do a good painting that you should be proud of it if if what the painting resembles 90% Of it is just a pure emotional, it’s just pure poetry, poetry or painting. A painting with technique is is simply simply what he said what it is is technique technique is is like public currency, anybody can have it you know people are thirsty and willing to learn technique. And fair enough because I went through that process too before but once once you get to know technique then you realize that technique you are catching up and developing those your fingerprint that’s another thing that is too important. Individuality is the purpose of it is for something else is for a major theme. And that major thing the more they should keep on growing as an artist it becomes the north of your life up professional life to become a painter is is how can I reach that level of, of innocence, that level of affection that level of passion and mood and ambience? Just that section of poetry let’s say and magic, because this is they were really like a painting technique is like public currency, you give me $1 Or give you 50 cents whatever it is, you know what I mean? A we can exchange technique but so can

Eric Rhoads 25:34
that can this be taught? Sorry, can you teach that to get the field to three? Is that something to be taught? Or is it something that you just have to put in the brush the miles?

Alvaro Castagnet 25:48
No, no, I don’t know what the thing is. Is that grow out of you Excuse me? Please, I grew up of painting and painting regularly, when you dedicate your life and you focus on on growing up as an artist, eventually that comes comes up in manifested naturally. You see what I mean? When you when I’m painting but when I’m painting my priorities is how to beat what I paid. What how can I get over and be in really make a watercolor painting like a painting I love that. And the only way I can make a painting out of something is embittered, is by the inflicting into my painting. An emotion I know maybe Oh, this word sounds we are feelings of passion. We heard this word plenty of times in literature and everywhere in music and poetry. And so this is kind of a

Eric Rhoads 26:55
often overused all the other

Alvaro Castagnet 26:57
people prostitute the meaning of word feelings. But the thing is, my my challenge when I do a painting is better at nature. And dealing with human beings that we are we have conscious we are conscious being is is by, by finding. By facing yourself with without, without, without a hint of innocence. That is important because when you’re innocent about the subject is limited. It’s an accumulation of factors. But being innocent about the subject, what you’re showing is that you as an artist, you’re painting from your heart, you’re painting from your, your your raw, natural being intelligence is not manipulating your thoughts. You see what I mean? That is very cool.

Eric Rhoads 27:53
I think what you’re saying is you have to learn to let go of yourself or let go of your

Alvaro Castagnet 27:56
ego. Of course, of course, look, you and I we can go and take to the streets of New York and and I bet I know that, you know, we can literally we can make something that resembles the streets of New York. And so what I mean we can have great technique both of us, but in the eyes of our trained artists, that is not good enough.

Eric Rhoads 28:21
And that’s the distinction one is a practitioner and the other is an artist.

Alvaro Castagnet 28:27
It simply is simply as it is simply exactly is simply technique. And we have to realize that that intelligent people can get technique easily. And he’s not in my comment is not that in them because you can get it easily. I know I’m trying to destroy your thinking or your you mean no good or look, that’s great, you got technique section, but the thing is the message to all those services, once you get technique, you need to be aware and conscious of the new door that is opening to you that what are you going to do with that technique? In you’ve got to say something in your painting? There is no no I mean anybody can paint with using using intelligence. But what we have to realize is not being too intelligent is not an asset that we really give value to it is not we don’t we don’t give value to intelligent we we give value to stupidity, we give value to innocence. We give value. When we the departure point is is the only way we can beat while we see improve it is by the inflicting an emotion. So if you’re going to bed, you know we’ve been the city of New York, we need to find our way of doing the painting that he goes into finding the motion of living in New York or the streets of New York. That is Then the feeling emanating from the painting to be totally subordinated to that to that aspect when then, and then the technique of that fellow or that Painter is becoming irrelevant. You see what I mean? That is what I would when I do painting. So, you know, is the message to most people is not just go to do it ASAP, great, it’s great to study, it’s great to even copy the work of other marketers. But you know, the greatest thing and the most difficult thing that cannot be taught is precisely that, and that cannot be taught, you know, when it cannot be taught when we, you know, we from the age of seven, we don’t become any more individual is individuality. And from the age of seven, we are constantly bombarded with do’s and don’ts. And then and then the, Greg, this example is, when you go to a primary school, and you see the work of kids, which are maybe 10, even, even eight done and you see the work in the in the primary school, I want, I will like to say to all of you guys have a look at the paintings, because those work of art those kids are producing, they’re what I what I’m trying to say and what I mean, they are really, really true good of art. There’s a true work of art, you know, the moment we began 20, quantify, we’ve been infected by what the society wants us to do. And also, we don’t like to get away too much from the society. So we like to please them. And that’s when I become prostituted. And also you lose the aim of you been a draw is true artist, he’s the type of guy that walks in his own path. And

Eric Rhoads 31:55
then you can you overcome this idea of prostituting if you decide to sell your work? Because isn’t there always a little bit of that tinge in the back of your mind of gee, this painting will sell well? Or is I’m gonna make some money with this?

Alvaro Castagnet 32:11
And well, yes, of course, there’s always a there’s always those thoughts always filter, of course, you need to maintain yourself, you need to pay your bills. But but when I, when I do my banking, might be my whole heartedly, what I’m promoting, as I’m doing my painting is to make our masterpiece, if I could, if I can, you know, I’ve never think because it will be a totally lack of integrity, I never think of oh, if I do this green, I want to do it again. And again, because I know people loves it. I don’t give a damn about it. I mean, our thesis is, is, as I said to you before, it’s totally is the greatest expression of individuality. If you, if you’ve been with integrity, you’re paying an artist paint only for self indulgence. And I do paint for the sake of painting, I do painful self indulgence. And it is like I will say is like I imagine I have a radio program and I speak on air. So I don’t know the people who are listening to me, I just say whatever I want to say and then you have a writing. Okay, when I paid is the same thing. I mean, I paid for myself, I think I will have a writing, which as a consequence of, of what I do, about what I paid, I paid for myself, I don’t I don’t think listen to to be a painter is a greatest expression of of individuality. Once again, I said before, is you only paying for self indulgence. And for the sake of painting, that that should be the Yeah.

Eric Rhoads 33:54
It’s a journey to get there, isn’t it?

Alvaro Castagnet 33:57
Yeah, well, is that is that is that why I will say that we never, we never reach a destination, you know, and, and the sheer pleasure of being an artist is is why we are going on the route where you’re showing where you’re traveling. Because yes, you never look at these professional us that is based in love. It’s totally you’re born with congenital. And what happened is, once you start practicing this profession, the growth is constantly you know what I mean? You never reach a destination because once you conquer a plateau,

Eric Rhoads 34:38
and then there’s another mountain, right?

Alvaro Castagnet 34:41
Yeah, try there’s a mountain that you lose respect for what you got when you lose respect, because it’s the I know I still use it. I know I know. That’s it. No, it doesn’t feel my soul. I need to do something. As a matter of fact, it happened to me that sometime when I when I do a painting company looking good, but I think but I feeling that I make it a little too easy. I don’t exhibit a painting or because I have doubts. Something like, like for me too. I do concede that it’s a good painting. When I was a when I had a battle. When I was cruising like a Formula One car in the in the art of painting, I was fast in driving a Formula One car, and you go straight, highest speed you got on fire, and you find difficulties or challenges all the time. And then if the result of that is a successful one that I think is a good practice.

Eric Rhoads 35:39
What I tough question, but what percentage? You said you aim to get a masterpiece? What percentage do you think you’d get?

Alvaro Castagnet 35:52
I haven’t been to all after class b two has to be philosophical you are all employee has to have a philosophy about their own work. Okay. That is what I’ve been expressing so far is my philosophy about my own work. So then, when I do my paintings, and I paint, like a painful time, so I don’t say that I’m gonna say that I paid 365 days out of the year, maybe 250. I ended up painting that I think it resembles that criteria. The end of the year, maybe maybe a bunch of 1010 1510 10. I will say, Well, look, these paintings really encapsulate my in honor my philosophy. I’m proud of them. And yes, for a man that still obviously I’m getting getting a very young but but I’d be petty for a long time. And yes, this is my conclusion in love what I’m doing in my painful time. I’d be beautiful for years. So I ended up 10 paintings of that quality, maybe a year.

Eric Rhoads 37:10
Well, that’s pretty. That’s pretty good. Actually, if you come up with that many, that’s pretty high. So go ahead.

Alvaro Castagnet 37:18
No, no, I’ll say but yeah, but I think I paid let’s say, let’s say 250 days a year. I do lots of painting. Well, I

Eric Rhoads 37:26
don’t think that much but I think it’s very rare for I don’t think I’ve ever done a masterpiece. So no,

Alvaro Castagnet 37:36
no, no. I’m gonna say that I ended up with masterpieces, but at least paintings that I think are the Christian capsulate kind of the criteria that was driven me in order to make this painting.

Eric Rhoads 37:50
Let’s talk about plein air. You you’ve been taking it outside for a long time. When did you start going out? And what was the immediate difference? You noticed? Or was there one?

Alvaro Castagnet 38:03
No, obviously, I mean, I started going up with all my friends going out to the rural Melbourne Fredonia district cities of Melbourne. Nah, I loved it. I loved it for different circumstances. First of all, I love the interaction that you I have myself with a real subject, you know, in the studio, your eyes travels or to all corners of the painting or the photo. And then there is a gate for intellect to dominate your approach into the painting when I was on site, it has to be done in a hurry. You need the everything has a dynamic on it on the street. And I find instead of finding that obviously it was difficult in the beginning, but I find it extremely fun. I find a great magnetism and I was for me was too exciting to paint on the streets and I become used to it I become used to it for traveling for painting we my mate every day, we’re going to do some time for painters that day on the streets. And for me painting on the streets is it was my main turning point in my career. I find that if I was let me put it this way if I was progressing in my art in my studio progressing I give you or once again an analogy of of sports cars in the studio was driving a flat fee at 600 centimeters. When I went to paint on the streets, I jumped in a Formula One car as far as as far as catching up and learning and become an artist. You know, there are so many things. It look look good. I couldn’t be mentioned but the major thing is when you’ve been in the studio, you cannot you cannot deny it and you cannot stop it that that is artists gravitate because they are comfortable to use the the intellectual input into the painting and you may not realize this even your family members say we love you, we love your painting, you put the painting you do in the studio into the eyes of maybe 1010 professional artists and they will pick it up it will pick it up that he has is an intelligent painting whether whether when you do a painting in on site that’s that is you yourself equipped with all you got confronting a subject that is moving, and you tried to get the vibes of the subject. So you put yourself in another gear. And the thing is that at the end of the day, the painting on site in manifest clear that those symptoms those symptoms are of a higher quality and far more superior that the symptoms or or the manifestation of a painting that in the studio in the studio, whether it’s artist like it or not, intellect filter, you’re quiet you’re in control you have your cup of tea your cup of coffee, off you go you paint but when you’re on site is you and the work

Eric Rhoads 41:15
you get too comfortable inside

Alvaro Castagnet 41:18
too comfortable and then you’re allowed you allow your intellect to dominate your your input into the painting when you’re on site is just it just just your whole being you’re on fire you

Eric Rhoads 41:32
that’s done. Were paintings where I had no time. You know, the wind was blowing and I had to hold on to the easel with one hand and light was going away and and I just had an instinct and when I paint with instinct, it works. But when I think about it, I noodle it too much.

Alvaro Castagnet 41:55
Yes, yes. That’s true. That is true. That’s why for me, it was the biggest turning point. And I do love to paint on site far more than in the studio. You pay. Not when I’m in the studio. Yes, the Oh sketches of a previous painting. I don’t want to do that got them in the floor. And I need to be refix I finish them up in the studio. Or I do a bigger one. Do a bigger one in the studio.

Eric Rhoads 42:25
They maintain the freshness in the studio. Do you have any practices that you use to try to keep that freshness of the outdoors?

Alvaro Castagnet 42:33
Well, yeah, yes, I don’t. I don’t make myself too comfortable in that in the studio. I Penny. First of all mystery. I paint big, big sizes, you know, two meters, meter and a half. I believe from a standpoint never sitting down never comfortable with stand bone walking forwards and backwards. Like in a ferocious gun of German. I’m not saying that you can just do you will probably be afraid of making fun of fire. You know what, young lady? I got what happened in the Studio A? And I think those big paintings I almost big become myself will say a little degree of of aggressivity and become aggressive. No, not to human beings, not to anybody just to the painting. It’s almost it’s almost like a duck to the painting. I said you do what I tell you.

Eric Rhoads 43:30
You have to have you. Oh, yeah,

Alvaro Castagnet 43:33
no, no. And it seems if things don’t come my way, I act like you’re punishing the painting. Or you didn’t want to come my way. Now I’m gonna punish you. Yeah, I have that kind of attitude. When I say almost. And then we keep on paying the mentioning that the analogy is in a way reflecting is almost like a boxing ring. You’re boxing. You know?

Eric Rhoads 43:57
Is there an attitude? You know, you’re hanging out with the best watercolor painters in the world? Is? Is there an attitude not an arrogance? Because I think they all know they’re good. But what is the difference in attitude between somebody who’s just at that level versus that you know, the mindset of somebody who’s not there yet what what are the things that you think about differently?

Alvaro Castagnet 44:25
Now, one thing that you might notice in this big measure watercolor painters, they have a philosophy. And that’s something that you need a painting you as a painter, not only technique, you have to have a philosophy you have that you have to be beautiful philosophical. That’s one thing. Secondly, you tell the way those prominent artists behave. They’re searching for they always they search for a story. They always want to make a story, but they they search for a story In a was such an inequality in such a cool room care less kind of approach. That that is the thing that caught my attention, caught my attention. For instance in in Paul Paul team bore you know what I mean he he has a name, he has a story to say he wants to say thank you some philosophical philosophical way. And he has to put 50 washes, he put 50 washes on the paper, and he paints for light to dark in that light. And then when you see a person that finally is breaking up all the boundaries that they made you put in the first page, let’s say of the book, and he and we, he’s breaking it up constantly, like, couldn’t care less, following his philosophy, following his dream, follow it trying to say his story in the loudest because as the thing in the loudest possible way, I found that is the big difference in between good artists and, and, and simply therapeutical. Artists, you know, there are lots of people I don’t want to, I don’t want to come into, of course, I don’t know anybody. I won’t mention anybody, but there are lots of people who paint just in a terrible optical fashion, you know, is for them are is simply entertaining. But if you are true about art is not it is no it shouldn’t be political, it shouldn’t be entertaining, it should be encapsulating, they should be the epitome of what painting is all about. Painting is nothing to do with it with with intellect or with technique. Technique a painting is, is the greatest manifestation of poetry with maximum impact, with maximum impact.

Eric Rhoads 46:55
So who is the greatest poet? Painter? In your mind? It’s not alive, I will keep it safe so that I won’t have to name any living people. Who was who’s the greatest poet painter? That I mean? What would you ask him? If you got a chance to spend, you know, an hour with somebody? What would you ask him?

Alvaro Castagnet 47:22
Well, the funny thing is no given I’m not gonna give you have a great example of poetry. But it came to my mind separate because I went to see his exhibition is an American artist recently did his entry while in a while, I went to see many, many, many sort of, in in, in New England, and also in Brooklyn area, in on top of Boston. And I want to mention him, because this is a great example of being an illustrator, being an illustrator, you know, illustrate, as we all know, you know, simply simply resemble something that is easy to read, and you recognize the sport. But when I went to see his exhibition, even though he was illustrating the, for instance, I could just remember one painting, there was room after room, that was the name of the of the other painting. I think Christina is sitting down in the foreground, and these are a laundry in the second room and that category at the end is room after room. There is an example of illustration, the painting bad he bypasses illustration, because his paintings are absolutely inflicted with magic, with working with poetry, Andrew White’s painting, they all have poetry, and sometimes so hard say, Well, what is it? What is that poetry, they can sense it, that emanate from the painting, but it’s a good is a very good example of American painter, you know, that the even though he plays in a traditional fashion, and he came from a family of freaking strikers, he bypasses illustration, precisely by inflicting his painting, boys. And then you guys, all of you, people who are willing to pay is not just technique, this technique is good in a way that you show your fingerprint, this is our spine, this is Peter spine, whatever, you see what I mean, but not only you show your technique, that is it has to be huge. It has to show your fingerprint, so it has to be all yours. But secondly, what is the thing this is the most important thing what what is the thing you say? What is the thing you say? And is your painting poetic enough and giving you two words? That is is what we have to We just announced this is poetry and magic. Oh, boy dream magic. Yes, yes. Look, nothing up me doesn’t paint is that it has an acute acute technique, and acute resembles of reality and exploit in an intelligent way lost and found hidden means and, and yes, everything that he knows his repertoire is very well trained and he displayed at every time he gives a painting. And then I will say no, that is the type of art I don’t like. I don’t like that. I look. I love art that goes beyond that. Yeah, yeah, I don’t want to say more because he looks at his repeating myself.

Eric Rhoads 50:54
Well, this has been a pleasure having you on today. I think we could probably go on for hours. You just wind you up and let you go. And it’s easy. So yes, unfortunately, our time is up. But I want to thank you for taking the time. I know you’re away from home. So thank you for doing this today. You’ve been a great inspiration. We will see you on stage at the plein air convention. And I think one of the things that I love, you’re inspiring so many people watching you on stage at the plein air convention when you were there last time several years ago. I mean, everybody was in awe you were he just blew everybody away. And then we had I think we had an auction or something in your painting went for big bucks. But it was a really exciting moment. And you know, a lot of watercolor painters haven’t gone outdoors yet. And I just want to encourage those people who are listening to try it. Get outdoors. Try it. Yeah, it’s a hassle. Yeah, it’s hard. But it’s not hard forever. And what would you say to that?

Alvaro Castagnet 52:05
No, well, look is great to engage yourself in conversation with an artist and an aim high and aim high. And you have to realize that while the type of art we’re doing, Eric A has a degree of obviousness to it. And, and so there is no success in simply achieving placing a look of obviousness in a painting that is not is not even 20% into making a masterpiece. That’s nothing. The you know, the challenge the greatest challenge we have in in knowing that was the kind of art we do if you’re good at it in his heart he has a degree of obviousness to it. So for you need to be desperate Then, to add up to that obviousness a feeling if you’re painting has no magic, he has no passion, he has no poetry, that obviousness even though you are so good at it is worthless is simply therapeutical painting is is is is a little pussycat you need to you need to aim you need to pretend to make a lion you know if we if we following the example if we see a cat a pussycat a domestic one we see them plenty all over all over the place in the type of our prefer nice is that type you said a pussycat paid you guys you guys went out and I don’t know I’m not saying that because I’m saying this every time I wrote as a painting there’s no way I’m saying this is my nor if I want to make a painting of or you name it New York eatery whatever you want to call it not a pussycat you know listen guys, my final message is technique for the sake of painting good intelligent technique and bright and vivid and nice collars and so on is nothing is nothing is not going

Eric Rhoads 54:07
to start you have to start there. You but of course you have to you have to be able to do it in your sleep you have to be able to know how to get how to make

Alvaro Castagnet 54:16
i i totally agree I simply announcing what is the challenge coming up afterwards. I’ve been there before I’ve been there before I still was both need to you know thirsty for technique. I need to develop my technique. Oh, now I know exactly how what kind of function. Now I know. And I can make pretty things. But prettiness something that is simply pretty. It comes in, in a lower range is very shallow and I think it shouldn’t be just pretty, you know, then I realized ourselves as because of the good technique and the good transparent colors. I was using a little bit of yellow back to a little bit of blue. Down below a bit of pink and all transparent It wasn’t doing anything for my soul, nothing for my soul, you see, then I realized that it wasn’t the purpose of painting the purpose, the major purpose of doing a painting is beating and being superior to the world around us. And the only way we can be superior and better to the world around us is not really a channel simply being a good technician. Is Is your heart is your soul that we make a painting, you see, and that then, and then you realize that all that silliness, sorry about that the silliness of transparency. And in the end, that beautiful, transparent yellow next to the transparent pink in the middle, up above, a bunch of blue, very transparent, because we supposed to be painting one color. And so what you end up with a carnival of skinny hues, you and that nowhere, thank you. And it’s not about prettiness painting is about a major feeling, a feeling that impact your soul, that impact your soul. You know, you succumb to it, and you cannot, you cannot discriminate it or, you know, technically why that painting so good. You don’t need to say look at those brushstrokes, look or be an amazing shape or whatever. No, you don’t need to discriminate a painting by the technique, you could simply contemplate it and think to yourself, look at that. And you get speechless, and you don’t know why is that painting is so good. And sometimes also, and I think I know we need to finish. Sometimes I prefer painting who they are a little ugly. You know, painting, listen, we need to we need to realize that prettiness is shallow prettiness so much so that prettiness a painting that is pretty precarious, and he has no soul equal, but I’m so sorry if I become too drastic, because you know what? I love you all. I love you all. I simply, I simply come to express myself.

Eric Rhoads 57:13
You’ve done a great job doing it. Alberto, thank you so much. God bless, man. Thank you and I’ll see you at the plein air convention. Thanks for being.

Alvaro Castagnet 57:26
Look, by the way we’re gonna have hanging out in wrong in Frascati from the one to the fourth of June. We’re going to have a traditional museum scuderie Okay, and Laura Linney and Paul Jimbo will be there amongst Herrmann and all my big mates that are being in Europe soon.

Eric Rhoads 57:50
Awesome. Well, congratulations.

Alvaro Castagnet 57:53
Good on you. Nice talking to you guys.

Eric Rhoads 57:59
Oh, that was outstanding. Fabulous. One of the best interviews ever and I did nothing he just has got such a great brain. So thank you to Alvaro Castagnet. Okay, you guys ready for smart marketing moments? Let’s get to it.

Announcer 58:15
This is the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller make more money selling your art proven techniques to turn your passion into profit.

Eric Rhoads 58:27
So there’s poetry in marketing you know, it’s it doesn’t need to be ugly, it doesn’t need to be manipulative. It doesn’t need to be awful you know, you’re not selling used cars, you’re selling beauty and if you can use your marketing to help people find you and and if they can find you, they can have the pleasure of having your artwork hanging around them. And so that’s why marketing is so important. So if you have questions for the art marketing minute, email me, [email protected]. And remember Feedspot just gave A high marks top 25 Art Marketing podcast. Let’s strive for number one. Amandine, my producer, what is your first question?

Amandine 59:23
The first question is from Greg Mayer from Wisconsin. I am following your book as closely as possible. It is now time to set up a website. When doing so I plan to send original watercolors with an option to buy two different sizes of limited edition prints. What I’ve noticed is that many many artists may have a price listed for their original art, but they do not have a convenient way to purchase the art online when the potential buyer is interested. They add an extra step of contacting me to purchase this art or something similar? My question is, is there a compelling strategy or tactic behind this in art sales? Like negotiating the price? Or upselling? Or are they just too hesitant and don’t want to deal with managing technology? And online sales?

Eric Rhoads 1:00:24
Okay, well, Greg, thank you for that. Thanks for getting my book. Glad to see you taking action, glad to see that you’re paying attention. Action is the key to every problem, you know, and, and you just got to be proactive, and you’re being proactive. So I think that’s good. I can tell. Look, there are no right or wrong. Like painting, there really are no right or wrong. It’s about feel it’s about testing. I test everything. You know, what may work for you may not work for me, vice versa. So you have to test everything. There’s not a right or wrong, but I do have an opinion, because you know, usually I do. So just for kicks, when I was preparing for your question, I went on Amazon and I actually Googled, what is the most expensive thing for sale on Amazon. I was just curious. And what do you think the most expensive item would be? Well, turns out from what I found, it’s a rare one of a kind hockey card, kind of like a baseball card. That was $818,000. Just click here to purchase? Hmm. Yeah, you wonder if those things sell or they’re there just to create attention? I would imagine they sell. So imagine if every time that you decided you wanted to buy something from Amazon, you had to call them first. You go, oh, you know, I like this color wheel. Instead of clicking to buy, you have to call them first, would you do it? No, of course not. You wouldn’t do it, you would never buy anything. So there’s a big debate about this. And it goes something like this, an artist, or a gallery will say, Well, I don’t want to list the price because I need to talk to them first to find out if they’re a legitimate buyer. Or if they think the price is too high. I have to help them overcome their price objections on the phone. I think this kind of thinking is completely like antiquated. It’s 1920s thinking. It’s like the early days of the web. I had a friend who worked for a newspaper. And he started the websites for his newspapers, a major newspaper in America big name. And they said to him, don’t put the story on the website until the newspaper has been out for two hours. It’s like, Yeah, but we haven’t now and we can beat everybody to it. And no, you gotta wait for it to print overnight, and then it gets delivered. And then you know, and so like, he couldn’t make them change their minds. So he left them and went to somebody who would say, look, let’s put these stories out now. So that’s kind of antiquated thinking, right? It’s the same kind of thing. So I am sitting up at two o’clock in the morning, because I can’t sleep and I see an ad for your gallery or for your artwork in let’s say, in Fine Art connoisseur magazine, which I own. And you want to buy that painting or you want to learn more about the painting or something so you don’t want to wait till midnight to buy it I mean until daylight to buy it right. So I want it now I want to buy it now I don’t want to go to any effort. I want to buy it my change, my mood might change by morning, right? So this is called creating friction. Don’t make people think or work. Have a buy button have a buy this now button. You can explain the shipping or it is or isn’t included. Or you could say ally any any purchase over a certain amount of money, you’re gonna have to wire the money if you’re worried about that. But quite frankly, if their credit card goes through, why do you worry? Then they have a way to buy it. You solve all their problems, don’t make them work. Because if you do, you’re going to increase the friction and you’re going to lose more sales than you gain. People are impulsive. Use that to your benefit. I if I’m watching a television show, and I google something, or I’ll see something I was watching a show the other night I saw something I thought well that’s cool. And I put I put it into Amazon and I flipped through and I found it and I bought it. You know if if that had been the next day I would have never done that I would have not waited I would have forgotten about it. I would have lost interest. So I know this dealer no names. This dealer had a call me policy online. Now this was kind of early stage of internet, so I understand it. And he was dead set against the idea of a direct sale online. So I challenged him, I said, Listen, this is a stupid policy, no offense in the nicest possible way. You’re not stupid. It’s a stupid policy. And I said, you need to put the price of your expensive paintings on the on the website and have a buy now option. He said, I will never work, I got to talk to these people. I said, Look, just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way. So to his credit, he said, Well, I’ll test it. So he went in, and he put everything available online for sale, including some very expensive things a week went by, he did not get a single purchase. And so we talked. And he’s like, Oh, this isn’t working, you’re wrong. I said, just give it some time. Just hang in there. Let’s see what happens. A week later. He came in in the morning, and he found an order for a piece of art. Get this a piece of art, it was a piece of major sculpture from a major sculptor, it was $650,000. And the email up and he had put it on there, you have to wire the money, the email came in, that they had wired the money overnight, he had $650,000 in his account, because he had a buy now option, he would have never got that never would have gotten that or might not have gotten that anyway. And so you know, you’ve got to find a way people do not worry about that today. Now, there’s one thing that’s really, really important in this messaging, and that is, if I’m going to put my credit card in or if I’m going to wire money. And by the way, I don’t want to wire money. Because that’s too much friction. But if I’m going to put my credit card in, I need to know your legitimate. I need to know you’re not a scam. And that’s why you need to have things that are credibility builders and testimonials on your website. give people confidence. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this. But there’s a term called the term is con man. Do you know what con man stands for? Confidence man, they would build confidence with people so they could fraud them out of their money. Now you’re not a scam. But competence is important. You need it no matter what you’re doing. So you need to send things that show that you’re being trusted. So sell online direct be where your customers want to be, you cannot buy a Tesla by going into a dealership unless it’s a used car dealership. You can’t buy a Tesla by calling. You have to go online, you go in and you pick your colors. You you pick everything, and you click the button and you put a deposit down. It takes 10 minutes to buy $120,000 car. Why would you make me go through something for a piece of art, that’s a fraction of that price? Probably. Now, don’t assume there’s a limit on prices online. If I’m a billionaire, and I have a platinum Amex card and I can buy a Bentley online, I should be able to buy a Sargent painting or a Rembrandt for millions. And if I know who I’m buying from if it’s a trusted source source like Sotheby’s or Christie’s or bottoms or heritage. I’m not going to have a problem with that. All right, next question.

Amandine 1:08:50
The next question is from Gary from Minnesota. I have a prospecting prospecting. Sorry question for you. Since we’re all basically in sales, we should be continually prospecting, as you say, stand in the water where the money is flowing. I have an idea to approach the high end homebuilding arena, upscale homes are in a nice river of flowing money. I’m connecting, I’m connected with a few artists and home builder here in town. They build big, beautiful homes with blank wells walls just begin from my artwork. My thought is, the contractors pride themselves on really getting to know their clients on a personal level. Many clients are art collectors, what a perfect personal gift it would be to purchase art from an artist to present at the final walkthrough of the home. Since it takes several months of or more to build the home. It could also be a good opportunity for commission work as well. My question is, how would you approach contractors for an idea like that Do you have a script or an outline for setting such a conversation?

Eric Rhoads 1:10:05
Gary, you’re a good student, you’re paying close attention. Thanks for reading my book, let me talk about the concept of the river. So everybody understands it. You don’t catch fish in a dry riverbed, I always say stand in the river where the money is flowing. Or the equivalent would be stand in the river where the fish are flowing a fish are customers in the art world, and all world’s rivers dry up, and new rivers flood. And what I mean is that, let’s say you’re in an area where business is booming, people have more money than ever imaginable, money’s flowing, you know, it’s 1980, again, and you need to be where the money is flowing. So, sometimes you have to move to a different river, you know, like, the money could be flowing. So let’s use an example. I don’t know if it’s a relevant example, I’m just kind of making this up. But let’s say you live in Silicon Valley, and everybody in Silicon Valley is just flush with cash, everybody’s making money, there’s tons of jobs, everything’s happening, people are buying everything, right. They’re just buying lots of stuff. So if that’s where the money is flowing, then I want to be in an art gallery where the money’s flowing, or I want to be an art gallery, where they’re going, you know, if they’re going to why I want to be in that art gallery, right. But six months later, there could be a crash in that sector and people getting laid off and massive layoffs and nobody’s spending, maybe the billionaires are spending. But do you give up? No, you move to a different river, you might keep that river, keep fishing there, but you move to a different river. So what if all the rivers dry up while they never do? Even in the past recessions, I had a friend at a New York gallery, he said, you know, the billionaires are still buying paintings, they’re just not spending as much on paintings. They’ll only spend 50, or $100,000 instead of $500,000. Okay, so he had to adapt, he had to have a lot of $50,000 paintings, people who have money, still have it add in recessions. There are people who get really, really rich. Not everybody is struggling. And not every community is struggling, some parts of the country are fine. Some people spend crazy money. And so you know, there’s like, there’s a movie, I can’t think of the name of it. But it’s about the wealthy people, and how they live in China. And these mansions in these Bentley’s and fancy cars and fancy art, and they’re spending money. So you know, one of the places where the river is flowing in money is China. Right? So how do you get yourself into that river? How do you stand in that river? How do you get there? So I like the creative thinking that you’re you’re coming up here with Gary, and I think you’ve got a great idea. I think it’s not a new idea. But I think you’ve got a new twist on it. So let’s say that, first off, there’s an old marketing principle principle, it’s Zig when others zag. So if everybody else is standing in this river, you know, how do you get? How do you get the fish, when you go up river before the fish get to them, you know, a more inconvenient spot, you have to work harder, you have to work differently. You Zig when others are zagging. You don’t want to be in the same place everybody else is, right. So you know, if you’re in if there’s a millions of fish in the river, and there’s 5000 people fishing for him, you’re not going to get as many fish. But if you go up river, you’re going to be all alone. So you want to be upstream, you want to be standing in a different place, so to speak. So I’ve advised some artists to do this exact thing. And here’s exactly how to do it. First off, study your market and the builders. The level of cost matters because if it’s $100,000 House versus a million dollar house versus a $10 million house is a big difference. And so you talk to some builders and you ask their advice. Don’t try to sell them right now. Just say how much do you spend you give gifts to homebuyers? How much do you spend on that? What do you give them? What have you done in the past? What do people love? What do they not love? Trying to understand your marketplace. Understand the level of spend, you know, some will do $100 gift basket. That’s a whole lot different than a $2,000 painting. Once you’ve identified your prospects, figure out who your best prospect is, and have a painting delivered to that owner of that company. In gift wrap, the big beautiful bow around it beautiful, elegant gift wrap with a note attached. And it says in the note, dear Mrs. Builder, I’ve been studying new home developments in the area and have chosen you because of the quality of your work and your design. I’ve taken the time to visit homeowners in your community to find out about their art preferences. And I’d like to give you this painting as my gift. And I’d like to propose a meeting no more than 20 minutes. So I can show you how I can help you stand out over all the homeowners in the area and sell more houses and create buzz. And you can keep the painting no matter whether you take the meeting or not. I painted it just for you. But I would love for you to take the meeting, I’m going to show you how you can explode your business even more. Now, if you really have your act together, then you’ll actually find out where the builder lives and do a painting of his or her house and send that to him, that’s going to really get their attention. Because you know, not everybody likes what you’re going to paint. But they’re all going to like what you’re going to paint if it’s of their house. Now, there’s a couple of things going for you here. First one is the law of reciprocity. If I give something to you, you’re gonna feel obligated to give something back to me. So I give you a painting, I’m probably going to feel obligated to give you a meeting, right? I’m not going to maybe nothing more than that. But I’ll probably give you the meeting. So here’s what you do. You go in you say listen, I have a lot of big corporations that buy my paintings as retirement gifts. Now I have friends who have this happening. And my friend, I can’t mention the company because he asked me not to. But there’s a big corporation in his town, he went and did exactly this, he sent a painting to the CEO of the Corporation. And he said, This is my gift to you. And I want to show you how you can use paintings as retirement gifts. People love them. And so this company, as 30, or 40 people retire a year, and every single one of them at an executive level gets a painting with a little plaque on it say, you know, to Bob and Mary, thanks for 30 years of working at a company X will remember you always and you know signed James Jones, the CEO of the company, right? So that, you know, he’s leaving them with a nice memory and nice gift. People love it. People love it. And no, of course words travels to other employees. So you could say, you know, I do this for corporations, if you do, we can do the same thing, somebody buys a house, they get a painting with a little plaque with your builder name on it. So it says to camera commemorate the roads, new home at 123 Green Street, presented by XYZ homes. All right, that little plaque goes on that painting. And you hand it to them when they turn over the house. So imagine how it feels to a customer, you say this to the client. Imagine how they feel when they close on a house and you hand them a wrap box. And you say I want to thank you for your business and congratulate you on your new home. Now you don’t have to have them open it in front of you. But when they open it, they find a painting of the new home that they bought. And you’ve done it in advance. And then they say to you, Hey, listen, you might stay in this home forever, or you might move on and a few years, but you’re always going to remember it with this painting. That is so cool. Now, here’s the other thing I have taken, I’m the home builder, I’ve taken the liberty of emailing you an image of the painting, and with the artists name and contact information. So you can post it on social media and say, Hey, here’s our new home. Here’s a painting of our new home. And here is a beautiful gift box with 50 note cards with a picture a painting of your house on the cover. And on the back. It says you know the new so and so home at 5311 Indiana Avenue. That’s my old address. And and you know, built by just so and so builders, right so now they’re sending cards to their friends, thank you cards, they’re sending invitations to their parties, because what do people do when they buy a new house? They have parties and they invite their friends and their friends get to see the new house and they get to talk. They see the painting and they’re going to talk about the painting. How do they get them in the house they send them an invitation on the painting card right? They put the image on the cards and so when you send a note cards, your names on it, the builders names on it your names on the painting, you’re creating buzz and your career getting more customers because they now want to deal with somebody like, you know, I visited a new home of a friend. And everybody was buzzing about the new flat screen TV, which was a big deal in those days because nobody had them, the real estate agent had bought them a new TV for their new house. And everybody’s like buzzing about this real estate agent. And they, they contacted that real estate agent we did, we contacted that real estate agent to list our house, right. So that’s a really cool thing you could do. Now, you could also do just paintings, instead of customized paintings. But you’ll have a higher likelihood of this being successful if you do paintings of their new house. Second thing you can do is you can say listen, I would also like to decorate your models with my paintings, no charge as many paintings as you need. For however long you need them, all I want you to do is to have a small sign somewhere that says they’re my paintings. And, and of course, if you’re giving away paintings, I’d like to be able to send a note to them about you know, congrats on their new house, and congrats on my new painting that way, maybe they’ll buy more paintings from me. And, or you could say when they close on the house and you you could say come into the model, and pick out any painting you want. And I’ll give it to you as my gift to you. That’s another option. And of course, then the builder pays you for whatever they picked out. So it’s a way of selling paintings. You can have your little art show there your QR code and people can instant purchase. You know if they see your work when they’re going through house. Most people who go through house don’t buy a house. But you know, my wife and I are always going through houses just for entertainment. We see paintings we like we take pictures of them. Wouldn’t it be cool if we bought something people will do that? Anyway, this has been a really great discussion. I think it’s been a lot of fun, Greg, and congratulations on that. I want to hear the results and we’ll feature it in the future when you tell us. Okay, these have been good questions today. Fun stuff. That is today’s art marketing minute.

Announcer 1:22:08
This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at

Eric Rhoads 1:22:16
Okay, I want to remind you guys first off, I want to say thank all Verrill I want to remind you to come to the plein air convention to see him live on stage and at other instructors. It’s our 10 year birthday we’re bringing in the gifts. Jane Seymour’s coming in the actress. Plus CW Mundy, Alvaro is going to be there and many many many many other greats. So go to Also if you’re not a subscriber to plein air magazine show module. Alright, so you should do that. Just go to The digital edition if you live out of the states is great. And also digital edition has 20% more content. I like to zoom in on those photos and really get the essence of them see the brush strokes. If you’ve not seen my blog where I talk about art life, other things check it out. It’s called Sunday coffee and you can find it at Also, I’m on the air daily on Facebook for a show called Art School alive. Hundreds of artists doing demonstrations and talks 12 noon Eastern every weekday you can subscribe on YouTube by searching art school live and hit the subscribe button and please follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Eric Rhoads. Okay, I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of plein air magazine. Thank you for your time today and remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it. We’ll see you. Bye bye.

This has been the plein air podcast with PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email [email protected]. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.


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