Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads – rated the #1 painting podcast in the world via Feedspot’s 2021 list. In this episode Eric interviews Garin Baker, a traditional representational painter and instructor at the Art Students League of New York.
Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, answers the questions “How do you price a commissioned painting?” and “What do you do if your painting is stolen?”
Listen to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Garin Baker here:
– Garin Baker online: garinbaker.com
– Watercolor Live: https://watercolorlive.com/register-now
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericrhoads/
– Eric Rhoads on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.rhoads
– Sunday Coffee: https://coffeewitheric.com/
– Plein Air Salon: https://pleinairsalon.com/
FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
Eric Rhoads 0:00
This is episode number 203 featuring artist Garin Baker.
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 1:02
Hey there everybody and thank you for watching. Did I say watching thank you for tuning in to the plein air podcast. There’s absolutely nothing to watch here. This is all audio coming through your ears, only your eyes. You got to keep driving or painting or whatever it is you’re doing. I hope you’re well and I hope you’re painting hope you get to escape safely to a spot to get a little bit of painting done. I got out recently in a rare snowstorm about three inches overnight here in Austin, Texas. And I had a lot of fun painting in the snow. I love painting in the snow didn’t used to like it. But I changed my attitude. It made a huge difference. Well, some big news, the plein air podcast was just anointed, which is pretty cool. Somebody sent me an email from one of these tracking companies. I don’t remember the name of right now. But the tracking company basically said, congratulations, you are in the top 15 of podcasts about painting and I opened it up in here we were number one in the world. So it was pretty cool. Thank you for making that happen. that that happens because you guys have shared it with other people. And you’ve just done a lot for us. So thank you keep sharing, we’d love it. I have a lot of people around the world who are listening. And that’s really, really neat that we have that. Okay, let’s see, what do we got? Well, we start our watercolor live today, if you’re listening at the moment, we release this, it it starts today around about 11 o’clock and in the east. So if you want to watch it if you want to see watercolor live, which is our virtual conference with 30 or 40 of the best watercolor artists in the world over four days, today begins the beginner day. And of course, you might be listening to this late it might be too late, but you can always check it out watercolorlive.com and there are replays available. And those replays will allow you to capture whatever you’ve missed in the event that you’ve missed something in just a couple of days. Oh by the way, just go to watercolorlive.com to find that out in a couple of days. At the end of this month, we’re going to be closing out the plein air salon for the month. It’s a $30,000 art competition. We have monthly prizes, national prizes, at the end of the year and big money prizes will be awarded at the plein air convention this may pick out your very best paintings, they don’t have to be recent or fresh they can be submit them before the end of the month. You want to make sure that the judges see them and just do that at plein air salon.com. And if you know this, the average artist puts 3.5 paintings in which is kind of cool. And so that’s the average obviously most people aren’t putting in half paintings I’m just saying but the and the judges you know oftentimes you put in more paintings you went in more categories and so on. There’s about 20 categories. By the way, the plein air convention is still planning to be going forward it’s gonna be a blast this year because we all want to get together again but if you want to save $500 on the registration get registered before February 14 Valentine’s Day and of course we don’t know if it’s going to be able to go on or not we think so we’re hearing it’s gonna but if for some reason we can’t hold it then you’ll be able to get a full refund or apply it to the next time we do it whatever you want to do, but get get signed up. It’s a lot of fun. It’s the plein air convention just go to pleinairconvention.com in the current issue of plein air magazine, which will be out here any second here. We have a field test with water mixable oils that’s going to be kind of fun. And in this week’s plein air today newsletter which you can get for free at outdoorpainter.com. We feature artists Joseph McGurl and he shows how he uses site size drawing for his landscapes. And by the way, I used his trick and I use his frame and it had made a huge difference in my painting overnight. I mean, it really made a big difference. Coming up after the interview I’m going to be answering your art marketing questions. Getting right in the art marketing minute. Let’s get right to our interview with Garrin Baker. Garin Baker. Welcome to the plein air podcast.
Garin Baker 5:16
Thank you, Eric. Great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Eric Rhoads 5:20
It’s a red letter day because today the day we’re recording this, we just learned that we are out of somebody sent me today the top 15 art painters podcasts in the world. And plein air podcast came out as number one. So you got a lot of people listening.
Garin Baker 5:38
Well, I actually heard something about that earlier this morning. And congratulations, Eric. That’s, that’s really wonderful. I’m glad to be after the after the number one crowd.
Eric Rhoads 5:51
We’re glad to have you here. So Garin, for the people who might not might not yet know you, maybe they’re in another country, or maybe they just haven’t learned about you yet. Explain what it is that you do. How would you characterize yourself as a painter?
Garin Baker 6:10
Basically, I would just sort of reference my training, which is I’m a traditional representational painter, I guess you could call it contemporary realism. In a sense, I have in my career, or guess over probably almost 40 years now. I kind of played in different playgrounds, though, early on as an illustrator, sort of right out of college, and even in my teenage years, then sort of moved into building a public art for like a mural company for doing a lot of public art, really cool art, art in public places, working with municipalities, and corporations, doing large scale public art projects, all throughout both years, I also teach intermittently at the School of Visual Arts, as well as my own studio here. And now I’m teaching, I’m an instructor at the Art Students League in New York City, which is a very wonderful place that’s been around for 1885. I mean, it’s really a major institution, very well known throughout, you know, American art.
Eric Rhoads 7:27
Well, to get to get asked to teach at the Art Students League is a pretty big deal.
Garin Baker 7:32
Yeah, it’s pretty big deal. And there used to be when I studied there, because I studied there while I was also in high school, as well as when I was in college. And then the sort of the running joke for instructors was the only way to get a job teaching at the Art Students League was to hire a hitman. Some older instructor had to kind of die off of course, before they would basically invite anyone new to come and teach but the league as it’s pretty much known by I mean, it really is a who’s who of American Art since, you know, the late You know, 1800 printer the late night, early 19th century. So, you know, Robert, Henri, will you America change? No, I mean, the days go on Bridgman. Jackson Pollock was a student there. Norman Rockwell was a student there. I mean, it really is a wonderful, wonderful, New York based art institution. Oh, yeah. It’s, it’s quite a thrill, actually. Because when I was, you know, 1516 years old, I studied there with some major painters. I studied with Bert Silberman, Harvey, Tennessee and David lafell. Ted, Jacob, Ray Berger for drawing. And now as you know, an older artists, I guess, in my late 50s, are getting close to 60 now it’s just a real thrill and of my life to be an instructor there.
Eric Rhoads 9:09
Absolutely. Well, that’s, uh, you’re in good company, and Max ginsburg and Frank Mason,
Garin Baker 9:15
Max Ginsburg with my high school art teacher. Yeah, so growing up in New York City, I was fortunate enough, along with Steve Assael, who was a classmate of mine and, and, you know, some other some pretty notable artists that went to the High School of Art and Design, right sort of back in the late, you know, mid to late 70s when New York City was, you know, a grimy, rough place. I grew up on the Upper West Side, and Harlem, on the in the sort of late 60s 70s, early 80s. And I was fortunate enough to New York City has like five sessions. Realize high schools for the arts. And the most famous one is performing arts, which, I mean, everyone has seen that movie thing. And, and so that is one of them. There’s music and art, there’s art and design. And then there’s the LaGuardia High School. So there’s a New York City has some very, like five or six specialized high schools where you don’t necessarily go to your neighborhood High School, you sort of get on mass transit, and you travel and and get to a specialized High School either for music or science or art, or performing arts. And art and design was one of them. And lo and behold, at that time, in the mid to late 70s. max ginsburg was a high school art teacher there, as well as another very wonderful, amazing mentor that I had that, you know, as a teenager, another artist by the name of Erwin Greenberg. And he was, so it was, and they had a group, because he had a couple of really traditional representational painters that, you know, that couldn’t get arrested in the art world back then.
Eric Rhoads 11:11
Right? That’s right.
Garin Baker 11:13
No galleries were interested, they all you know, we could go into that another time. But so here, they were teaching high school art classes. And they had set up something pretty special for a handful of us. Primarily, I think they set it up for themselves, it was called the old hat club. And probably five o’clock, six o’clock in the morning, three hours before first period, bell would ring, they would show up the cfca, which is the janitors union basically, would open the building for them early, they would coax a unsuspecting students suppose for them. And they would invite a handful of young 15 1617 year olds to come and join them early in the morning, we used to call it the early morning group. And so it was an incredible sort of opportunity for, you know, a young high school kid, you know, growing up in any neighborhood in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, to get the total edge and the mentoring from these two giants. Little did we know at the time, but that’s something that I’m very fond of those memories. And obviously, the training that we received.
Eric Rhoads 12:31
I’m curious about this, because Max has told me about the morning group many times and he said that, that doing that I think he did it for many years. He said, and I think he said that Dinnerstein may have been part of that. Or maybe he attended or maybe this is another thing, but I think he said that. It was a transformational experience, even for him as an experienced teacher. Because when you paint from life, every day for an hour or two hours, or draw from life every day for two hours for however many years he did it, he said it was transformational.
Garin Baker 13:06
Oh, absolutely. I mean, that’s why I kind of jokingly started off the story with saying, you know, Max, and we call them you know, we would call a maxim Greenie. But I think they did it for altruistic reasons. But they also did it for selfish reasons, because they wanted, you know, being a high school art teacher, you know, six to eight hours a day, you know, there’s really not much time to pay from life. But so they basically found a way, you know, by hook or by crook to get their, you know, get a model in front of them on a daily basis. And so it serves them and it serves a handful of students over the course of 10 to 15 years. I mean, they trained, I mean, I can rattle off some names, but they trained some pretty amazing young artists through that old hat group. And you’re probably familiar with a bunch of them. A handful of them have gone on to the animators and win Academy Awards. But if Max were to read you the names of some of his students, you’d be really surprised.
Eric Rhoads 14:11
Yeah, well, I’ve, he’s told me about a few of them. And obviously, you mentioned Steve Assael earlier. Yeah. And so you guys were in high school together?
Garin Baker 14:22
A couple of years. So he would have been like a senior and I would have been okay, he was a couple years older than me. Yeah. You know, I joke with him about it all the time. There were others Mark tech, Sarah, who did, you know, went on to do storyboards for, you know, major Hollywood, you know, sort of comic book movies. You know, like, marine and, and other, you know, major Hollywood productions. Ricky musika. I don’t know if you know, Ricky, but he’s an amazing painter. He’s also a teacher now at the Art Students League. Willie Lowe. Who is a very well known published, children’s book illustrator? Eric Velazquez,
Eric Rhoads 15:08
It goes on and on and on and on.
Garin Baker 15:10
It goes on it goes on.
Eric Rhoads 15:12
Well, let me I want, I want to ask you some questions about that. First off, did you have to go through some kind of a application process? Did you have to be at some certain level before you got accepted? How does a kid get into one of those high schools?
Garin Baker 15:28
You are you woke up at about four o’clock in the morning, and you got on the BMP or the IR t? Yeah, anyone where you were traveling from, and you showed up at 536 in front of the school and the janitor, let us all in, you walked up to the fourth floor. You know, the designated student who volunteered, suppose that day, would sit in the chair, and we all painted, and the stories and the lapse in the job, you know, was, you know, the glorious time in my early years, and for many of these young artists who are coming like me, you know, I was very fortunate. But like me, a lot of these young students were coming from really, you know, tough neighborhood. And in a way, it changed our lives. Especially, you know, especially need and, you know, I grew up in a, you know, rough neighborhood, and many of my street friends, frankly, I used to hang out in the street in the school yard. And, you know, they didn’t have much of that. That kind of mentoring and that kind of experience. I was also quite fortunate, both my parents were my mother was a designer and my father was in the film business. They here’s another here’s a funny story for you. So my father was an and I don’t mean to jump away from the old hat club. But my father was a writer, director or filmmaker. So the independent filmmaker, you know, sort of in the john Cassavetes School of filmmaking, if you’re familiar with that, that’s sort of the old, independent filmmaker. And at some point for witness, he worked with a film distribution company, and their offices were right around the corner, from the High School of Art and Design, and I had the best after school job ever. I would run the projection booth in that company, you know, for them to preview film, you know, before they were going to choose whether they were going to, you know, internationally or nationally distribute them. And one day a young filmmaker right out of NYU film school, brought a little, you know, the sort of 16 millimeter, you know, Kansan and said, Can I show you my movie? And my father looked at me and said, Okay, put up a real one. And it turned out to be David Lynch in the film was called Eraserhead. Oh, and so it’s, so it’s 16 years old. My father asked me to do the new movie poster for Eraserhead. Really? Yeah. So I get a lot of I get a lot of once. Somebody says you did the movie poster for Eraserhead? And I’m like, Yeah, I did.
Eric Rhoads 18:12
Well, that’s pretty exciting. So let’s fast forward. Now. How did all this? How did you end up plein air painting?
Garin Baker 18:19
Oh, so Well, one of my songs. One of my classmates. A young you know, we were young. He was from Bay Ridge and Brooklyn. This is you got to imagine sort of the Saturday Night Fever time, you know, disco era. And we graduated at the same time. And we went off to Pratt Institute. I got a half scholarship, but he got a full scholarship. And we found Pratt Institute to be you know, there was very little light training at Pratt. It was mostly conceptual, a lot of abstract classes. So him and I kind of bonded together because we had come from the same high school. And we started our own little painting from life group in credit to all our own on our own. So his name was Paul Casals. He has since passed away and him and I as well as with the tutelage of Erwin Greenberg, greeny. He used to take us out with the paint all along the East River drive, lower Manhattan, the times when you had to climb fences to get, you know, close to the river’s edge. So you could do some cool outdoor, we used to call it painting outdoors. We didn’t really call it plein air painting back then. And so Greenie was really a proponent of that because he used to paint and take us out in the street all the time in Times Square, alone underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. And we do quite a lot of that. And so Paul and I in our college years, we do that on our own. Then later on in life because we stayed close he had we both had sort of parallel illustration careers. And we would go out and paint and pole sort of said hey, there are a lot of these plein air events. out there. We should we should do a couple of these things. And I was like, Well, what do you do when he told me all about them and we joined a few. We did a bunch of those together. And we had a really wonderful time. Brand new on plein air. Then, sadly and tragically a dear and close friend of mine back in about 2012 he passed away. And we had for the last I think two years prior to that had been trying to get into plein air Easton, which was the big one, you know, which was the one that everyone wanted to be in. And so, you know, through however, they’re the planets aligned the following year, I had applied on my own because we had last fall. And I had gotten in, and it was that I think it was 2013. And that first year I was in with Paul probably, in my head, you know, telling me, you know, paint this, so paint that or you know who I won grand prize that year at plein air Easton.
Eric Rhoads 21:04
Awesome. Well, you did it in his honor. That was pretty cool.
Garin Baker 21:07
Yeah, it was it was very, it was very special. Actually, I’ve met a wonderful friend of mine. We’ve been friends ever since. guy by the name of Kendall ward. who’s an amazing painter. Yes. Originally from the Midwest. Now he lives up in Maine, we try to get together with a bunch of New England painters every year, up in Vermont and New Hampshire and, you know, the Boston way. And we always get together and paint but Ken was really helpful to me at that first plein air Easton. Because he, he was a veteran. He had been at plein air Easton for many years already. And so, and I love this painting, and I just sort of tagged along with him a little bit. He was kind of like, what do you what are you bothered before? And he was like, you know what I know, I know your work. I’ve seen a few of your paintings. I’m going to show you a couple of really cool things to see out here on the, what they call the eastern shore. They’re down in Maryland, where they have plein air Easton. And he showed me some really incredible themes of crab fishermen and boats and socks. And just really, I mean, the quintessential, you know, sort of Chesapeake Bay scenes that you’d want. You know, if that’s the area you’re going to go paint in. And it happened to be one of those students that I painted of a, of a crab fisherman, you know, working in his boat. That was the that was the painting that I want plein air Easton with?
Eric Rhoads 22:38
Well, and I was looking at your plein air work on your website, which is GarinBaker.com, and you’ve got a lot of finger work, you do a lot of things, where it’s very clear, you’re there. It’s not it’s it doesn’t look like studio work. It’s very clear that it’s it’s got that that feel of having been done on location, but you can tell from the light, but also you’re doing a lot of finger work, what’s the key to getting figures in that kind of a setting? Because you know, they’re moving around? And and yeah, think things. It’s not like having a model sitting still for you.
Garin Baker 23:11
Yeah, yeah. That is one of the great, great question that many students of mine and many artists, you know, because I remember, even when I was very young, and initially coming out of college, and then showing work to galleries, and they would look at a lot of my new york street themes, which a lot of them are done from a whole bunch of different pieces of reference, some kind of, I used to joke around and say I’m kind of in the Malcolm X School of painting, you know, by any means, by any means necessary, you know, so my larger compositions, New York street scenes and other other sort of paintings that I’m using a lot of stuff from life, a lot of studies on spot, on the spot, a lot of sketching a lot of preliminary drawings, as well as photographs. So I’m used as well as I’ve also I did a wonderful painting of the column along the coast of Maine. It’s called salting the herring. And I actually did that painting from an iPhone, an excellent iPad movie that I took of these people working that day. And so I’m sort of using many different pieces of to get to an ultimate puzzle and ultimate composition. But I think the real key is, is a lot of really good preliminary sort of gesture drawing, figurative drawing, you know, those quick poses where you’re able to get people in movement, you know, three minutes, five minutes, 10 minute poses, and once you can capture that gesture of the person movement, their body language, a lot of the other stuff is, you know, like filling in, filling in between the lines in it. really capturing that, that essence. And that comes that training comes from a lot of life drawing.
Eric Rhoads 25:07
So you’re you’re painting and you’re out there and all of a sudden, this lobster fisherman bends over and has this trap in his hands and you go back, that’s the one. But you’ve got a split second to be able to capture that now. And so do you try to paint it in? Do you try to remember it, you quickly whip out your camera? What do you do?
Garin Baker 25:31
So I, hopefully, I’m, and this is one thing I’ve learned from another wonderful artists, a really another good friend of mine, who you’re probably very familiar with Don demurs. And he, when I painted with Don, many times, once we were on the coast of Maine painting together, and I had not painted much seascapes at that point. So I was very excited to paint with dawn, especially, you know, all, you know, right, it, you know, on the rocks, painting, you know, water and waves rushing in. And so I got out there with a lot of exuberance and a lot of energy. And he looked at me and he was set, and he said, Karen, just just relax, you know, put your pants down. And then I was like, what we’re here to paint the ocean? And he said, No, no, no, no, no, it has to sit, you have to wait, you have to be patient, you have to be patient, you have to learn how the water moves, you have to learn the rhythm of the of the undertow of how the wave curls, you have to watch it. And then just at the right time, when you understand how it’s working, when you understand how the ripples work into the distance and into the perspective, then you’ll understand it, and then you can catch it. And so it’s the same thing with your painting. If you’ve done enough figure drawing and enough painting from life, and you’re patient enough, you can catch it pretty quickly. And then with all of the other elements, all of the other photo reference, or color studies, you can find which direction the light is coming from, you can find which directions, you know, the details need to be filled in with. So it’s a conceptual kind of abstract way to understand how to how to paint realism, but not the realism that is almost photographic, but the realism that is that deeper, sort of underneath realism, that is really what makes great painting in my opinion.
Eric Rhoads 27:23
What else makes great paintings?
Garin Baker 27:27
Um, well, so I mean, you know, great paintings throughout history. Let’s see, I mean, you know, there’s some incredible composers, you know, the Russian masters, and, you know, the people that painted huge, you know, you know, winco, there’s a slop epic, you know, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. So in my opinion, it’s all of those things. It’s a combination of the human story, the ability to capture truth, beyond just to be with depiction, and also trend, be having the artwork be transformative to the point where it taps into the human narrative that we all carry with us throughout our lives, those kinds of those kinds of that kind of poetry that’s inside of us. When a painting does that, when a painting stops you in your tracks and reminds you of what it is to be alive, and what it is to be human in your time in relationship to the time that others have lived. I think that that’s what makes great painting and great art.
Eric Rhoads 28:43
So you have a lot of students, do you do a lot of plein air teaching? or What is it you’re teaching?
Garin Baker 28:48
Well, I believe it’s primarily well now with COVID. We’re all sort of learning how to be our own little CBS broadcast, right?
Eric Rhoads 28:57
You’re doing zoom calls?
Garin Baker 29:01
I know it’s, it’s a real mind blower actually, you know, we’re all we all got to learn, right? We’re always there’s always something to learn. So we’ve, we’ve learned with some really good young technical advice at the league because they have a lot of wonderful young students. I was lucky enough to hook up with a wonderful young tech guy who was actually a student in my class. His name is Chris Tate. And he was doing something very interesting online himself now called portrait party club.com. And so he basically walked me through how to use OBS, how to use multiple cameras. So my students can basically see the demonstration or the painting I’m working on, see the reference material that I’m working on, as well as my palette in a split screen. And I can broadcast that via zoom to all my students, right. And so with that kind of advanced technology, not that it’s been easy to learn all of that stuff. Believe now I was able to, you know, do that kind of thing, hopefully, like last week, actually, I was set to leave because they had a model. And you know, we were all messed up. And it was actually the first time in probably seven or eight months that I draw, drawing from life. And I can’t tell you how, how much I missed, you know, working.
Eric Rhoads 30:23
Well, and I think there’s a, there’s a big difference in that too. Because when you’re, you’re looking at a screen that’s already flattened for you. And, and we all know that photographs lie. And so so do film cameras. And and so you’re not getting that that sense of true dimension that you get when you’re you’re working from life. I’m horrified because I have a group I’ve been doing here in my studio for 10 years, every Wednesday night, and I haven’t done it now for since probably almost a year now. And so I’m horrified what’s gonna happen when I actually get a live model in front of me again.
Garin Baker 30:59
Well, I mean, yeah, we’re all gonna be rusty. Eric, we’re all gonna be rusty. But I mean, it’s kind of like riding a bike. You don’t you know, you pick it up again. You know, a few hours at it a couple of weeks out, you’re gonna be right back where?
Eric Rhoads 31:15
Yeah, it’s like, it’s like skipping the gym, you know, you got to get out of shape very quickly, and you get back into shape pretty quickly. Yeah, I’ll tell you a quick story. Max ginsburg came, we did the very first one, we decided to start doing videos. I asked Max, if he would be my first and so max came in. We did it it at the butler museum and in Ohio.
Garin Baker 31:38
Remember, he had that show there?
Eric Rhoads 31:39
Yeah, he had a show there. And so it was convenient. So we took over the basement, and we rigged up a studio and we put the black curtains up and everything. And we did we did the whole thing there. And Max said, you know, I’m, I’m ready to go. And I says, I’ve been I’ve been practicing. And I said, What do you mean, Max, you’ve been painting for 8080 years? What do you mean, you’ve been practicing? He said, Eric, I, he said are, you know, a real pro is going to be practiced. He said, I painted. I think he said five or eight days in a row. Knowing that I was going to be doing this this video, I wanted to be in perfect shape. And I thought, well, that that really taught me an important lesson, because even max ginsburg can get out of shape. And and so it was really important for all of us.
Garin Baker 32:25
Well, absolutely, that the instrument has to be, you know, to, ya know, it’s like an athlete, you know, these are muscles, this hand eye coordination, synapses, you have to be brought back into the, you know, in sort of a rhythm of it. And, you know, I always use this analogy with my, you know, with my students, you know, if you want to be in the NBA, if you want to be an Olympic athlete, you’d never see them at three o’clock in the morning, doing their 510 mile run, you know, doing sit ups, doing push ups, doing those regular exercises, that make it so that, you know, when it comes time to, you know, to perform, you get, you know, on the ESPN highlight reel, you know, you look at some what some of these athletes do when you just say, wow, I mean, how does somebody do that? But that’s because they put that training in, they put that regular time men on a daily basis, so that when they get on the court, it’s, it’s effortless. Yeah. But it’s really not.
Eric Rhoads 33:29
No, no, it’s not, but it feels it. You know, when when we shoot videos, we ask everybody to practice, practice, practice before they come in. And it really makes a big difference. If somebody doesn’t, you know, you can tell it right away. So, you know, one of the things that I’ve been telling people is that that figure painting, and figure drawing is really important for those who do plein air painting, and plenty are drawing, even if they’re not doing figures. Can you explain why that is?
Garin Baker 34:02
Such a great question. So I think it’s all in one. It’s all in the same. You know, I mean, what if you want to be outdoors painting the landscape for planning, you know, this though, with rolling hills and trees, and I mean, there’s a rhythm to that there. There’s a lifeforce, there’s an energy in that. And if you want to do a tree, you know, just think of a simple tree. I mean, that’s an individual that’s a personality, that’s something that has, you know, the years the days The time has, has worked on that the sun is coming from a particular direction, the leaves and the branches are bending and twisting to find that life force. And so for me, it’s all the same and then it’s just life on on subjects. Sunlight or Nocturne is just, it’s just all about how to read and and have them You know, the old nursery rhyme with a man in the moon, he took the moon and he swallowed it, to feel what it was like to, you know to be in the nightlight. So it’s it goes way back to a childhood art teacher I had, she was so wonderful. She had a group of young artists, we couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12 years old. And we sat around the delights she had set up. And we also gave a full sketchpads. And we’re all ready to go. And she stopped us all in our tracks. She said, Stop, stop. And we all looked at her sort of gasped, and she said, No, no, no, you have to see this apple, I want you to eat the sample, I want you to taste the sample, I want you to absorb it, take it into your soul, take it into your heart, take it into your stomach. And then I want you to draw and paint the apple. It’s sort of like that Howard Pyle story, where he had all those young, you know, pre Golden Age illustrators. And the stories that he used to tell them in terms of how to experience the stories and the narratives that they were trying to create great, masterful illustrations with. That’s why some of those golden age illustrators, the NCIS, the Walter Everett, the, you know, mid schaefers, the Norman Rockwell. That’s why they’re painting. That’s why their their works have so much resonance. And it’s because of that experiential sense that you can bring to your work. So for me, it’s really all about the light. And it’s all about how to, especially with landscape, follow and feel the rhythm of the waves crashing, or the trees in which they’re twisting and bending. And, and the distant mountains, the atmosphere, and whatever the case may be.
Eric Rhoads 36:55
Well, and so you’re following DOD diverse device, you’re gonna go in, and you’re just gonna sit on the bench and just observe for a while,
Garin Baker 37:01
and I’m gonna wait until the light is just right, you know, till the light speaks to me. And when they can have a wonderful conversation with the light, whether it be a rapid 45 minutes plein air sketch, short study, or it’s something that I returned to that spot a time and time again. You know, many of I do a lot of studies, for larger, you know, studio paintings. One painting I have, I think it’s probably on my website somewhere called Night Shift. And it’s a nice scene down on the Bowery, coming across the Brooklyn Bridge. I do what I haven’t done in a year or so now. But I used to do a workshop every year called New York at night. And it’s a fun workshop. Yeah, yeah. So it’s all based in New York City. And I, I kind of keep it kind of like Mission Impossible. So I’ll get I don’t know, anywhere from, you know, 10 to 20 students, and only a day or two before because probably one night a week for four weeks. And about the night before I give them that coordinate. So there’s no pre plan, you have to show up, you have to show up on a street corner, you know, it’s seven, eight o’clock at night, if the lights are starting to come on the sun is already slightly setting. And you’re to show up on Seventh Avenue and 34th Street, hug yourself to a, you know, a bus stop or a pole because the traffic is and the people are flowing by you. And it’s paid by the seat of your pants, you know, take risks, make a mess, you know, and, and that’s what the class is really all about. So, one night, we were painting underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, and I had driven it was probably around midnight, or one o’clock in the morning at that point. And I was on my way driving home, I came across the bridge down to lower Manhattan. And I came across the boundary. And I came across an amazing night of all of these guys working because you know, they do a lot of the road work in the sewer work at night, you know, heavy equipment, they have these bright lights, you know, lighting up the whole street, the whole street corner, all in hard hats. And it was just an amazing, like, you know, wow, it stopped me in my tracks. And so I returned to that spot several times at the same time of night. And I spoke to the foreman because while I was standing there, taking a few pictures with my cell phone and doing some sketches. The foreman walked over to me kind of suspicious and said, you know, what are you doing? You know, this was after 911 you know, everywhere. So, I said no, no, I’m a professional, you know, I do this for a living and he kind of looked at me free. So I showed him on my website on my phone. I’m an artist, you know? And he was like, oh, okay, no problem, no problem. And so I said listen, would you mind if I showed up you know, the next three or four Nice, are you guys gonna be here for a while like, and so I would go back and back and spend, you know, the time needed to sort of compile all the what I call the real material. So that I can take that all back into the studio and then create some, some vision that initially had, you know, sort of knocked my socks off. When I turned the corner in there, it was just like, whoa.
Eric Rhoads 40:23
So Tell, tell our listeners, why you wouldn’t have just taken a photograph and then gone back and done it in the studio?
Garin Baker 40:31
Because I can’t see it yet. I can’t see it yet. It’s a photograph is, is, is a poor substitute for the truth of life. Unless you’re a brilliant photographer, which I am not, you know, even photograph is just going to give you a fleeting moment on a flat two dimensional surface. Some artists, Listen, I’ve seen some amazing painters that can take a photograph and can sort of, you know, put the right spin in the right, stylized, it’s just the right way and can create something really beautiful with it really quite captivating with it. I’m not really that kind of artists, I really am not. My ability is not in stylization, it’s sort of investigation. I’m kind of like an investigative reporter a little bit.
Eric Rhoads 41:24
Well, Albert Handel and I were talking one day, and he said, there are plenty are painters. And there are studio painters who paint outdoors. Which are you?
Garin Baker 41:35
Hmm, that’s a great Yeah. Um, what what happens if I did a mural to I don’t know what I am?
Eric Rhoads 41:45
Well, you got plenty of time to figure that out. I think, you know, what his what he was kind of insinuating there. And he wasn’t being derogatory towards any of them. But, you know, that he said, you know, some people set up with a chair and a table and they just replicate the studio process. He said, You know, for him, the plein air thing is about getting the energy of the moment and the color and, and the essence of the scene, which is what you just said, essentially, yeah. And, and that’s that, that’s then something you can take back to the studio and make a bigger piece or, you know, do something monumental, etc. Tell me about this.
Garin Baker 42:22
I completely agree with him. I mean, I think he’s dead on, you know, there are, you know, two sort of trains of thought here, you know, I kind of, I guess I would have to say I, I kind of am a little bit of both, ya know, where I enjoy on a spiritual level, because I live in a gorgeous spot on the globe, you know, what they call the lower Hudson Valley, you know, just north of New York City, where the, where the Hudson River school painters painted? Yeah, I mean, there’s nothing more spiritually connecting for me, one of the reasons I moved up here at the New York City was to sit alone, you know, for three or four hours, you know, while the sun is waning, and the long shadows are across the river, and the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley. So I mean, I’ll do a study, I’ll do a painting of that. And that’s what that’ll be, and it’ll be the most incredible three hours of my life. And that’s all it will be in it will never be made into a larger painting. It’s just that kind of, you know, touching, in a way and touching the face of God for a few hours. You know, I mean, that’s what plein air painting is really all about. And that’s, I think, what makes it so such a draw for so many people that that want a real connection spiritually with the with the with nature that way. But yet, on the same score, I do come across things in my life moments, you know, in the streets of New York or in the hillside of Vermont, and I’ll see, you know, somebody making maple syrup, or I’ll see somebody working, you know, crab fishing or, or, or a lobster. It could be anything, you know, a sporting event. I’m a big sports fan. I love the New York Rangers. So I’ve done paintings of inside Madison Square Garden.
Eric Rhoads 44:17
Really cool. Yeah. How’d you get permission for that?
Garin Baker 44:21
Well, I would I would get it take photos and bring all of that material back because it’s those moments that in a way for me, they stick stay in my head. And I the only way for me to make sense of it. Why that moment captured or triggered something in my soul that I needed to get out. I needed to express it I needed to create a painting based on it. I still am wondering what that is. But that image, that theme that I came across and stumbled upon Quite by chance, the only way for me to work through that is to just to get it on canvas in a in a beautifully composed way in my studio. So I agree with Robert and Dale, I agree with him wholeheartedly. And I just don’t know where I sit.
Eric Rhoads 45:19
So I’ve been curious about you. And I think one of the hardest things to do this, maybe it’s just me but I think the idea of capturing that that energy and that light and that sound and you know, tasting that Apple if you will, it when painting and plein air for me to bring that back into the studio and try to do a larger studio painting. I mean, I do it all the time. But to to capture that sense of energy and to get it to get it feeling like plein air and a studio piece. I think that’s a very hard thing to do versus I can I can make a painting but I can’t give it that same sense. How do you do?
Garin Baker 46:00
You know, I tell you another really good friend of mine, somebody whose work I think is of the highest caliber, a tremendous amount of respect for as well as their, who they are and what they you know, how they express and, you know, hanging out with them is also a great deal of fun to Jill Paquette. Yeah. So Joe, is, we’ve helped we’ve had this conversation many times, and there’s nothing worse of all, it’s not worth it’s just the process, you know, doing a great block in outdoors, you know, you know, great study a great start outdoors, bringing it back into the studio and just destroying it. Just making rubbish out of it, as we call. So many of these paintings we do, or it’s another dog, you know. And so when artists have these conversations and talk and show each other their work, they’re pretty honest about it, you know, that one, you’re overworked inside too much, or, you know that one, you should have kept fresh. That one you should have, you know, all of these things, but I have done many, many failures of doing great studies outdoors and bringing them into the studio. There’s a difference between taking a plein air painting, and then bringing it into the studio and enlarging it on a larger sized canvas that I think has the rate of being more successful. What I’m doing with composing these initial these compositions, it’s really the theme that I’m trying to basically recreate. It’s the it’s the momentary impact, emotionally that that seems that I came across strikes with within me that it’s not I don’t have any intention of doing a plein air painting based on it. I really want to compose something in the studio based on that.
Eric Rhoads 47:53
Right. And in that case, that would probably be more detail more.
Garin Baker 47:58
Yeah, yeah. Although a lot of fun, you know, especially when you’re looking at work online. You know, my work from, you know, it tends to tighten up, you know, when you’re going from a painting that’s 8070 8090 inches across to something you can see on your iPhone. Yeah, it looks pretty tight. But actually, when you see the actual painting, it’s similar to like, see the sell. I mean, when you see his paintings and reproductions, they’re really incredible. But when you see them in, in real life, when you see the tactile and the buildup, and the juiciness and the vibrancy in the layers, and in the way he puts the paint down, it’s an entirely different experience.
Eric Rhoads 48:41
You know, I remember the first time I saw one of Steve’s paintings in person, I, he was doing a workshop in West Palm Beach. And he or maybe he wasn’t, he had a show in this art center down there. And I look at this beautiful painting, I it was a girl, it was a nude. And it was it looked like to me It looked like a painting that had been painting met, you know, 500 years ago is very, very tight. And as I got up on top of it, the entire thing was splashes of paint and abstract ism, which to me got got me even more excited. And I then signed up to be in his workshop because of it because because I thought, you know, that’s one thing to paint tight and be tight from the distance and the close up, but to be able to pull that off. And I remember when he painted my portrait, you know, the paint was flying. I mean, it was coming at me. I mean, I am in that Canvas and making that paint fall off and just the right way I
Garin Baker 49:43
don’t know, you know how to how to do a, you know, especially if it’s a demo and people are you know how to be more interesting. He knows how to he sees the Steve as a sharp guy, you know, very deep, very interesting person, Steven, and but it’s You know, so seeing when you see these paintings, they have a real visceral quality to it. And I told a lot of my students, if you’re just looking at work online, you’re not really seeing the work, you know, similar to my paintings when you see them online, you know, I paint very terrace Giro very alla prima, you know, all finished, you know, a section of a large composition and in, you know, in one or two days, and so you see all the buildup of the brushstroke photo, you see some, so, so it’s, it’s, from when it’s tightened and reduced down, it loses a lot of its impact. But when you see the originals, you see the breath in it, you see the you see the space between the objects, which is really what, in my opinion, great plein air painting is about to, it’s not the object itself, it’s the space in the air between the objects, and and painters, you know, the painters that are able to capture that kind of that kind of that kind of oxygen, that kind of atmosphere, that kind of truth in their in their work? Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of what up, you know, we’re
Eric Rhoads 51:20
after a little bit, you know, exciting. So you talked about the, the idea of the, you know, looking at something on your cell phone, you’re teaching a lot of young people, you’ve got students who are, you know, who have always had a cell phone in their hand from the time they were babies. And this is going to manifest itself in some way. You know, these are people who, first off it’s, it’s always been tough, at least for my generation even always been tough to get people to go into museums, to see things live and in person, it’s so much easier to go online and see something. But to I’m in that Steven assail painting, I don’t know if I could have gotten the same emotional response in the same experience, unless I had seen it in person now, things like Google, where they have you know, Google arts where you can zoom in on something really, really great. You know, you can get you can get a feel for it, but you can’t see the build up and the paint you can’t see the fingerprints and the and the energy and the smudges and the things that that really help you understand that. We’re just this old go what what what are you hearing from the the young people that you’re teaching,
Garin Baker 52:33
this is such a great place, I think we’re representational for realism. Or I prefer representational because realism really kind of takes something for me, that harkens back to, you know, what realism, the realist painters of the late 19th century were interested in, which was a departure from sort of noble, sort of, you know, kalon painters, you know, they were really after, you know, something of the sort of a salt of the earth in their work, you know. And so, this is one of those conversations that a lot of, you know, our instructors, and, you know, artists that have, you know, had long careers, because we’re very aware of the, you know, Instagram and very aware of all our young students. And they’re very savvy and figuring out how to get lots of followers and lots of likes, and market themselves in the internet. What we are noticing, and this is not a criticism, I really hate when some people feel this might be a criticism, but we are noticing is there’s a tremendous amount of bright, intelligent, sort of groundbreaking talent out there, you know, young artists, his academies have done an incredible job. And there are 1000, fantastic head studies out there. Now, you know, there are artists that are really raising the bar, young artists that are able to paint a figure like nobody’s business. But there is because of the internet, because things are seen in such a small format. There’s a lack of storytelling, of internal investigations, artists willing to go within to tell their story. There’s a lot of really good stuff in terms of Oh, that’s really cool. That has a great effect. That’s kind of what it looks like. But that internal narrative, so that an artist’s career and the arc of their career. Like when you think about a sergeant, you don’t have to know Sergeant personally, but you can see his life in the arc of his work. You can see how his life twisted and turned professionally, socially, and on through the stories and through the paintings that he created through his life. And so what we’re a little bit, you know, thinking about and concerned about, is that young artists aren’t doing Enough internal investigation to come up with stories about our times. And so you just sound like,
Eric Rhoads 55:09
sound like one of those old guys. It’s just not accepting the president.
Garin Baker 55:13
Well, Eric, you know, you and I sort of row in the same boat together. I mean, no, I come from, you know, Eastern European Russian roots. I was I was thrilled, three years ago to be invited to go to Russia with a five American painters, mostly they were We were New England painter. You’re invited by? We were invited by Russian, a small group of Russian painters. Yep. They learned about it through, you know, tea and Nicolas and Stapleton Kearns up in New England. And I, you know, paint with that group.
Eric Rhoads 55:49
And I was in Russia at the same time.
Garin Baker 55:52
Yeah, actually, we saw Peter [Trippi] there.
Eric Rhoads 55:55
Yeah, Peter went over and you guys met at the hood? The hotel that’s in the book?
Garin Baker 55:59
Yep. Yep. Yeah. And so, you know, when you look at Russian painting, and I’m, you know, my grandparents are Russian, you know, and so, I have a real affinity for, you know, the kinds of artists you know, the reference and the siskins and the libertarians and even comScore. And even there’s so many incredible Russian art, you know, Russian art is just, and the sophistication level when you when we went to Russia, and we hung out and painted with, you know, in the, along the Volga River were Libertad painted, they took us to they took us to seen that it still looks like the 19th century were livid Levitin painted. I mean, there was the scene right there.
Eric Rhoads 56:41
I’m doing a Russian trip in in September. And we’re going to all those same places.
Garin Baker 56:47
It still looks like that I looked at I was standing on this hillside, I looked over at Stapleton. And I said, there’s the left hand painting, and the Russian standing behind us, I read a rubber Cobra, she laughed. She was laughing at us because we were like dumbstruck to watch, and to watch some of these Russian painters work, we would drop our brushes and sit behind them and watch them paint. The literacy in terms of their knowledge about painting is unbelievable. And so this kind of exchange and this, I mean, I love the fact that you’re, you know, that you’re sort of celebrating that stuff, because that’s that painting, even though I love Don’t get me wrong, you know, the Europeans that, you know, the Impressionists, I love that work, but for some reason, you know, Russian and Surya, even the northern school, you know, the, you know, the Northern Lights, school, you know, kroyer Do you know who that is? Oh, yeah, I’ve got a book a cry right here, you know, and that, that kind of pacing, that, that that’s really the kind of painting well,
Eric Rhoads 57:54
and those are great examples of things that you you just First off, you don’t get to see very many of them in America, there are a couple of dealers that have some great Russian paintings. And, you know, once in a while you’ll stumble into one at a museum. But as a matter of fact, I was told when I was last over there in March, that they are there are about one third of rapids paintings are in America, and they’re trying to find them. So because because, you know, he came over here and did a lot of portraits and things I guess. But the, the seeing these things in person, it just, it’s just it brings tears to your eyes, because you you see paint application, unlike anything. I remember Scott Christensen and I went over to Russia together with a group and, and watching his response when he saw those things for the first time that you know, like, it’s life, it’s life change,
Garin Baker 58:45
You know, I mean, I, I had grown up for years, even when after color caught for years, and the cool visual art on there was on 20 21st Street, right in the corner of the bottom of the Flatiron Building, there was a Russian bookstore and this was back in the 50s. Back in the mid, I think late 80s. Yeah. And I went in there one day, and they had all these Russian art books. And there was no, I couldn’t read any of them, you know, the real world in Russian, but I would sit, literally sit on the floor. And this guy would bring the one book after another, you know, of reppin. And I was just unbelievable. And it was only until three years ago, when I went to, you know, to Moscow when he went to the gallery and I was just like, we were like kids in a candy store. It was unbelievable. Yeah. You know,
Eric Rhoads 59:37
I bring all those books home and spend all that money and it’s not the cost of the books. It’s getting them home. That’s that’s expensive. Well, you know, this is this has been absolutely fascinating. And we could probably go on and on and on and on and on. Because you know, you’re such You’re such a colorful guy. You’ve got so many great stories, but we’re kind of getting to the to the end here. What is what would you say? You know, you teach a lot of students? You You got a lot of people listening here who have never picked up a brush never done a plein air painting. What What is your best advice? I mean, you’ve taught hundreds of students at the Art Students League, what is your best advice? on getting started on the journey? You know, is there a right way? I see so many people who get frustrated or and they quit early, you know, we have this, we have this sense that everybody who’s painting should be able to do it instantly, you know, because it’s a it’s a natural talent. And then they say, I don’t have talent I’m giving up. So what what’s the best path? What, what is your wisdom?
Garin Baker 1:00:46
Well, so for for, for young students, as well as students that have had full careers, you know, raising families as doctors or, you know, in finance, and they’ve always wanted to paint or they had some inkling about it when they were young. But obviously, life takes some course you know, there’s a living you have to make these days, and now they’ve now they’ve gotten back to it. And my best advice to is to be patient and be kind to yourself, and, and give yourself room to make lots of mistakes. Because the thing that stumbling it’s in that it’s the way we all learn, you know, an infant has to fall down and bang their knee a few times, to know how to figure out the equilibrium of walking. And so it’s all things are not going to be the way you want them right away. So be kind to yourself, love, you know the process. And be patient. Because if you just keep and not worry so much about what it looks like, if you keep at it. If you keep playing with it. If you keep the joy of making a mess alive in it, it will start to stumble into the right places.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:08
Great advice and a great place to stop Karen Baker. Thank you for being on the plein air podcast.
Garin Baker 1:02:14
All right, thank you, Eric. It’s been a pleasure.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:17
Well, thanks again to Garin Baker he is filled with wisdom. Really great interview. Thank you Karen for that. Are you guys ready for some marketing ideas?
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 1:02:38
In the marketing minute I try to answer your art marketing questions. And usually there are questions that kind of aren’t always aren’t marketing related, but sometimes they are. email your questions Eric at art marketing.com. Also check out Art marketing.com because it’s a really great place to get a lot of resources, a lot of articles there. I just wrote one on how to build email list in 2021. Go to artmarketing.com. for that. Here’s a question from Amanda Dodd in Montgomery, Alabama, who says, How do you come up with a price for commissioned painting? Well, pricing is the most confusing, often most misunderstood thing on earth for artists and probably pretty much everybody else. Picking prices, you know, if you were selling widgets, the way you would set your prices is you’d start out by saying okay, you know the cost of the metal is this much and the cost of the labor is this much. And the cost of the marketing is this much and the cost, you add up all of your costs. And let’s say your cost is $100. And then from that point forward, then you have to say okay, as somebody selling this for me, like if it’s if it were a retail store, then they’d say, Okay, well, then we got to add in that, that that amount of money, but you also have to add in your profit, you know, how much is it worth it to you? Now you have to be reasonable, you don’t want to be greedy. But let’s say you’ve got $100 in materials and you’d like to make it you know, some amount of money on it, you have to determine that it’s 10 bucks, 20 bucks, 50 bucks, 100 bucks, whatever. And then on top of that, you know, what is the market going to be able to bear? Well as painters, we’re not creating widgets, but there are some some clues that you can ask yourself first off, how much time do I have to spend on this and let’s just say that you had an average painting and your average painting took you five days and you could sell that average painting for $2,000. So okay, so you know, you know five days of your time is worth $2,000 and you’ve built in your materials and your frame and your canvas and all that stuff into it. Let’s say somebody says well I want you to do a commission and you start thinking about okay well Commission’s a little different, right, or it could be, let’s say they want you to paint their grandmother and their grandfather. Okay, now there’s two figures in it. And how much time is this going to take you? It’s going to take you potentially a lot more than what a typical landscape painting might take you, for instance, now if it’s a landscape painting commission, different story, but let’s say you said, right, alright, this guy is going to take me instead of 10 days is take me 20 days, well, if you know that, you’re normally going to get a couple $1,000 for that 10 days, and it’s going to take you $20,000, and maybe you charge a couple, it charged twice as much. I mean, that’s kind of how the thinking is, and, and I, I have done commissions and regretted them. I had a commission I did, it was double portrait, and I never realized how much extra time it was going to take me. And it was because I was less experienced in that area. But also, there was all this back and forth of gathering photos. And then I had to do sketches because the photos were no good. And so I had to do sketches, and then I had to kind of put my own light in and try to you know, try to make it right, you know, and then I’m touching base with the person all the time, I spent a lot of time on it. So when you when you start thinking about those things, first off, you got to try and anticipate how much time am I going to spend on how many iterations you know, if you’re doing a commission, usually there’s going to be a preliminary sketch, you know, I’m going to show you a sketch, you’re going to approve it at that point, you’re going to pay me a little bit more of the money you owe me, you’re going to start out by saying, Okay, what, you know, half upfront, and then I need another quarter, it’s a preliminary sketch, and then you got to pay the rest on the finished painting that kind of a thing. So, you know, figure out, you know, how much how much you need to create that piece. Now, on top of that, you’ve got what I call your brand value, you know, if you’re, let’s say, your Nelson Shanks, the late Nelson Shanks, who was getting, you know, 8090 $100,000 for a portrait, you know, he hits, you know, it’s not so much about his time as it is his reputation and the value that he brings, because, you know, it’s a status item to own a painting of his he did my portrait. And so I think the idea is, you got a base, you know, your time, the quality of your brand, you know, if people are highly aware of you, you’ve got a good brand you’re more sought after, then that’s going to increase your value. And you know, there are people out there who are getting that kind of money. But if if it were me, and I came out there, and I said, Hey, I want 80 or $100,000, for my portrait, people would laugh at me. Because I don’t have the reputation for doing that. And and so, I mean, you, you might be able to get it with the right person, but chances are, you know, you’re working through somebody else who knows the market, what the market will bear and so on. So, I know, I know, I didn’t really completely answer that. But that’s kind of how I would answer it if I were gonna go into that direction.
Eric Rhoads 1:07:48
Now, here’s a question from Christopher sites in Phoenix, Arizona, whose question is, what do you do if your painting is stolen? Christopher, call the police. You know, there’s no more data in that question. I don’t know how it was stolen, what kind of painting it was, whether it was something he did, or something somebody else did, whether it was at an art show, you know, there’s a lot of different circumstances what to do. But, you know, you, you and and also, what’s that painting worth? You know? And is it going to be worth the time to pursue it? And and I can’t answer that question, only you can answer it. But, you know, I’ve heard stories of people going to art shows, you know, you’ve got a tent show where you’re, you’re showing things and people slip in and they steal something, and they run off, you know, you’re going to go call the police. And you’re going to go to the police at the Art Show. And you’re gonna say, hey, somebody ran off my painting, but you know, you’re not likely to have any video of it happening in big crowds, it’s gonna be hard to, to do much about it. And so, you know, you just have to, you have to build these things in you know, I have a friend that used to be in the software business. And he worked for one of the big software companies back when you know, software, you’d buy it in a box, and he said, you know, we built in theft into our pricing. So we, we knew that, you know, 10% or 20%, or whatever of our stuff was going to be stolen and copied. And, and so we just built that into our cost. And so that’s how they dealt with it, but you’re gonna you know, first thing called the police Now, also there is a thing called the art loss register. Now, that’s more about museum quality paintings that have been stolen from things like, you know, great museums and so on are collections. They and paintings always, almost always show up. And as a result when they show up, you know, a dealer, if it goes to art loss register, he says, You know, I got this painting for sale, I want to make sure it’s not stolen, you go through there and say, Oh, there it is. So I don’t know that they would do that for contemporary artists. And it would probably depend on the quality and the reputation of the artist and the value of the painting. You know, if it’s a big expensive painting, they might so I don’t know you probably We aren’t going to be able to make much progress on that unless you know more you have video or something like that. And then I think the other thing is, you know, it, it’s painful to have things stolen, I had a bunch of camera gear stolen at a, I was photographing at an event and I had all this stuff under the table when I wasn’t using it, and it disappeared, somebody saw me put it under there. Probably it was an inside job from the hotel or something. But anyway, you know it, you feel very violated, but not much at the end of the day, you might be able to turn it into your insurance company, if you have insurance on your paintings. And and I don’t really know anything about that, quite frankly. But I think that’s something to think about. Anyway, that this was kind of an unusual or not a bad question. Just an unusual question for our marketing minute. Oh, by the way, here’s something else I would do. I would say, Alright, I just lost a $2,000 painting because it was stolen. How can I get $2,000 worth of value out of that? I would turn it into a promotion, I would look for a way to you know, talk it up, put it on social media, you know, run ads, you know this, this painting was stolen. If you know anything about it, contact the artist Eric Rhoads in and you know, it’s just a roundabout way to get people to look at your work and to see something and to go to your website. And you know, it’s going to create some buzz and some talk and so, to turn everything into an opportunity. That’s that’s about the best you can do. Anyway, that is the marketing minute.
This has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhodes, you can learn more at art marketing.com.
Eric Rhoads 1:11:36
I want to remind you guys, there’s still time on Watercolor Live, depending on when you’re listening to this, but there are replays available if you’re not if you’re listening late, it’s an incredible event. watercolorlive.com also, you should get your paintings into plein air salon at the pleinairsalon.com and sign up for the pleinairconvention.com Alright, if you guys have not seen my blog, where I talk about art and life and things like that, it’s it’s got a lot of readers now, which I’m pretty proud of. And I don’t mean to be prideful, but it’s kind of nice to have things happen, you know, the way you hope they are. I have not unlike anything else I do. You know, I’m all about marketing, and I market a lot of things and I try to succeed, you know, getting this being the number one podcast, in the painting podcasts in the world. That’s a pretty cool thing. I’ll probably figure out how to make hay out of that. But this is a personal blog that I write about my philosophy and things like that. So I’ve never marketed it, you know, we we mail it out. And that’s pretty much it. And it’s kind of gone viral, and it’s got lots of readers. I’ve heard numbers in excess of a quarter million, which is kind of cool. So anyway, if you haven’t seen it, check it out. Just go to coffeewitheric.com. I call it Sunday coffee, but it’s coffee coffeewitheric.com. You can get it there for free. And you can subscribe for free and it comes every week and you may or may not like it, but I hope you do. Anyway, this is always fun. We’ll do it again sometime like maybe next week. I hope so God willing, we’ll see you then I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. You can find us online at outdoorpainter.com. And remember, it’s a big world out there. So go paint it.
This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air 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 pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.
- Click here to subscribe to the free newsletter, Plein Air Today
- And click here to subscribe to PleinAir Magazine so you never miss an issue!