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oil painting costs

I mentioned the Guild of Boston Artists. I found it Saturday by walking around Back Bay and going inside. One featured artist was there, and while I did ask a question about her art (it had a light quality reminiscent of pastels), I also asked the mundane question of how long it took to do a painting. Variable, but she went with an average of 25 hours, for the modest sizes displayed. That's for physical execution, like to copy an existing painting; design is a lot more.

Prices were also variable but I'll guess an average of $2500. So $100/hour, or $50/hour assuming double time for design (which would mean coming up with an artwork in under a week). Given the vagaries of freelance life, hardly unreasonable compensation on her end. I am unlikely to ever spend that much on a single work, though, and give thanks for prints.

Some other paintings in the galley were more; I think one was a bit short of $100,000. I forget if it was particularly large or detailed.

The website of another artist says she does oil portraits starting from $8,000, taking 5-8 sittings of 3 hours. At 24 hours, that's $333/hour. My first thoughts were unkind about her. My second thoughts were that if someone is willing and able to pay $8,000 on what amounts to a glorified photograph, it is practically her social or class duty to relieve them of their money.

As a side note, another gallery was right next door, just one artist working in acrylics and providing prints and printed clothing(!), but apparently "print to canvas" is also a thing, IIRC replicating the physical texture of the paint. Though maybe the texture comes from hand work.

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Damien Sullivan
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