Over the past months I have been giving you information and suggestions on how to approach galleries for representation.  Hopefully you have been putting this information to work for you. I had been too busy painting to actually do it myself.  I wanted to have enough work built up (20-25) that I felt was gallery quality before I applied.  Finally, I felt that I was ready and started researching galleries that were in line with my art style.  

     I decided to approach a gallery outside of St. Augustine because galleries here are large and have many national artists.  This makes it more difficult to get representation.  So landing a gallery outside this area first gives me more credibility in the St. Augustine market down the road.  Keep in mind that many artists are represented by multiple galleries!  

     Following my own advice, I researched galleries and the artwork they carry.  I looked at all the artwork on their site, along with the prices.  I also looked at the type of art they feature to see if my artwork was comparable.  I then looked up the owner and his interests.  If liked everything I saw and felt that I would be a good match, I wrote it down on a list.  I also knew that when represented, an artist is expected to be available for shows, etc, so I needed it to be close enough so as not to be a hardship for me to get there. Plus, shipping art is VERY expensive, large pieces can cost $500 or more each to ship safely, so I wanted to be able to deliver the art in person.  

     After compiling the list, I went back over and narrowed down the list to one gallery.  My final choice is in the next county down from us.  It is a smaller town, but has a very active art community and many patrons.  Plus, the owner has a relationship with a very large real estate corporation that builds luxury homes, and have multiple showrooms with original artwork from the gallery for their clientele.

     Having decided on the gallery, I went to their website and looked for the contact information.  This gallery had an email listed to apply for representation.  Taking a quiet evening, I formatted the email praising his gallery first, then introducing myself, I listed my type of art, awards, teaching, blog, etc,  and attached jpeg samples of my work and my photo, along with a link to my website. I then ended with warm regards and below my signature I included my email and phone number. This was not a long email, but was warm and complimentary to his gallery!

     I was surprised when I heard from Mr. xxxxxxx the very next day.  He stated however, that he was out of town due to the hurricane IRMA, but that he would return in a couple weeks and touch base with me.  I waited about three weeks, then sent a follow-up email.  In it I stated that I hoped he and his gallery had fared well through the storm and that I was hoping he had been able to look at my website and my work.  I again stated that I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with him at his convenience.

     We emailed back and forth several times and finally he said that he was interested in my work and would get with me soon.  After a couple weeks, my husband and I drove down to the gallery on a Monday.  I had forgotten that many are closed on that day, and so was he, BUT, he was in the gallery doing some work.  He saw us looking through the window and opened up for us.  How nice!  We browsed through the gallery, VERY NICE! and finally I was able to introduce myself.  He said, "I thought you looked familiar!"  We then had a very nice discussion and he said he definitely get in touch in a couple weeks.  He apologized for not doing it sooner, but that the busy winter season had been delayed by the storm.  Very true, that!  

     True to his word,  he contacted me and set an appointment for me to bring in 3-4 pieces I felt would fit in his gallery.  I took 12.  But, only because I had started the new series "Ocean Meditations" which is all about the ocean, of course.  The gallery name is OCEAN ART GALLERY. So, I took 4 large (36 x 48) "Looking Up" paintings and 8 of the small (12 x 16 and smaller) "Ocean Meditations" paintings.  Four of the ocean paintings are what I call "stack" paintings:  either 4 or 6 5x7' paintings framed and mounted one above the other on a board, very modern.  

     He took 10 of the 12 paintings!  I didn't expect that but I was not about to say so, LOL!  He asked me to explain in detail how I "painted" the ocean scenes.  I had explained they were poured.  He then asked if I would be willing to give seminars and classes on the technique.  Of course!  I left his office with a signed contract.

     The moral of this story is that the technique works!  Produce your consistently best 25 pieces of art, do your homework on the galleries and GO FOR IT!  It is interesting to note that a high end gallery owner made the statement recently:  "There is a gallery out there for just about every level of art".  So don't assume you won't be accepted!  As one shoe company says, "JUST DO IT!"

     In a conversation with a fellow artist recently (she is in three galleries, plus her own) she reminded me that negotiations with a gallery can take quite a bit of time.  In other words, it is a LONG process!
So don't expect to walk into or even email a gallery and walk out with a contract right away.  It just doesn't happen.  They are busy and cautious, so plan on a period of time for this process. 

     Below are photos of some of the artwork that was accepted into the gallery.  Enjoy, and thank you so much for following me!  And please, let me know how your gallery search goes, OK?

UPDATE!  I got an email that same evening that I delivered the art to the gallery.  Two paintings had already sold!  Both the gallery and I are very happy!!

                                     The gallery is OCEAN ART GALLERY in Flagler Beach, FL



'Looking Up" series
48 x 36
Acrylic - black floater frame
This painting has been installed at his second gallery

'Looking Up' series
36 x 48
Acrylic - black floater frame

'Ocean Meditations' series
12 x 16
Fluid Acrylics - white floater frame

'Ocean Meditations' series
12 x 16
Fluid Acrylics - white floater frame

All the paintings above are framed in float frames, The trees in black and all ocean paintings in white
BTW, my husband and I made the frames.  It wasn't easy at first but we kept at it until we succeeded.
Now we get to create something together and we enjoy it a lot!

'Ocean Meditations" series
32 x 8 stack
Fluid Acrylics

'Ocean Meditations' series
32 x 8 stack
Fluid Acrylics

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