Neutral Palette

A few of years ago, a couple from New York City were here in Dallas, TX. and visited a local gallery Jones Walker Home and saw my painting“Winfrey Point” 48×72 acrylic on canvas.

Their first thought was not “what is this about?” or “who is this artist?”. No their first thought was “That will look great over our sofa!” 

However, before they decided, they wanted to make certain, at which point the designer/gallery owner, told them that the artist (me) would be happy to produce a mock up, if they supplied an image of the wall they were considering hanging it on.

The gallery emailed me the image and I got busy, ten minutes later I provided them with a to scale mock up, of how it would look over their sofa. They were thrilled, and the sale was completed.

Now I know many artists might be insulted by such an arrangement, people asking “does it go with the drapes?” but it’s never bothered me personally. 

One of my first art classes was a Watercolor Workshop by Terry Madden, and in that class he told us, 95% of all Art sold in the USA was Sold to Match the Sofa. Now I can’t verify that number, maybe it’s less than that, but here was a veteran painter, with years of experience selling his art saying “get over it! it’s just the way it is”. At least that’s the message I heard, and so I did, right there and then I decided that I didn’t care why anyone bought my work, as long as they bought it.

This attitude of acceptance, has served me quite well, and admittedly influenced my work. I intentionally use lots of neutrals in my work, and occasionally even use Interior Acrylic House Paints. Taking these strategies leads to finished pieces that are more likely to look well “over the sofa”.

I make no apologies for including the preferences of 95% of art collectors into my paintings. They are still my Creations, and unless commissioned not to, have a lot of other Design considerations within them.

Honestly, I think my art work has improved because of this influence.Creating Acrylic Abstract Paintings that go well in many contemporary settings has required me to use more neutral palettes. To limit the pure pigments to only highlights and details, resulting in what I considerstronger compositions, with greater variety and nuance. So you see once again, “acceptance is the key”. 

Now each one of us (as artists) must choose our own path, and I chose to“go with the flow” but whether or not you do , is completely up to you. I’m just sharing my own story and how my journey has evolved. I hope this article has been beneficial to you.

I welcome your comments below.

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