The weather was fine for the festival this year, and the event seemed well attended. I sold two of the three paintings I entered and made enough profit to make it worth my while. Because of my participation in Chronicle en Plein Air event in Lake Oswego, which overlaps with the festival, I wasn’t able to complete as many paintings as I would have liked or to hang out at the festival as much as I have in past years.
Each year, I assess the value of participating in the Open Show at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. The price is fairly steep for emerging artists at $35 for the first three paintings, plus 40% commission. I raise my prices year over year to see what the market will bear. Although some of my artist friends feel the price is too steep, for me, the market test is reason enough to participate in the festival. The event is attended by well over 10,000 potential buyers. An artist can learn a lot from seeing which paintings sell at what price.
I’ve heard from a number of artists who participate in the part of the festival called Art in the Park that selling their art from a booth is much more profitable than participating in the open and juried art shows. Now that I am a full-time artist, my goal is to produce a big enough inventory of original paintings and affordable prints to allow me to sell from a booth and travel the art festival circuit in the Western US in the coming years.