I've been spending less and less time painting these days. Not because I don't enjoy it anymore, I do (although I am spending a lot more time on my writing projects). I used to do outdoor art shows in the summer at various parks around the area but it seemed as though most people were just out for a walk, baby stroller and kids in tow, and certainly not out to buy artwork. I got tired of spending so much time preparing, driving to these locations, and spending a long day in the hot summer sun, and not even making enough money to pay for the cost of the booth space.
And now my artwork can mostly be seen in my living room. Or in boxes in my studio. An acquaintance of my husband's who does art prints for artists, has a son who lives in NY. When this man visited his son he noticed there was no artwork on the walls. The man mentioned this to his son and the son replied that he could just look at paintings on his IPad or some other device. He didn't actually need to purchase any artwork.
I'm sure there are still people who buy artwork but they are, most likely, in a much higher price range than what I sell my work for. I do still receive requests for animal portraits. But it saddens me that so many people no longer value the heart and soul that goes into creating a piece of art. It also distresses me when I talked to a local business owner who was opening a shop with a variety of items that were made, supposedly, by local artists and artisans, about putting some of my artwork in her shop (she was carrying my books). She didn't need it (didn't even look at my work) because she was carrying the artwork of a person that I had met who, after retiring, he took up painting, which was within the past couple of years. Obviously his inexperience showed. But because she didn't know about what 'good' art looked like, she was ok with him. It was the low prices that were more important. I also have prints and cards, etc., that I sell for a reasonable price and even some smaller pieces of originals but this man had his work in her shop. I can guarantee you that I have put thousands of more hours into becoming a better artist than he has. But it is the price that matters to her.
Maybe someday people will look back and treasure the original pieces of artwork they bought, or there will be a revival of actual paintings created with oil, pastels, watercolors, or other mediums. But for now, we are in the digital age!