The Fort Worth Star Telegram tackles one of the toughest issues in art dealing: how to price the work of a living artist without a substantial resale market?
Fort Worth painter Daniel Blagg is more than 30 years into a professional art career and is known for his urban landscapes. He also factors his hours into a painting’s price. Some of his large works can bring $20,000, said Blagg, adding that he’s been known to scribble on the back of the canvas the amount of time he logs per day on a painting.
“Some of my things can take a month — eight or nine hours a day,” he said. “It’s mentally taxing.
“I try not to break it down to square footage,” Blagg said. “It’s not a science.”
Size, complexity and quality matter Size, however, does matter.
Hassell said his work typically goes for $2,500 for a painting that is 12-by-12 inches. An 18-by18-inch painting is around $3,500.
“I think that the price per square inch is kind of a rule of thumb, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule,” Hassell said, adding that he has argued against factoring complexity into the price. “You move into a very subjective category.”
He said he once did a painting that depicted 30 or 40 birds of Bastrop County.
“I joked that I should have charged by the bird,” Hassell said, adding that art history contains many examples of painters who charged extra for adding horses or human figures to a painting. “It just seems easier to keep the prices the same for each size.”