Recently a new idea in marketing artwork has been floated, that being the LEASING of art work (primarily to businesses) rather than trying to SELL them our painted masterpieces. It works with cars, backhoes, and champagne fountains, why not? Join the painting of the month club! Lease to buy! Rent-a-Work-a-Art! Rent to Own!

The problem with companies leasing is that it's an overhead expense that is not-productive and in this time of bare-bones-productivity-is-god competition it's a hard sell. Let's face it, there are too many good artists producing too many good works for too few enlightened individuals or organizations willing to pay for our bright ideas, not to mention all the middlemen we need (or THINK we need) to get TO these people.

Another recent topic of conversation revolves around educating the local populace to appreciate abstraction. As most of us are probably aware, that's a hard sell too. It takes a willingness on the part of individuals to take at least ONE art appreciation course in which abstraction is TAUGHT. You don't learn to like it much on your own. It looks too EASY to do, and in reality, it's the HARDEST kind of art work to understand. It's as if kindergartners were composing concertos. It LOOKS fraudulent to the boondockers and until that image can be overcome with enlightenment, abstraction is a sure loser in rural areas. Rural Americans have a strong appreciation for hard work and that extends into their ART appreciation as well. Any of their hard-earned money they can find it in their hearts to part with for artwork had best at least LOOK like it was created with work every bit as hard as their own.

Local people constantly ask, "How long did it take you to paint (such and such a painting)." Often I have little idea. Sometimes I guess. Usually they are dismayed when I say four, five, six hours, something like that (and this is for REALISTIC paintings). My wife gets on my case all the time for telling the truth. She's a boondocker from WAY back. There is often amazement at how little time a work took to complete, but then I think, following that, there sets in what may well be an element of jealousy that I'm demanding such a high price for my time. Never mind that a lawyer, with schooling on a par with mine, makes $200 an hour or more for his time and effort. Of course artists don't have the image problem lawyers do but that's another story.