(This post edited on 01.27.2012 to replace photo lost in creating Google+Page)
What's an artist to do when even a tiny painting is affected by world leaders' global oil games and the value of a dollar or a yuan? Stock-up when you get all those sales e-mails in your in box.
Fortunately, we don't job cost our works by the cost of raw materials, which just increased, and time at minimum wage rates which also increased today.
How Iran, China, and the price of oil will affect your purchasing power at your favorite art supply house:
1. Painters need surfaces, likely a natural product not locally produced, prepped with a ground. My canvas is sourced in several countries, I don't recall buying any US-produced recently. Whether you're painting on canvas or other surfaces, freight costs will pump up the cost. Canvas is produced in the US, but it's beyond my price range.My grounds are almost always acrylic paint undercoats of blue, grey, or lavender. Acrylics, synthetics, are petroleum based products, though they aren't "oil" paints.
Gamblin's site -they're a long way from my home and shipping costs will affect pricing.
2. Painters must have brushes, knives, and all sorts of tools to apply their chosen media. These tools are primarily imported from China in all price ranges for natural and synthetic. Trekell Brushes are a US product that I don't find in my stores, but I'm a knife painter who doesn't take care of fine brushes and must use disposables when I do use brushes these days.
3. Painters select their media for many reasons including preference in application, pricing, allergies, etc. Most paints we use are affected by the price of oil, even if we paint with "water-cleanup." My artist's grade paints are $20 per tube or more when oil is $100 a gallon. Oil is 10% higher today. Crude Oil Pricing Maybe even higher in the very near future. I use linseed oil, white spirits or turpentine with my oil paints - other petroleum products I must have. Artists' Solvents
4. Painters love to travel for subject matter and workshops - need I say more?
Wherever you go, you may pay a premium to get there, especially for international travel.
The future's looking a little foggy today, and, if headlines can be believed, may get worse before it gets better but we'll get through it.
I won't be painting in Europe or Israel for awhile, but I do have photos for studio work, and beautiful surroundings that I can paint every day of the year. If oil paints get too pricey, I'll switch to water color or pencil renderings.
An artist has to create.
Morning Fog is a small acrylic field study original offered only on my Etsy site.
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All the best,
Gail Kent Studio
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