Plein Air Podcast 237: Clyde Aspevig on Art, Conservation, and More
This is Plein Air Podcast number 237 with the artist many believe is the best landscape artist on Earth. This is a big deal to have him on the podcast today. Today you’re going to meet the great Clyde Aspevig.
Listen as Eric Rhoads and Clyde Aspevig discuss:
– The importance of having confidence in your work
– The correlation between music, literature, and painting
– Clyde’s involvement in environmental conservation and the American Prairie Wildlife Reserves
– And much more
“The best thing that can happen to you is … failing and struggling. No one said life was easy. And painting is certainly a reflection of that.” ~ Clyde Aspevig
Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, shares thoughts on how to approach an art gallery that isn’t local to you, and traditional fine art collecting versus the move toward technology.
Have a question about how to sell your art? Ask Eric at artmarketing.com/questions.
Listen to the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Clyde Aspevig here:
The Plein Air Podcast has been named the #1 Painting Podcast by FeedSpot for two years in a row.
– Clyde Aspevig online: https://www.clydeaspevig.com/
– Plein Air Magazine: https://pleinairmagazine.com/
– Watercolor Live: https://watercolorlive.com/
– Plein Air Convention & Expo: https://pleinairconvention.com/
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericrhoads/
– Plein Air Today newsletter: https://www.outdoorpainter.com/plein-air-today-newsletter/
– Submit Art Marketing Questions: artmarketing.com/questions
FULL TRANSCRIPT of this Plein Air Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Plein Air Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
This is episode number 237 with the artist many believe is the best landscape artist on Earth. This is a big deal to have him on the podcast today. Today you’re going to meet the great Clyde Aspevig.
This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air Podcast, we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint and this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher, and painter, Eric Rhoads.
Eric Rhoads 0:00
Thank you Jim Kipping and welcome everybody to the plein air podcast today’s a red letter day because we have a another great artist I you know, we have so many great artists on this is among the greatest and I am very honored, we’re gonna get to that in a minute. I’m also really happy because for whatever reason, we had this massive cold snap. And now we’re having like fall weather, you know, just almost 70 degrees and I’m, I’m wearing shorts, you know, it’s just doesn’t get any better than that. And so I’m gonna get myself out painting as soon as possible. Maybe try to get out a couple of times, because I don’t like to paint in cold weather. I don’t mind painting and snow if like I’m all bundled up and ready for it. But something about that in between any anyway, coming up after the interview, we’re going to talk about advice for art students and how to become successful right out of art school. And we’re going to talk about what is the right time for you to get a gallery and is it right for you and what trends should you be paying attention to? Or should you at all. We’re also humbled to announce that we’re number one in the feed spotless to painting podcasts for a second year in a row. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making that happen. Man, you know, there’s a lot going on, and I’m really excited our guest today. Clyde Aspevig is also the cover artist for plein air magazine. This magazine is just packed full of goodies and packed full of Clyde Aspevig we’re really honored about that. If you’re not getting this magazine and you’re into plein air, whether you’re a collector or an artist, you might want to reconsider that. Go to pleinairmagazine.com for that and also, if you want to go to like the Woodstock of plein air painting, you know there are plein air painting festivals around the country which didn’t exist before we started plein air magazine. Coincidence, probably. But the biggest, most incredible plein air experience. If you’re a plein air Painter is the plein air convention that’s coming up in Colorado this May. It is like the Woodstock for artists. And it’s a massive event with five stages we have you know, watercolor stage, oil stage, a pastel stage, a demo stage some other things, you have big Expo Hall, we have things from morning till night. We keep you busy, we go out painting together, you’re gonna have the top artists in the world teaching you. And I’m told the hotel is about sold out. And so probably a good thing. We’re hoping to be able to announce our guest, our special celebrity guest who is not somebody you would ever anticipate somebody from Hollywood, that’s all I can tell you. And well, once that happens, the seats will be gone. I’m guessing I mean, I’d be surprised if that didn’t make them all gone. And our VIP people the people who buy the VIP programs that give them special benefits and special seats and all that stuff. They’re gonna get to meet this guest and they’re going to get their photograph taken with this guest. Alright, so next week, I believe is when we gather for the world’s largest online watercolor event. And it’s called watercolor live. We have 30 Top watercolor masters teaching hundreds from around the world attending and if you’re feeling like you don’t think you can paint as well as you want to be or you want to get started want to get better. This is three days of incredible teaching plus a beginner’s day. refresh your day with some of the top masters as well. So you check it out, just go to watercolorlive.com. And I want to mention that if you’ve been there in the past, if you go there now, and if you’re one of these people like I was that thought, you know, I don’t have any talent, I can’t draw a stick figure, I don’t think I can do this painting thing. I’ve got just posted a new video about that if you go to watercolor live.com and watch that video, it’ll do you some good because there are two lies, two lies that we’re telling ourselves that are getting in the way of our success. So you want to check that out at watercolorlive.com Well, today is a special day because we have Clyde Aspevig. It’s really incredible client is quite as humble. He would never never say that. He’s one of the top artists in the world. I mean, he’s just not that kind of guy. But he is is incredible. His paintings are beyond spectacular. He does a lot of paintings in the West. He lives out in Montana, or is it Wyoming? Montana, I think and, and they just really capture the beauty and rhythm of harmony and the places that he grew up and he spends his time on and he works a lot on conservation. I’m going to talk to him about that he grew up on a farm in rut yard, red yard, Montana, and not far from the Canadian border. And he participated in the life of agriculture, farming, you know, which is not necessarily a pretty thing. Sometimes it’s really hard work, but also really satisfying and a great, great grounding is father was a practical but open minded farmer. And among the rest of his family, they encouraged the pursuit of art and music. And his father even bought his first painting which is pretty cool when he was 12. So he attended eastern Montana college and Billings and now lives near Bozeman with his wife, the accomplished artists. Karolina Guzman, and we’re gonna welcome Clyde right now. Clyde, welcome to the plein air podcast.
Clyde Aspevig 7:12
Nice to be here. Right. Thank you.
Eric Rhoads 7:14
We are very excited about this. And we know you’ve gone to a tremendous amount of effort to be here with us. And so thank you for that. I’m going to just jump right in and try to ask you some questions. How did the the overall interest in art begin for you? When did you start noticing or paying attention to the idea that you were interested in art?
Clyde Aspevig 7:38
Well, it was probably when I when I quit kindergarten and decided to become an artist.
Eric Rhoads 7:45
Seriously. I need to I need to hear that story. Yeah, my mom
Clyde Aspevig 7:51
caught me walking home. I guess there wasn’t enough political around. And so they didn’t have art. And I left. Actually, my first grade teacher, I still remember her name, Mrs. Pepijn. told my parents that I was going to be an artist. So I, I was in, you know, sketching drawing from the get go. It just was something that that I did.
Eric Rhoads 8:18
And did your parents take it seriously? Were they supportive?
Clyde Aspevig 8:22
They certainly did. In fact, they increased it all along. It was really wonderful, wonderful to have that kind of, you know, go out and draw. You gotta remember, I grew up in a time where there was no TV. So the color trends were out there all the time, from the very beginning.
Eric Rhoads 8:46
So what year were you born you willing to say?
Clyde Aspevig 8:49
Let me think about
Eric Rhoads 8:54
let’s say it would have been in the 50s.
Clyde Aspevig 8:57
I don’t have my calculator here. But it was 1951 1951 or you’re
Eric Rhoads 9:01
not that old. I’m right behind you there, buddy. So was there kind of an aha moment when you decided to take it? You know, seriously, are you taking it seriously all along?
Clyde Aspevig 9:17
Well, I, you know, I took it seriously all along. In fact, when I was in grade school, we go up to a Boy Scout camp or, or we went to a bible camp up in Flathead Lake. And I was always drawing, you know, pictures of corrals, and horses and barns and things like that. And one of my classmates, who became a very successful accountant said he claimed I can I can sell some of those for you. So I was actually selling these little pen and ink sketches back in junior high grade school for you know, a nickel 25 cents.
Eric Rhoads 9:54
And was he taking a 50% commission?
Clyde Aspevig 9:57
Well, no, no, he was just doing it. because he could he was he really enjoyed, you know, brokering these deals. So then we, you know, get some spare change and go down to the local grocery store, get a candy bar go to a movie back then and the movies in my hometown were 25 cents.
Eric Rhoads 10:16
And what is your hometown? Is that where you’re living now? No, I
Clyde Aspevig 10:19
live just outside of Bozeman, but I grew up about 20 miles south of the Canadian border and what they call the highline in my northern Montana. That was the northern Great Northern Railroad. And both sides of my family homesteaded up there.
Eric Rhoads 10:39
So multiple generations. Yes, any other artist in your family?
Clyde Aspevig 10:46
Yes, I come from very talented family. Both my parents were musicians, both sides of my family. Actually, we’re we’re all great musicians. My uncle, Raul Colin was, who was one of my first instructors. Basically, he was a farmer, but he also painted. I had Norwegian, both sides of my family from Norway. So I had some Norwegian relatives. My sister’s incredibly talented when the humanities award Governor’s Award, the state of Montana, my cousin, Tammy Holland Rhodes daughter was, was our state Poet Laureate. My brother is woodcarver, he’s got a degree in geology, master electrician, does watercolor. So I was I was just part of a whole little part of of really fortunate family that had a lot of people all my answer, uncles, everyone supportive singing, drawing all the time.
Eric Rhoads 11:53
So that must have boosted your confidence tremendously. Because I think people who don’t come from households who they’re supportive, I think that confidence, that lack of confidence is a real issue for some
Clyde Aspevig 12:04
Oh, it is, you know, from from the get go, it wasn’t about, you know how good the drawing was going to be, or anything else, it was just having the confidence to go forward and doing it. From an early age, I always thought that my next drawing was always going to be better. And it was always going to be, you know, some spectacular masterpiece. But you have to have that, you know, you have to have that attitude until you get knocked down when you look at the results. And you say but what the heck happened here?
Eric Rhoads 12:37
So do you do you believe that? You know, there’s always this debate about natural talent versus just being overly you know, really enthusiastic about it? And that enthusiasm drives you to get the talent? What are your thoughts on that?
Clyde Aspevig 12:56
You know, I think the environment that you exist in has a tremendous amount to do with that. How you’re nurtured. Just fate, luck of the draw, you come along, you meet somebody that becomes a great inspiration or something, and then you’re inspired. So you tend to work a little harder. I don’t I don’t know if my talent, what you call talent was there to begin with, or it just developed over time? Because they developed a passion for it? I? I really don’t know, good answer to that question.
Eric Rhoads 13:31
So did you get to a point when you got into high school or college age? Did you get to a point where you started studying under other people?
Clyde Aspevig 13:41
No, you know, the interesting thing is, unlike a lot of the the artists that I really admire and everything of both past and present, I did not really have a formal art education. Really, it was, as I said, Before, my I still use some of the things that my uncle taught me when I was 11 years old, like what? Well, like observing things closely and paying attention. So the sky isn’t just blue. It’s a it’s from the Viridian on the on the horizon, up to cobalt, and ultra marine and in purple in the zenith of the sky. So in in the direction of light, he taught me, you know, pay attention to how light hits the subjects. So that was a big part of it. When I went to college, I wasn’t college material. I was a terrible student, but we probably had some learning disabilities that weren’t recognized. But I was very visual and curious. So when I got to college, I had an incredible instructors name was Ben Steele. He was a survivor of the 10 death march. Just a wonderful man who recognized that I was really Interested at that time and representational work. So he introduced me to artists like Andrew Wyeth, and all these different people. But growing up in a vacuum where I did you know, out in the form alone all the time, there was no cell phones and everything. So you develop that type of independence and confidence in risk taking, for example, the consequences could be extreme at some times. And if something happened, there was nobody around to help you. So I just developed to my level of art and nature, I began to start looking at books, and I inherited $3,000 from my grandmother, and use that to go back east to see some of my the first great art
Eric Rhoads 15:55
and what was the thing that you most wanted to see first?
Clyde Aspevig 16:01
Well, I come in contact with some of those books how to draw I think I forget the name, you know, all the How To books, water
Eric Rhoads 16:12
filter, Foster, perhaps
Clyde Aspevig 16:14
Walter Foster. And I had won blue ribbon at the Hill County Fair, a photo painting of the French Riviera out of a National Geographic magazine. And one of the prizes I think, was this foster thing. So I started doing that and one thing led to another. And then you discover artists like Sargent, and soy and all these people. So when I went back east, I came up with this crazy idea that I just walk up in the Boston Museum, I walked up to the reception desk and said, Hi, my name is Clyde Aspell, vague, and I’m doing some research for the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana, which was a total fabrication. And I’d like to look at some of your searches for my research. And the curator came up and took me in the storage unit and started going through Sargent paintings. And I did. I did the same thing at the National Gallery in Washington, Washington, DC. So that opened my eyes to actually seeing for the first time, some really great art. But the first show that I ever saw was a fashion show in the early 70s, at the Montana Historical Society, it was organized by a wonderful friend now gone, blew up Oregon.
Eric Rhoads 17:45
Oh, and fish and lived in Idaho didn’t
Clyde Aspevig 17:48
know. No. I mean, he was in Taos he was in?
Eric Rhoads 17:51
Well, I thought he was oh, maybe I’m confusing him with somebody else.
Clyde Aspevig 17:54
No, Nikolai fish and the Russian painter. Taos founder. Yeah, well, school. And so I saw for the first time what you could do with oil paints with all the texture and the layers of paint. So that was very inspiring.
Eric Rhoads 18:10
Yeah, I think I was thinking of Sergei bundgaard. Now that now that you’ve mentioned, it was
Clyde Aspevig 18:14
a great fish and fan. Absolutely.
Eric Rhoads 18:17
Yeah. So the once you took this trip back east, and once you saw fashion, how did that impact your painting?
Clyde Aspevig 18:28
Well, I didn’t it took me a long time to try and figure out well how did they do this? So it was just a matter of just experimenting. And I learned a long time ago that if you’re gonna get anywhere you got to do your push ups I call them
Eric Rhoads 18:46
your what aren’t push ups aren’t
Clyde Aspevig 18:48
push ups. Yes, painting, which is filling a lot of canvas that you’re ended up going to, you know, I ended up throwing away, but there starts and and that’s, that’s the way I learned.
Eric Rhoads 19:03
So do you think now that you know what you do? Do you think that that being self taught you you ultimately learned that you follow a process similar to what a lot of other people do? Or do you think you approach it a lot differently?
Clyde Aspevig 19:21
Well, I don’t think anyone’s self taught. You learn like I did, I learned by looking at other artists work. And my instructor Ben Steele got me started in watercolor. I was doing watercolor before I started really seriously doing oils. And so I kind of have reverse osmosis in terms of all the different things that I picked up over the years. But I think perhaps I if you really want to look at it this way. I wasn’t taught cliches So I didn’t learn formulas of how to make a painting work right off the bat, I had to start from the bare bones, and really have a lot of bad canvases in my repertoire to, to get to the point where I am now. And I still am pretty capable of doing, you know, so
Eric Rhoads 20:20
talk to me about the struggles because, you know, it’s really easy for us to look at you and say, you know, you’re one of the greats. But, you know, you went through a struggle, how long did it take you to really figure it out?
Clyde Aspevig 20:37
Well, you know, first of all, I have to address this issue of being one of the greats. You know, it’s a pretty big stretch of imagination to call me, you’re one of the best landscape painters around, it’s kind of like, you know, asking people to believe that I’ve climbed Mount Everest five times in one day with no oxygen, it’s just so regarding the struggles, I would say, it’s always you know, me, myself and I, it’s you developing the discipline that it takes to really pursue it and have enough, you know, belief in yourself that you’re going to succeed. But I have to admit, I is for struggles. Yeah, financially, in the beginning, you kind of go month to month, and all that kind of stuff. And you like most artists, I think, at any given period in their development, will paint paintings they know they’re going to sell. So I’ve done that in my career.
Eric Rhoads 21:49
But I feel about that.
Clyde Aspevig 21:52
I think it’s just a necessary part of getting to, you know, look, if you look at any successful artists that really achieved a lot, they became financially stable at certain points in time was, you know, destined to not sell a painting in their life, like some people we know.
Eric Rhoads 22:10
So how do you deal with the, you know, at an early stage in your career, when a gallery owner says to you, hey, you know, these paintings of little red barns that you do, you know, they really sell well? Can you do 30 of those for me? If I guess one could look at it and say, hey, it beats cleaning bathrooms. At least I’m painting and at least I’m making money. Is there a point at which you can feel confident saying I’m gonna break away from this and do what I want? Or you encourage people to just, is there a right or wrong in that?
Clyde Aspevig 22:42
No, you just say how many red barn paintings Do you want? You know, a funny story. When I work with trailside galleries. I’ve worked with them for 23 years before I started going off on my own. But Christine Morin who’s still a wonderful friend. And you know, I, in the early days, I was having these big fun shows and selling out and everything and, and I’d send a painting down there and she sell it the next day, and she call up and say, Clyde, send me another one of those paintings, you know, of the tee times or something. So one time I you know, sick and tired of trying to repeat myself if that was the case, I sent her a painting, I call it a ditch paintings, which evolved into our land snorkeling idea. And she called me up she said, Well, what’s this? And I said, Well, Christine, why don’t you just put it on the wall and see what happens. And she called back the next day. And she said, I just sold that one. Send me more of that. So you know, you can you can play all kinds of games. But I was lucky because I came along at a time when there were very few plein air painters. I got to meet some of the greats, John climber and Donald Teague and all these people who are great gentlemen and really gave me a lot of confidence going forward and advice.
Eric Rhoads 24:07
What kind of advice were they offering?
Clyde Aspevig 24:10
Well, simple, pragmatic advice. Don’t don’t go out and buy a new car. Don’t get into debt. You know, keep your expenses you know, when you have enough cash, buy it if you don’t sit home and paint and be patient and do the best work you can. Yeah.
Eric Rhoads 24:34
Well, we don’t hear that advice enough.
Clyde Aspevig 24:38
Well, I you know, when I sent my daughters to college, I, I paid for their college but I said if I see one dime of interest on your credit card, I’m taking it away. And it’s just, you know, you grow up on a on a farm. And that’s kind of the way you have to look at things is very similar to the Well, you make up your,
Eric Rhoads 25:01
your kids, you have taken up any interest in art.
Clyde Aspevig 25:07
Yeah, they’re I mean, they, they appreciate it very much, but their families and everything, and we’ll see how that works out
Eric Rhoads 25:16
that you mentioned that you grew up around a lot of music. Are you also musically inclined? Or do you play instruments?
Clyde Aspevig 25:23
Well, I played the piano from the time I was in the first grade until a senior in high school. And I, which I still try to play, but I’m so rusty, I unlike some of the great people in the world, like a John Singer, Sargent, who could play the piano and, and paint and everything. When I started really making my living as an artist, it was the art just kind of took over. But I use music all the time, in my interpretation of with music. In fact, a wonderful friend of mine, Phil Obrecht, was a great pianist. We did a thing in Jackson Hole years ago, where we put up a bunch of I think there was six of us, or we put up paintings and fill it up and, and just did impromptu, you know, compositions right on the spot. And the one thing that I love about music is in all the humanities is that it’s so transferable to all these different things, if we taught, for example, you know, you have to memorize a date in social studies, when I was in school, if we would have augmented that with the visual of what kind of paintings were being done during that time, what kind of music was being produced, so that you engage all the senses, all at once, those things are going to resonate in your head forever. I mean, it really helps in the learning process, and we don’t use that technique enough.
Eric Rhoads 26:57
So how do you engage? If let’s say you’re outdoors, and you’re setting up to paint? How do you? How do you engage all the senses in that case, you just close your eyes and breathe deeply? And, and, you know, try to get inspired?
Clyde Aspevig 27:14
Well, I don’t, I think if you truly love nature, if you truly love your life, you celebrate it through the humanities, I mean, we’ve been doing that, you know, the visual arts or humanities are older than agriculture. We’ve been doing it since you know, the cave paintings. So it’s a matter of celebrating when you celebrate, it means you’re aware of your surroundings. So I look at the inspiration of nature is just how you engage in it at a very intimate level. You can call it meditation, you can call it whatever you want. But it’s opening your mind to all these different possibilities of how you’re going to interpret these things. Whether it’s words, whether it’s poetry, whether it’s a novel, whether it’s a composition in music, those notes in music, to me are like leaves on a tree. They’re objects that move around that have different significance. They have different sounds, they refract light differently. So I look at everything from that standpoint. That’s what my wife, Karolina started, when she coined the term bland snorkeling, you go out, you wander and you wander with no destination in mind. And you absorbed in nature, everything around you, and it can be human sounds, it can be animal sounds, it can be anything. One of the things that I really enjoy, for example, with the James Webb images, the telescope, these images are remarkable. And when you look at the repeating shapes, and the repeating fractals, if you will always things that run through the entire universe and they keep reappearing different shapes and forms. That’s what I get excited about. And so inspiration is just basically how you’re going to celebrate your life.
Eric Rhoads 29:23
So there’s a there’s a lot of correlation between musical terms. I’m a I play guitar, but I’m not a musician. I don’t read music. And but there are things like crescendos and pauses and so on. And it strikes me that that’s really something we’re also putting in our own work.
Clyde Aspevig 29:44
Oh, absolutely. It’s it’s the cadence of somebody reading poetry. It’s the emphasis on one word, it’s the hard or soft brushstroke. Those to me are all a vocabulary that’s interchangeable with of music with literature, anything you have center of interest, you have the main character in a book, you have the melody and in a piano, but the thing that separates it is the interpretation of each individual how you’re going to use those things, to express your ideas. So one person can play a note on a piano, and another person can play the same note. And for some reason, it’ll sound different just the way they shot it. And those are the subtle things that when, when you go out and you learn snorkel, maybe we can call the James Webb cosmic snorkeling because you’re looking at the big picture. But then you’re also bringing things down, back and forth. Trying to detect all these patterns and shapes so that we can better understand what we’re looking at.
Eric Rhoads 30:59
So you you, the land is, I understand is extremely important to you, you’ve gotten very actively involved in conservation. There’s a lot of plein air groups, maybe not a lot, but a handful of plein air groups who are out there trying to raise awareness by painting landscapes that ended up with shopping malls and housing developments on them. Talk to me a little bit about conservation and what role those of us as painters can play in making sure that we’re conserving the land.
Clyde Aspevig 31:35
Sure, when you look at the history of, for example, landscape painting, we we have this unique ability to isolate a particular scene in nature. And when you do that, people’s attention is riveted on that image. So it’s a very, very powerful tool we have, in my case, as a landscape painter. I hope that my paintings are going to show people the aesthetic beauty of this earth we live on. And when you do that, it can become a tool for conservation. I’ve been involved for a long time in different projects, and there’s many to choose from. But artists have a natural tendency, I think, to be conservationists, because we look at the world, in the beauty that’s involved in it, and we celebrate it through our art or music and everything. So I work with, you know, there’s a lot of great organizations out there that have been around for a long time. The one that I’ve been involved with, with for 22 years, the American prairie is a big part of my life, trying to create along with the most amazing people I’ve met in my life, one of the largest wildlife reserves of the American Serengeti and North America. It’s a huge project, but it’s like a huge painting,
Eric Rhoads 33:06
or I’ve never heard of it. Tell me a little bit about it. Yeah,
Clyde Aspevig 33:09
well, so American prairie was started 21 years ago. And it our goal is to create this this wildlife reserve similar to the American we call it the American Serengeti, we now have one of the most important bison herds in the world. In fact, today in The New York Times, front page, article about our bison herd, and how it’s given back to Native people working with other entities to make sure that bison become which keystone species to the prairie. So this saving in our strategy, basically, we go out and raise money. And we stitched together private land with public land to create this huge area where we can enjoy this wildlife and its natural habitat and form. It’s really exciting because already artists have been drawn to this environment. We have awkward we work with Smithsonian Institute, we have all kinds of scientists on the ground from all over the world. And it’s a remarkable place. We have hud hud systems we’re working on developing. They’re hugely popular, and I can go on and on of course, but that’s just one of the things that I really and I grew up not too far from it. So I so
Eric Rhoads 34:41
they’re giving people access to that land. There are some organizations that are preserving land, but they’re not letting anybody in because they don’t want human feet, you know, going in and trampling on rare plants. Is this something that’s regularly open? Is it something that people have to ask for access to
Clyde Aspevig 35:00
Yes, so one of the great things about this program is all of our deeded land, along with all of the BLM land, leased land, and everything is accessible to the public. We are in block management for everything from hunting to you name it. And it is really remarkable because this access, normally you wouldn’t have this kind of access to this kind of vast amount of, of property. And seeing wildlife experiencing all these, the prairie ecosystem, which, when you look at when you go around the world, for example, 80% of all our grasslands are compromised for one reason or another. And so this is one of the last places of basically four different areas in the world that is left, that this can take place. So it’s a remarkable long range project. There’s a lot of intricate intricacies to it, but it reminds me of a painting, you have to you know, come up with the armature, the idea, and then you begin putting the layers in, the more layers you put in, the more complicated it gets. But the reward is when you figure out how to make these things work, it’s immensely is just an immense accomplishment.
Eric Rhoads 36:28
No, I think you’ve and you’ve been using your paintings to draw attention to that, if I understand, right, is that correct?
Clyde Aspevig 36:35
Yes. I, I, we we have this wonderful new facility that opened last fall, the American parade Discovery Center in Lewistown, Montana, and you walk in and the display, you can spend hours and hours in there. It’s the chronological history of the people that were living on this land, you know, 12,000 years ago, up until the present, we have all these interactive displays. And they I was very blessed to have the conference center in the discovery center named after me. So I have a lot of paintings in there, the biggest painting I’ve ever done six by 10 feet called Common Ground is is displayed there along with about four weather paintings. And we have that facility is going to have scientists great talks about all kinds of different things in the future. It’s a remarkable place. I also managed to secure a great piano a full grand Bosendorfer piano facility. I kind of conned our board into brought the piano and I said Mr. Bosendorfer here fell in love with Miss common ground the painting. And we can’t break up this love affairs. So now we have to figure out how to keep them together.
Eric Rhoads 38:04
Those are the Bosendorfer have an extra octave of keys lower lower bass keys or something I believe it does.
Clyde Aspevig 38:10
The Imperial does. This is not the girl but this is the Big Four, nine and a half foot nine six. Constantly grant and my friend came in Phil Obregon played it and it was just a no brainer. And at the end, we said the piano stays and our board said the piano stays. So my dream come true. Mixing music with art. And it was hugely rewarding. It’s a gift to the community. So everyone can use it. Because growing up in isolated areas. My father died in 1963. I was 12. And my mother went out and bought a baby Yamaha grand piano and stuck it in our falling down old farmhouse. And everyone thought she was nuts. But it was such a powerful thing for all of us or family or relatives to gather around this musical instrument that gave you the ability to really express yourself because it was such a fine instrument. So that’s the whole idea of this piano gift community.
Eric Rhoads 39:23
I think it’s wonderful. And I you know, I grew up in a in a rural community farm community and we didn’t have any art around us. I had to go to New York to see art I’m sure I could have gone to Chicago would have been closer but I think that’s so important and we need to do that in every community in America if we possibly can is get people access to good art. And, and I love the idea of putting music with it. Art plus RT equals RT. I suppose. So Clyde, you mentioned you did a giant 1010 by Six painting biggest you’ve ever done, what did you learn painting that large?
Clyde Aspevig 40:09
Well, I learned that big ideas are not easy. You know, I’ve been scaling up for years. And I, I each step of the way. For example, on a eight by 10 inch painting, one stroke means a whole lot on a six by 10 foot painting, one stroke, not so much. But what you learn is kind of each segment, if you were to grit it off and blow it up each segment is a painting within a painting within a painting is constantly looking and comparing. We all know, you know, another friend of mine wrote a book, Todd Wilkinson called ripple effect. So if you do something, somewhere, it’s going to have an effect somewhere else. And if painting teaches you anything about life, it’s a ripple effect. So when I, when I would put, you know, the idea in one quadrant of this big huge painting, and then compare it to the other quadrants is those blocking it in, it would have a ripple effect would make a difference. And the more layers you put on, the more complicated it gets. So, it it’s, it’s a real mind game, but it is such a challenge and so fun, that if it turns out halfway successful, it’s it’s worth it,
Eric Rhoads 41:45
like multi dimensional chess.
Clyde Aspevig 41:49
I’m not a chess player, but I can imagine, you know, trying to one move here affects everything else. Yeah, that’s painting. And that’s life. So,
Eric Rhoads 41:59
so this is a big question. I don’t know if there’s an answer to it. But why do you pay?
Clyde Aspevig 42:08
Well, I think, as I said before, it’s, it’s just the way I celebrate life. If I can’t figure out a way, in luck, we all have rituals, we all have symbols that we collect, that we use throughout our lives, to remind ourselves of our existence and in what we do. But painting is for me, it’s just a way of exploring all the different possibilities of looking at something from different dimensions. And when you do that, I think it enhances your empathy. It enhances your ability to hopefully get along with other people, even when you have big differences. So art, to me painting, in all the humanities, is essentially one of the most remarkable tools inventions of human beings. It’s just how we celebrate things.
Eric Rhoads 43:19
You, you were on one of our live events recently, and you talked about the impact of books you want to touch on on reading and how it impacts your art. And I don’t think you’re talking about just art books.
Clyde Aspevig 43:36
Well, no, I think one of the things for example, one of the things that I’ve learned in working with American prairie was the fact that I was I looked at my early childhood, and I did not have a good education. And one of the things that aren’t good for me was it opened up a whole new avenue of meeting different people, remarkable people. So when you get to sit down with the scientists, and learn about all the flora and fauna, and how things evolve and grow anywhere in the world, for example, then you want to learn more. And if there’s one thing that I did have, it was always curiosity. So books to me are just, you can sit, the weather can be bad, you don’t have to fly anywhere, you can get in read in your own environment in this quiet atmosphere, and learn things about about everything
Eric Rhoads 44:38
and transport you to other places.
Clyde Aspevig 44:43
And, you know, I had the opportunity to spend some time with David Eagleman who, who did the PBS series on your brain. And he described it always stuck with me. He’s the one who coined the term One plus a billion ism, which I call myself a land snorkeling possibility. And and he, he described our knowledge as just think of it as walking out a dock to the end of a dock in the Pacific Ocean and looking up at the sky and down at the end everything out in front of you. He said, That’s what we don’t know. And when you think about everything there is to learn. It’s just, it’s just, you know, stunning, it’s inspiring. And so reading books for me, I need to read more fiction books. But I liked your science. I like a broad array. And of course, the art books are, as I said, I read every one of them, but you don’t have to read very much, because they have big illustrations and
Eric Rhoads 45:54
look at the pictures. If you had to write a book that was not an art book. What would it be?
Clyde Aspevig 46:02
That was not an art book? Yeah.
Eric Rhoads 46:04
There was not a book featuring primarily just featuring images of your paintings. But if you had to write a book about your thoughts, what would you talk about?
Clyde Aspevig 46:19
Well, it’d be, it would be a book about land snorkeling, I’m actually that’s, that’s on my agenda. I’m working on that. Because I think I think it covers such a broad range, and my interests are broad. But the thing about last night clean is, there’s no way you’re ever going to escape. All of the transcendence is the only word I can think of, of how we relate to the natural world. If one of my great heroes is Alexander von Humboldt, who, whose science still to this day, is resonating. But the thing that made him so remarkable was that he included the humanities, to explain all these complicated scientific things. And he was, he was just remarkable and how he shared it with the world. And I, in a small way, that’s kind of what I hope I can assemble. And if I were to do a book.
Eric Rhoads 47:27
So I want to ask you a couple of painting questions.
Clyde Aspevig 47:29
Yeah, I should just say that’s a pretty audacious thing to try. But it’s inspiration.
Eric Rhoads 47:35
Yeah, well, I’m looking forward to it. You know, we all struggle. Do you still struggle? Do you still have paintings that you’re not willing to, say are finished? Or you’re not willing to show anybody? Or are there failures?
Clyde Aspevig 47:55
Well, every couple of years, I go through my stacks and just destroy things. But first, what I tried to do with my old field studies is I tried to save them. Because after all, have been painted all my life. I have learned some things and gained some confidence in what I think I can pull out. But the best thing that can happen to you is, you know, of course, failing and struggling. No one said life was easy. And painting is certainly a reflection of that. And when you look at it from a metaphorical stance, so life is a struggle, paintings a struggle, you do the best you can I, I think letting the painting sit for a long time in your studio. That’s the luxury that I really enjoy now, not having any deadlines, being able to go at it at the pace that I want. And then, of course, having a wonderful night, my wife, Karolina, who’s also a wonderful painter, great artist herself, can walk into the studio and not say a word and look at a certain point in the painting, and then turn around, walk out and I say, Oh, my God. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Eric Rhoads 49:16
Well, when somebody enters the room, you see it through their eyes.
Clyde Aspevig 49:20
Well, absolutely. And so you need you need that feedback from from different people. And because if you continue to just solve the problems the same way over and over and over again, for me, it becomes very boring. And but it’s seductive, and it’s hard to break that mold. So it was, you know, going out and trying, that’s why I’ve worked in I’ve started doing some abstract paintings and everything. People say, Oh, you just throw paint on it and it’s a lot more difficult. A good abstract is a lot more difficult than you think. And it helps you relate to to your representational painting, because you’ve removed what it’s supposed to be, no one knows. So you can look at it from a different perspective. And I think that’s really everything
Eric Rhoads 50:11
informs everything. You know, the great photographer, Fred picker who is a student of Ansel Adams, he’s in the Museum of Modern Art. He said that he would, he told me, he would go out and shoot his images. And he would did, he did still camera four by five, he would go out and shoot them, he’d bring them back home and develop them right away, so the film wouldn’t go bad. And then he wouldn’t print them for a year. And when I asked him why he said, because I’m too close to the scene, I won’t see the perspective properly. But when I print it after a year, I’ll see it with fresh eyes.
Clyde Aspevig 50:54
That’s, that’s true. And I think one of the best things you can do as a painter is to turn the painting into the wall and not look at it for a couple of weeks, go on a vacation, something, when you look at it with a fresh eye, it’s amazing what happens. And that’s, that’s our brains, our brains are conditioned to take the easy way out every time. So when, when you paint on a painting for a long period of time you get into this, you know, it’s really hard to get into this little groove. So anything to upset the applecart to a certain point is good.
Eric Rhoads 51:37
All right, I want to ask you a couple more questions about painting and then I want to transition to something else. If you you know, a lot of people here are listening to this or painters, they’re looking for advice, they’re looking for help. Tell me three things that you think everybody should pay close attention to, to help their development as an artist?
Clyde Aspevig 52:03
Well, well, I’ve said this before, in our I would say that forcing yourself to overcome your your innate biases, trying to keep an open mind looking at things from a different perspective, would be number one. In that goes along with curiosity. You have to always be curious about in keep asking yourself, yourself, well, what if what if I did it this way, the neat thing about painting is you can try all this stuff and scrape it off, and you’re not gonna die. Maybe that’s why painting was invented is what if tool. So that would be the second would be to continue to look at it from that perspective. And I think the third, surprisingly enough, is to have a really good companion, someone that you can talk to someone that you can discuss things with, have good friends. Because if you don’t, those things can complicate your thinking in how you’re going to address the problems in a painting as well.
Eric Rhoads 53:23
So true. So when you’re out plein air painting, which I understand you don’t do as much of anymore, but when you’re out, do you and that, you know, do you move trees? Do you move, move things around? Or do you try to get a study of the scene as accurate as possible? And then you play those games? In the studio later? What What kind of process do you use?
Clyde Aspevig 53:48
Well, it’s the reason I don’t paint out all that much anymore is there’s too many good plein air painters I have to compete with. I mean, these people,
Eric Rhoads 54:00
there are some great ones now are,
Unknown Speaker 54:02
they are really hard. I mean, it’s amazing. But the beauty, this is this is something that’s a little frustrating because you get people come in and say, Well, that looks just like a photograph. I use photographs all the time in painting is you know, like, a lot of my great heroes use photographs. It’s a tool, but I don’t copy them. I orchestrate images in my paintings. So I’m looking at, especially when I’m interpreting a painting through the idea of music. So I’m looking at the syncopation of shapes. I’m looking at the syncopation of the distance between the notes and I translate that into the painting. And I also feel that using the paint itself, the texture all the different ways you can manipulate it exudes this kind of organic vibration, if you will, a symbol of this, this painting this nature being alive. So I’m thinking about that all the time I want to go beyond copying a scene, it’s still going to be recognizable. That’s what representational painting is about. But at the same time I’m, I’m also painting very abstractly in and when you look at all the different shapes and components in the painting, bow one section up, it’s an abstract painting. So I’m not copying nature. I’m creating symbols that I think will translate my ideas better.
Eric Rhoads 55:47
And that’s a great note to stop on. Clyde, thank you for being on the plein air podcast today. Welcome. Now what? Well, I want to thank Clyde for doing this podcast today and thank him for participating. You know, there’s just so much wisdom there. It’s such a great guy. Thank you again, Clyde. All right, are you guys ready to get your 2023 on fire and hit all your goals? We’re gonna get right into the art marketing minute.
This is the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller make more money selling your art proven techniques to turn your passion into profit.
Eric Rhoads 56:26
In the art marketing minute, my goal is to answer your art marketing questions. Send me your burning questions to Eric@artmarketing.com. Or you can do a video question at artmarketing.com/questions. I’d love to have them. I have my producer read the questions. Amandine is from France. And she said that today she’s feeling a little extra overly sensitive about her accent because it’s her birthday. Oh, we need some. I don’t know if we have any any birthday music or not. Let’s try it. Anyway, it’s her birthday. And we want to congratulate her, give her a thumbs up and an applause. And anyway, she was talking to her family back in France. And so she said she kind of picked up some of the more French. So obviously now you’re going to be overly self conscious about this. What’s our first question?
Thank you, Eric. So the first question is from Amelia Kintore from Costa Rica. We had a question from Amelia before. So this is a follow up question. I’ve heard you say many times to not approach a gallery through email. But what can we do as foreign artists to approach galleries internationally? I’m already a public figure in Costa Rica. I had many shows. I’m linked with real estate in national galleries. And one of my current 2023 goals is to find international representation, which do you think would be the most correct way to approach foreign galleries without contacts or the possibility to visit their shows?
Eric Rhoads 58:08
All right, I think we got cut off there. They visit their shows and to meet them is what she was going to say. Well, first off, don’t listen to an old coot like me. Because if you know if you’ve got an idea, go for it. You know, don’t let me hamper you. But I do have ideas about this. I mean, here’s the real reason that I say this about galleries. I was sitting in an art gallery one time talking to the gallery director and he said, Do you mind if I open mail while we’re talking? Because I can’t keep up with it. I pulled out this big box. And I said what is that? He said, Well, these are all submissions from artists. He said I get 150 of these a month. He said I basically open them up peeking them and throw them away. And he said, I get 10 times as many emails he said, sometimes people drop in, I’ll be with a client that will interrupt me, I’ll kill a sale. He said, you know, artists don’t think about these things and how much time he said, you know, we spend a lot of time dealing with artists submissions that we don’t even want. And so you know this, this is something you need to be thinking about because you don’t want to get a bad rap or reputation with somebody in a gallery. Now, they’re inundated. And so in your particular case, because you’re International, or you’re you want to be internationally known, you’re well known in Costa Rica, you have a story to tell, and you might want to consider emailing him, but I recommend against best way to get into a gallery is to get invited in. That’s what I think and there are ways to do that. I talked about that in the book a little bit. But here’s here’s what we always want to do. You always want to think about who is my customer and what do they want. In this particular case, who’s your customer, it’s an art gallery, right? You want them to bring your work into their gallery so what Does an art gallery one? Well, first off, they want quality. They want quality. They want artists that are quality. So when you’re looking at websites, you’ve got to look at the quality of the work on their their website and say do I live up to it? Secondly, they want variety. And what I mean by that, you know, some galleries will do modern and traditional, most will do all modern are all traditional, but they want variety of subjects, and, and they want artists who can put together a portfolio of a lot of good work, you know, everybody, every artists can paint one good painting, but can they pay 50 or 100, and they produce enough work, that’s what they want, they, you know, you are inventory to them. They love you, they care about you, but your inventory. And if they if you can’t produce enough work, they’re not going to make any money on you. They want to make money. And they want proven artists who are easy to sell, and who have a national brand. Because somebody who has a national brand, somebody will walk into the artist and say, Hey, do you have a CW Monday? Or do you have a client ask IVIG that and, and that they can get more money, somebody with a big brand. And they want things that are big brand. And so if you don’t have a national brand, or you don’t have a strong enough brand, not every gallery gets all those national brand artists. But if your brand isn’t strong enough, no matter how famous you are in Costa Rica, it’s not going to help you in America or France or other places. It’s a story. They love stories, and it’s something they can talk about way if they decide they’re going to have you they can say, well, you know, this artist is in the National Gallery in Costa Rica, that that’ll help them sell things. But you know, the National Gallery in Costa Rica is probably a whole lot different than the National Gallery in Washington DC. So, you know, I think email contact is a disadvantage, because they’re going to filter you out your email might not even get to him. You know, I have people, I have two different people who do nothing, but go through my email and filter it out. Anything that that’s important gets to me, and when you send me something it gets to me, but you know, we all get a lot of junk mail and stuff. I don’t have to deal with as much of that now. So how do you solve this problem? How do you get galleries and other countries to want you? Well, the first question is, you’ve got to ask yourself, why? What do I want to accomplish? You know, sometimes we have these visions of what, you know what something looks like, and what is going to be happening there. But why do you want to do that? I mean, it when you’re, you’re dealing with other countries, now you’re dealing with special packaging, probably more difficult packaging, you’re talking about shipping things, longer distance, higher expenses. I don’t know if there’s any import taxes or things like that, that you are they have to deal with. But there are a lot of things you want to consider make sure you’re you really want it if that’s what you want. Now, I had a gallery owner telling me that he watches artists who advertise. Sometimes he keeps an eye on him for years, he said, and if their work is consistent or getting better, and he sometimes will call them and invite them into the gallery. He said he also secretly has a different name. And he watches them on social media and Instagram. He watches their behavior, he watches, what they’re posting, are they posting good things? are they posting bad things? Are they inconsistent? are they posting pictures of their, you know, their drunken parties and their head in the toilet? He said, because when I see that I instantly write him off. He said, Because I have to have people who are perceived as professionals. He says that artists who advertise prove that they’re good business people, because they understand what it takes. They’re increasing their value, they’re increasing their chance of success. They’re increasing their brand. They’re developing a collector base. And he said that way, we don’t have to do all of that for them. He said, That’s high risk. I want people that people already want I want them to come into the gallery and say, Hey, I need an Eric Rhoads painting, right? So the advantage for you if you’re building a brand, if you’re advertising yourself, you’re building a brand, you’re helping people become aware of you. But that’s not enough. You have to create interest, you have to create desire. And then eventually you have to create purchase. And that’s about longevity and consistency and always being there. Because what happens if somebody will see an ad one time, and they won’t act on it, they’ll just see it because you know, people flip through things. But they might go Oh, that’s interesting. And then they’ll go you know, next time they see it, they go Oh, I like that artist. And the next time they see it, they go oh, I liked that artists. I want to watch that artists and the next time they see it, they might go well, I you know, I’d kind of like to own something from that artist, you know, so now you’re getting them to interest and desire. And then at some point, if you keep reminding them they might see something. Oh, that’s the painting. That’s some I’m going to pick up the phone and buy. And you also have to understand that people are in and out all the time, right? You know, some people feel rich one day and poor another day, depending on what’s going on in their life, you know, they just inherit some money, or they just get a bonus. Or if they have to put a new roof on their house, they’re feeling poor. And so you want to always be there, because you never know when they’re going to be in the market, you know, it’s their birthday, they decide they’re going to spend some money on themselves. And they’re going to pick a painting in this magazine today, and you better be there and the one time you’re not there as the day you’re going to miss out on that sale. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a big game, you know, it’s something that has to occur. But what I want you to do is think in terms of your fishing, right, I’ll use a fishing scenario. So you throw your line in the water, and you’re always throwing your line in the water and you catch a fish. And then you take the fish off, and you throw it back in the water versus you take the fish off, and you throw it in your pond. And so you catch another fish, and you throw it in your pond and you keep catching fish, and you throw them in their pond, and they get bigger and bigger and bigger, and they reproduce and there’s more fish, and eventually you eat them, right and you have enough fish to to take care of you the rest of your life. Right? The whole idea here is you want to advertise to bring in fish. And then you want to get them to come to you. They want the ad to go to your website to sign up for your newsletter, you gotta have some special incentives to get him to do that. Now they’re in your pond. Now once they’re in your pond, you feed them, you develop them, you talk to them, you you can talk to them a little bit more frequently, you’re still advertising because people are in and out of markets all the time, but you still advertise to constantly bring more efficient, some of the fish in your pond are going to end up buying things, some of the fish outside of your pond are going to end up buying things but you’ve got to constantly be developing. So you can also tag your ads, you can tag them with things like credibility builders, you know, like I am in the national proud to say that I’m in the National Gallery of Art collection in Costa Rica. Or you can also say things like, I’ll be adding one new gallery this year, you could say only one new gallery this year, you want to create scarcity, you want to also not look like you’re desperate, you know, if you just say now seeking galleries, that feels desperate, but if you say not adding one new gallery this year, you know, and by the way, you can see me in these four other galleries that way, you know, it’s like, oh, this is special. And then maybe somebody will see that and say, Okay, I want to come on board. All right, lots more about that kind of thing. In the book, Amandine, what do we have next?
The second question is Felicia from Maryland has, as our world heads more into technology, and the younger generations don’t invest in fine art as their parents or grandparents? Where does that leave us artists who love to paint and draw? Should we start moving with the times into more digital times? How are things changing and advancing? And what does that mean for the fine art?
Eric Rhoads 1:08:17
Well, Alicia, you know, do you really believe that’s true? Have you seen evidence of that? Do you have any data points? Do you have a lot of data points? You might be telling yourself a story? This is something we all do we hear a thing or two, we hear somebody say something next thing you know, we assume everything is like that. Now, let me give you an example. I used to be a radio DJ. And like one of the DJs that I worked with said, you know, we should be playing the song. Everybody’s calling for this song. Well, the reality was everybody wasn’t calling for that song. It’s just that he happened to pick up the line a couple of times, and he happened to catch somebody calling for that song. But we we had data points, we put checkmarks with every song everybody asked for. And that song wasn’t really getting requested, but he believed it because that was his story. So you’ve got to ask yourself, am i Believing story? Now, here’s the news. The news is that the grandparents and the parents who bought art at young ages, that didn’t really exist. I mean, it might exist in a couple of cases. But, you know, young people typically don’t buy a lot of art and the kind of art that they’re buying when they’re young. When I was, I don’t know, 17 1819 2017 I think I bought I saw this really cool poster of a man with a sword and a lightning bolt and he was sitting on a horse with wings. And I bought that poster and I probably paid $25 for it. I thought it was a lot of money. It was framed and I hung it up in my apartment. And that was my art my bigger Purchase. But what happens is our art tastes change. You know, when I was 20, I probably had different art up than when I was 17. When I became 30, that changed, I in my 30s, I bought photographs, because I was into photography. And in my 40s, I bought my first painting on a trip with my wife, we were walking through New Orleans, and we saw an artist and we thought, Oh, we’ve never seen an artist before. And we bought a painting, and it was probably 200 bucks. And it was a lot of money to us at the time. And then later, you know, as I got older, I started, we took a couple more trips we’d find decided to buy paintings on trips, we wandered into galleries, we’d buy paintings. And then as I got older, and I got more money, all of a sudden, I’m spending, I remember, when the first time I spent $5,000 on a painting, I was like really nervous. Because I thought, you know, how can anybody spend $5,000 on a painting, you know, now I look at that and go, Well, that’s a bargain, because that painting today is probably worth $50,000. But that’s a whole nother story. So everybody goes through these phases. And by the way, everybody’s in a different place. They’re in a different place. Mentally, they’re in a different place physically, you know, people have cycles in their lives. And we might assume that young people aren’t interested because they’re into digital art, and they’re into NF Ts. And that’s true. That’s no, there’s no doubt about it. But I have a friend who is a young tech entrepreneur, he’s probably not even 40 yet. He’s probably not quite a billionaire, but he’s close. And what does he do with his money, he buys art. And he’s buying it online. He’s buying it on auction sites, he wanders into galleries on trips, and he’s buying good art. And he is he told me, he says, you know, he was a little embarrassed because he asked me to go to lunch with him one time, because he wanted to know more about art. And he said, I’m a little embarrassed because I only can spend $25,000 a month in art. And I thought I said, Well, you know, you’re ahead of most. And, and so don’t assume anything. You know, there are cycles, there are interests in different communities and sub communities. You know, what people in New York buy might be different than people in Brooklyn or people in Chicago or people in LA or California, you know, there’s, it depends on your interest. You know, if you’re a modern house person, I know people who have vacation homes. And so you know, I have a friend that has come home and Telluride, guess what’s hanging in his house and tell you right? Western paintings, guess what’s hanging in his modern apartment in New York, modern paintings, guess what’s hanging at his house in Connecticut, traditional paintings. So you know, everybody’s got a little different tastes at different times. And so don’t get all freaked out about that. When you’re selling art, though. You want to think about this, you’re in a business. And when you’re in business, things are constantly changing. And you have to keep an eye on it. And you have to watch the data points. And there might be a time when nobody’s buying art, like you say could happen. And But things could change. You know, Kim Kardashian, all of a sudden starts talking about paintings everybody’s gonna want paintings, or Damien John, or you know, or whomever. And so, just think about that. And also, there’s a group of people who are what I call success driven people, right? They’re the people who buy Lamborghinis, people who drive Bentley’s, you know, we may or not, may not be able to relate to them, because we’re not doing those things. But the reality is that they will buy status items, because it makes them feel better. And they they want to, they want to kind of show off who they are. And so what what do they buy, they buy status items and art. And you know, they wander into a gallery and they see a painting that’s a quarter million dollars or a million dollars or half a million dollars. And they go I’ll take that, you know, make some feel great. And you know, it may be something that they love, it may be something that is a status piece because it’s famous artists, you know, you never know I mean so there’s just a lot of different things. But one thing that people do is they hang brands right? Those people they hang brands right they hang brand clothes in their closets and they have brand cars in their multiple garages and they have big mansions that you know that are branded mansions and and the artwork are brands you know if you if you own a Clyde ASPA big painting, that’s a big brand and that’s it’s something that hopefully the collector will go you know, I love it. That’s why I bought it but there are people who do buy paintings big because they’re famous, as a matter of fact, I have a friend of mine, who just passed away, was a billionaire. And he lived at the top of Beverly Hills in this big mansion that he bought from a famous movie director. And I walked into the house for a meeting, I walked in, first off his garage doors open, and there’s a Bentley, and there’s a rolls and there’s a sports car. And you know, there’s a bunch of things, we go into house and we had our meeting, and I said, I see you have a lot of art, can you tell me about your art? And he said, Well, yeah, I’ll walk you around. He said, I don’t know much about it. I have people who do that for me. And, you know, I thought, oh, and so he walks me around. He said, Well, that’s a Jasper Johns. I said, Well, tell me about that. He says, Well, I don’t really know anything about it. But I bought it from this guy, and I paid a million dollars for it. And that’s what was important to him. He ended up selling that painting for like $50 million, or something, which is pretty cool. But anyway, you know, everybody’s got a different reason not everybody’s going to be passionate for the same reason there’s no right or wrong. It’s just you have to don’t tell yourself stories. Now, dealers, art dealers have to keep up with trends and popularity, and what’s happening in Hong Kong or Chicago, or Moscow or wherever. And so, with the internet the way it is, everybody can see everything and everybody and so you can be discovered. But don’t get caught up in assumptions, assumptions will, will hurt you. I get caught up in assumptions I get wrong. Most of the time, you know, I’ll hear a little piece of evidence. And I’ll assume that’s true for everybody. If that you look for evidence, if there’s no hard evidence, then it may not be a trend. And I ended up making stuff up because I think I hear something and it changes my attitude. But be careful, because the stories that you tell yourself will limit your thinking. And if you think no one wants it, guess what happens? That will become true for you. So manage your mindset, read books on mindset, read, thinking Grow Rich. Manage mindset, and mindset has to do with this thinking. So it may be true, I don’t think it’s true. I just think the timing is is different. And by the way, there’s, there’s education that needs needs to take place. We have to educate consumers constantly. We have to get our stuff in front of them. And you got to look for creative ways to do it. That’s what I do for a living. That’s why people advertise in my magazines because they want you know, we have all these billionaires who read Fine Art connoisseur. They want to be in front of them. I get it. I have galleries that sell really expensive paintings to those people. Anyway, that is today’s art marketing minute.
This has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com
Eric Rhoads 1:17:48
Well, this has been fun today. And it’s really been an honor to have Clyde Aspevig on what what a terrific human being. And what I love about him is that he’s so humble. He’s accomplished so much, but he’s so humble. I hope that you guys will all come and join us at the plein air convention in Denver Clyde, if you’re listening, come on down. You can be my guest. We won’t even put you on stage. You and Karolina just come on down. That’s coming up in May. Watercolor live is coming up in like any minute. So it’s January 26 through 28th. And if you have not watched the video yet at watercolorlive.com about people who are a little bit insecure about their ability to paint, you should watch it, it might change you. And also go to pleinairmagazine.com to see the current issue of quite so big and you should get that issue but you also should consider subscribing. If you have not seen my blog where I talk about art and life and things. It’s called Sunday coffee. I do it on Sunday mornings, just because I feel about writing about something other than art. And so check it out at Coffeewitheric.com and also know that I’m on the air daily on Facebook. It’s called Art School live. And you can find it on YouTube. I’m on a 12 noon Eastern every weekday, and you can subscribe at YouTube. Just search art school live and hit the subscribe button also, if you don’t mind, give me a follow on Instagram and Facebook at Eric Rhoads as always. Everybody botches it, it’s R H O A D S There’s no E in there. All right. Thank you for tuning in today. I’m Eric Rhoades, publisher and founder of plein air magazine and fine art connoisseur. Thank you for your time today. And remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it. We’ll see you. Bye bye.
This has been the plein air podcast with PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email Eric@pleinairmagazine.com. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.