17 Jan 2018

Something for nothing.

A request today had a familiar tone. They are not uncommon:

“I found a picture of your painting on the internet and wondered how much you charge for one of your paintings? I think it would look nice framed on one of the walls in the pub”.

I know the establishment well, it being at one time a favoured haunt of mine. But I had reason to be cautious. In c.2009 I made a painting of the jazz band which performed there and took them a few hastily made photocopies to see. Although of very poor quality, these copies drew a small appreciative crowd of musicians plus the Inn’s management. The landlord asked if he could use my image. I consented, providing all concerned with an internet link by which they could download a high quality file suitable for printing. (No-one offered to purchase the original). Short weeks later I came across the results: They had not only just re-copied the already poor photocopy I gave them, but also reduced the colours to sepia tones, enlarged the whole thing to blurred proportions, added text, and taped it up by the entrance to the gent’s toilet. It was a lesson learned.

Returning to the present day: I asked which painting it was they were enquiring about, there being several studies of that building in my portfolio.

“The water colour, drawn from one of the tables in the beer garden”.

The painting in question (above) is a sketchbook piece, probably destined to obscurity in my studio drawer. So I tell them they can have the painting itself for free. However, being mindful of past experience, my condition is that I supervise exactly how the picture will be mounted and framed, in readiness for public display. To this end I get a very reasonable quote from the framer of £28, and inform the Inn that if they are willing to pay that, I will deliver the finished item it to them.

That is, of course, the point where silence always descends.