Painting All Night
blog by @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman
|Jan Schmuckal is tonalistpainter on eBay|
How long have you been an artist?
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What does your studio look like?
Through a number of twists and turns, I ended up looking for a space to sell my work and perhaps paint in the back, which led me to purchase the house I now have. I spent over 4 years building additions and remodeling the 1895 house with my Dad and one other guy…. have done everything from excavation and concrete to electrical, painting, plumbing, etc. I converted the entire first floor into a gallery space. There is a cathedral ceiling studio addition in back of the garage, which, currently as I am sitting in it, looks like a bomb went off in here…. but it is awfully nice to have. It would be awesome if I could get the mess out of here – most of it is gallery storage, though. One day…. sigh. But, I have a garden outside the window. I have a 700 sq foot space with it’s own bathroom, furnace, Ikea cabinetry, and two deep bowl sinks, cathedral ceiling, and it looks out onto a garden that I need to get out and weed…. I have one big Santa Fe easel, a framing table, and a lot of storage – but most of the storage contains gallery stuff.
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That’s incredible that you have your own gallery, tell us more about that!
The gallery has been open since 2005, and I have over 200 artists, musicians, fine craftspeople and designers that I represent. A lot of the work is locally made. There are a LOT of artists around here, and no galleries left, so my gallery is more a labor of love and wanting to give people a place to sell their work where it can be seen than a money making venture – it has never paid me a dime. How do I make a living, you might ask? I sell my own work online. Since I have other artists I represent, I try very hard not to have a focus on my own work, as I am representing their work. I try to only have a couple of pieces of my own in the gallery, at most, at any given time. Sometimes I have none of my own work in the gallery. Having other artists work here in the gallery has also been a wonderful education.
Why do you sell work online if you have your own gallery?
I have been selling my work online since 2006, when it became abundantly apparent to me that the gallery was not going to be anything to provide me a living. I started selling on ebay, like most online artists, and had relatively good success. Since I also run the gallery, the time I have to produce my art is limited, and I end up working a lot at night into the early morning. I try to sell everything I produce for the week during the week, and so far (knock on wood) that has worked out.