How did Artwork get so expensive?

Have you ever wondered why artwork is so expensive? It turns out that there are several valid reasons for this…To learn more, read on. I get asked variations on this question or overhear it in others’ conversations about purchasing artwork. While I sometimes inwardly bristle inwardly when hearing such remarks, because I am an artist who knows the inside story about how hard and expensive it is to make original artwork, I also want to give others the benefit of the doubt. I realize that others who do not have an art background may not be aware of the reasons why artwork has become so expensive, and in that spirit I am writing this blog post, to help them become more educated about the creative process.

What is the definition of art in our Modern times?

In our modern society of today where speed of execution seems to be often valued above quality, I think fine art is no longer viewed as a viable occupation, as it once was during the renaissance era when artists had a clear path to be trained by master artists and to be paid by wealthy patrons for their commissioned works. Instead, fine art has largely been replaced by applied art forms, such as graphic design, cinematography, animation, photography, fashion design, interior design, etc.  However, I think that most artists have to support themselves by taking professions in the applied arts or pursuing some other occupation altogether to support their creative pursuits. Even in public schools, art is often seen as an “extra” subject, not quite as worthy of learning as other science, math, or technology-based courses, such as science, mathematics, engineering, etc. I also think that this attitude of art as “extra” may influence others’ perception of the value of art, not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of its capacity to enrich society and the next generation.

The Rareness of Art as a Profession

On the other hand, the somewhat recent learning model of the STEAM curriculum in the educational system is a promising development, in which educators and hopefully students, are learning about the interconnectedness of art amongst other disciplines, and therefore, its usefulness to society. There are however a minority of artists who are able to pursue their passion as entrepreneurs by selling their art or making a living through online teaching. But to return to the original point, why is the artwork a costly commodity, I am turning my attention to an article I read recently online entitled, Why is Artwork So Expensive? (The Top Ten Reasons), https://www.thecoldwire.com/why-are-paintings-so-expensive/, author unknown.

Why does artwork cost so much?

So, on to a few reasons why that artwork that you looked at in the art gallery or online via an art website was so darned expensive! According to the author of, Why is artwork so expensive? They state that because the artwork is one of a kind, it cannot be reproduced, even by the artist themselves because each brush stroke is unique.

Art is Original and Making it, is Expensive

Another reason to note the cost of the artwork is the cost of art supplies. As a working artist and teacher, I know that quality art supplies can be really expensive, whether I buy them at Michaels or an online art supplier. For example, my favorite medium of choice, which is working with oil paints, is the most expensive one of all, with lots of equipment, such as canvases, brushes, paints, palettes, paint mediums, easels, etc. Working from experience, I have learned that trying to save money by using cheap paint or other art supplies is often not worthwhile. Instead, it just makes my work that much harder. When I am doing custom art or making art for sale, I get the best possible art supplies that I can afford, and so I have to charge clients and customers more to make a return on my investment. I am committed to making my clients a quality product that will last.

However, if I am just experimenting in my sketchbook with ideas, I will sometimes use cheaper products. But again, using better quality supplies is usually a more enjoyable art experience for me. Often,  I work with cheaper brushes the hairs fall out and need to be replaced much sooner. And I have spent a lot of time picking out stray brush hairs from canvases or trying to work with cheap soft pastels that will not “stick” to the pastel paper. In this instance, paying additional money for quality soft pastels, such as Rembrandts, is worth it over saving a few dollars with cheaper brands, such as off-label art products like Artist’s Loft. Or, I used the wrong kind of paper for watercolor or ink, and it ended up buckling or pilling my watercolor or ink drawing. All this to say, sometimes saving money is not worth it, and that is just one of the reasons why art is so expensive. As artists, we have to charge more to get a return for our investment, just like any other professional craftsperson, such as a contractor, interior designer, fashion designer, etc. That’s it for today, but next week I will review a few other reasons for the high cost of the artwork. On the subject of artwork, I am featuring some highlights from my Inktober challenge for 2022 that I worked on last fall. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Mixed media: A Fun new class I am offering

Are you in a creative slump or want to try out other forms of art media? Then, my course, Drawing, and Painting: A Mixed Media survey is the perfect fit for you! To learn more about this wonderful course, visit https://www.frederick.edu/. Go to the schedules link and select, ILR Fall Schedule 2022 to view a detailed description about this course.

In this course, I will provide you with detailed art demonstrations, with different art media provided each week. We will draw and paint our way through different art styles such as Impressionism, and even abstraction. The wide variety of art media and styles will stimulate your creativity, and provide a space for you to create in a judgment-free learning environment. Beginners and seasoned artists are welcome, no experience is necessary, although some experience with drawing or painting can be helpful. This is an in-person, noncredit course at Frederick Community College.

Update: New Courses I am teaching at Frederick Community College this Fall!

Hello friends, family, visitors, and fans,

I am teaching two great classes this fall! If you have always wanted to try Oil painting but felt cautious, come and give it a try! Click on https://apps.frederick.edu/Flipbook/ILR_FallSchedule2022/index.html, to learn more! I teach noncredit courses in the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD.

Introduction to Oil Painting is very beginner friendly and will focus on basic skills such as value and color mixtures. The projects will be beginner friendly featuring landscapes and still lifes in an Impressionistic style. It’s a very forgiving medium and much easier to master than watercolor. I promise!

On the other hand, if you want to try a variety of different art mediums and learn which ones were capable, you will love my Drawing and Painting: A mixed Media Survey course. Do you love mixed media and art history? Then this course is perfect for you! Click on https://www.frederick.edu/class-schedules/downloads/ilr_fallschedule2022.aspx to learn more!

New items in my Red Bubble Shop are available, just in time for Halloween!

Hello friends, family, and fans,

It’s been a long time since I have added new content to my commerce art shops, so I thought now would be a good time to update my portfolio. I just added some new original artwork to my Red Bubble commerce shop. These artworks can be made into a variety of functional or decorative objects at affordable prices! For example, I have mugs, prints, clocks, aprons, and much more! My focus this month is on Animals and Halloween since it is getting closer to that time of the year! You don’t have to spend a fortune to own some fine art pieces on this site, and best of all, it’s an original kind of artwork.

Quoted the Raven, Nevermore, Mixed Media, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.
Dinosaur Party, Pen, and Pencil on Paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

I am also working on making the original works available for sale on my Etsy commerce site. Come visit my red bubble shop and see what’s new:https://www.redbubble.com/people/jsjschmidt2017/shop?asc=u&ref=account-nav-dropdown. I plan to post a variety of small paintings and sketches at affordable prices. Thanks for stopping by!

Mixed Media Cow, torn paper collage, ink, crayon, painted papers, colored pencil, and candy wrapper on mixed media paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

The Benefits of Creativity

Did you know that creativity can enhance your life in many ways? According to a Forbes article entitled, “Here’s how Creativity Improves Your Health,” by Ashley Stahl of Forbes, being creative has many benefits. These benefits include: improving your mood, reducing stress, and improving cognitive function since your right and left hemispheres to work together when you are creating.

It doesn’t matter what form creativity takes to get these benefits. Some different creative activities such as sewing, coloring in a coloring book, etc. Join me this summer in my Continuing Landscapes in Pastel to improve the quality of your life on many levels and make time for creativity in your life! To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/.

Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, Summer Course Update

There are still some spots available for my upcoming, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel at the Delaplaine Art Center. If you are an oil painter or love to work in color, but would like to try out a new medium, this might be a great course for you.

Or, if you want to work in a more forgiving art medium than watercolor, pastel could be the perfect choice for you! It’s a wonderful medium that combines all the characteristics of drawing which is generally a dry media, with the painterly characteristics of color and texture, such as oil painting, but in contrast, pastels have no drying time.

Working in soft pastels also doesn’t require a full complement of art supplies, such as pallets, brushes, or water jars. Instead, you can get started with just some soft pastels, erasers, pastel pencils, and pastel paper to begin your creative journey. Easy to set up and easy to clean up. No brushes or palettes to clean! And it’s so easy to correct your mistakes, with a kneaded eraser. What could be better? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the projects we will work on colorful meadows, fall scenes, and even a mixed media garden landscape. Please visit: https://delaplaine.org/ to sign up or learn more about this wonderful course!

Coming soon: Landscape Pastel Art Course

Don’t miss out on a chance to take my intermediate pastel course for landscapes! Pastel is a forgiving medium and it allows you to experience the best of both worlds with drawing and painting. With pastel, you can create colorful drawings that are easy to revise and there is no drying time to wait for, as with other art media, such as watercolor, acrylic, and oil. Also, this medium can be used in conjunction with other media, such as watercolor for painterly effects! To learn more, please visit https://delaplaine.org/.

Update: Summer Courses I am Teaching at the Delaplaine

Hello friends, fans, and family,

This summer I am teaching two great art courses at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick, MD! The first course begins on June 22nd, and it’s called, Drawing into Calm: A mixed media survey course. In this course, you will learn how to work in a variety of media from watercolor and pen to acrylic and pastel. We will explore which media are compatible, such as watercolor and ink pen, and gain inspiration from a variety of famous artists, such as Monet, Paul Klee, and Odilon Redon, among others! It’s a course that is perfect for beginner artists and will explore both drawing demonstrations and painting demonstrations, as well as collages. If you want to try new media or love art history, this might be the perfect course for you! Visit the Delaplaine website at: https://delaplaine.org/, to register or learn more.

The other course I am teaching is called, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, and it’s perfect for experienced pastel artists who would like to learn more about color and value in the context of the four seasons. This course is geared toward more experienced artists who have some drawing experience. The four seasons, summer, autumn, winter, and spring will provide a context for exploring the elements of art, value, and color, such as using cool colors like blue or violet to depict snow, and warmer color palettes to illustrate fall foliage. Both courses are designed for adults. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/.

Harmonizing on a Line, Mixed media collage, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mixed Media Cow Collage, Mixed Media: torn papers, metallic wrapper, painted papers, watercolor, crayon, ink, and colored pencils, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Odilon Redon Knock off, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Pizza Painting, Acrylic Paint on canvas board, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mosaic Magazine Collage: Grand Canyon, Magazine papers, and pastel on paper, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.
Child at the Beach, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, 2022.
Creating Depth, Jodie Schmidt after Marla Bagetta, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Rocky Tor, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2020.
The Birches, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2022.

Update: Spring Courses at Adams County Arts Council

Do you have an interest in telling your family history through mixed media collage art? I have just the course for you! It’s called, Your Family Story through Collage art and will begin on May 4th from 6-8pm at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysbn. Take your artwork to the next level and create content-based work that tells a story, using a variety of media such as photography from your family collection, old drawings, card stock, acrylic paint, charcoal, and more! We will upcycle old sketches from your sketchbook to create new and unique artwork! Click here to learn more: https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/your-family-story-through-collage-art/.

Spring Courses at the Delaplaine, Update!

Hello friends, fans, and followers,

The good news is that my art courses at the Delaplaine are filling up! And, the good news for you is that there are a few more spots left! The three courses I will be teaching are Classic Drawing, a beginner drawing course, Drawing into Calm: A Mixed Media survey course, and Landscapes in Pastel: The Four Seasons.

The drawing course is great for those who have always wanted to draw but did not know where to begin, and I will teach you four different drawing modalities such as contour drawing, and using shapes to construct forms. With so many options, you are bound to find a method that brings you excellent results!

The next two courses, Drawing into Calm and Continuing Landscapes are a bit more advanced. In the former, we will study a variety of different art media such s watercolor, pastel, collage, and much more! It’s a veritable buffet of art media to try each week with lessons on collage and painting with subject matter that includes, animals and landscape. You will learn what media works best together in combinations that you wouldn’t have imagined, such as wax resist and collage!

And in the course of the landscape, we will explore a variety of light and color effects such as filtered light to imitate the qualities of the four seasons, such as spring, summer, fall, and winter! Soft pastel is perfect for those who love to paint, but don’t want to wait for it to dry! The elements of art, such as color, shape, form, and value will inform each lesson, and you’ll learn valuable skills such as how to mix colors to get the exact color you want! To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/. Thanks for stopping by!

Goldfinch collage, Mixed Media, 9.5 x 12 inches, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.
Jodie Schmidt after Karen Margulis, Using a Tunnel Composition, pastel on paper, 2022. This painting was entirely based on a youtube tutorial by Karen Margulis, a pastel teacher extraordinaire, whose art tutorials are available on youtube.
Jodie Schmidt after Walter Foster, Still Lifes, pencil on paper, 2022. These drawings are based on art tutorials from one of my favorite drawing textbooks, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Drawing: More than 200 Drawing techniques, tips, and lessons, Walter Foster, 2016.