A Kenyan artist friend of mine recently approached me to do some paintings for him to sell at some of our local flea markets. He sells his and other artists works at various markets around Durban.
These venues are normally quite busy tourist destinations, many of whom look for African art to take back with them.
I have visited these markets on many occasions and the sheer number of artists displaying their work always surprised me.
On any given day there could be 20 artists at a single venue with hundreds of paintings to view.
The average price of the paintings seemed to range between $50 and about $200 per painting.
I did not think I could ever compete in that market as the prices were very competitive with some heavy bargaining and haggling over prices. My challenge therefore was to be able to produce some competitive pieces suitable for these markets.
In the end I decided to do some paintings in acrylics, on canvases that I had made rather than the normal high quality ones I buy. I have never painted with acrylics before and found the medium difficult and unforgiving to work with initially. Totally different from working with oil paints.
This was my first effort, which I have called "Mother and Child." Somehow I managed to mess up the photo and by the time I downloaded the photo and realized it was not a good effort the painting was sold.
This new venture has kept me fairly busy as all the paintings seem to sell fairly quickly and my friend is requesting work at a faster rate than I can paint them. I was hoping to open a stall of my own but I just cannot paint fast enough to build up a decent stock.