Category Archives: Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change

Jean Smith $100 USD painting sales increase significantly

From the be careful what you wish for department, sometime in January my paintings sales on FaceBook increased significantly after a regular buyer of my $100 USD paintings (and long-time Mecca Normal fan) showed her mother my work and explained both the investment potential and how sales above my monthly expenses ($1000 USD) go towards opening the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change.

I have now totally lost track of how many the mother has purchased, but I’m sending them to her in packages of seven, sometimes twice a week. She is determined to make the artist residency happen!

With 78 paintings sold, February was an all-time record in the 4 years I’ve been painting daily and posting them for sale at $100 USD on FaceBook. A typical month until that point might be more like 30 paintings.

My small East Vancouver apartment is now something of a production line as I pull paintings from existing stock of 200, sign them, add a layer of gloss in batches of 10, allow that those to dry, while I package and ship others, all while maintaining my ever-evolving series including “Bathing Cap” “Headphones” “The Hat” and many others. I’ve been working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week to stay on top of things. Believe me I’m not complaining; it’s just a bit surreal.

Here’s a selection from the Oregon Collection which currently stands at 50+ paintings and counting. Literally.

Bathing Cap #24 800

Bathing Cap #24 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

Headphones #22 800

Headphones #22 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

The Hat #106 800
The Hat #106 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

Nurse #14 800

Nurse #14 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

 

 

 

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Jean Smith on Political Art

From my post on my regular FaceBook page

Political art. I sometimes think my work [paintings] should be more political. Political in a more overt way.

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Jean Smith self-portrait age 13 (1973)

I started painting portraits (in my room) at the very loaded age of 13. I looked in the mirror and made translations that flew in the face of what models in magazines looked like. My dad, by this point, was no longer an ad agency art director. He was painting large abstracts and watercolor landscapes, and doing freelance commercial art jobs in his studio in the back yard. My mom (an art school graduate) was painting still life from nature in her studio. Neither of them painted portraits at that time.

Fast forward to a point in the early 00s when I took 11 x 17″ laser copies of those teenage self-portraits on tour and put them up at Mecca Normal shows. There was a night at the Smell in LA where I could see them, my teenage faces, from the stage while I was singing songs from The Family Swan album. Songs about my family in those years. I realized (while I was singing) that I had inadvertently found a way to talk to my teenage self, to offer an adult perspective (mine) to her.

In current times, between the deaths of my parents, (with my dad losing his marbles and the difficult nature of being around while this happens, trying to help him and protect my own marbles etc.) it seems like painting faces (and all the historic energy involved here) is prit near the best thing I can be doing. It’s political in the way that finding something that works, something that’s right, fairly early in life is political (self-expression) and then returning to it years later for some of the same reasons is political.

Comment on the post:
I think of pretty much everything I’ve ever seen you do as being political. Maybe the portraits aren’t specifically “political” in content, but the motivation behind them – $100 paintings to avoid having a day job and to work towards a free artist residency program sure is! The art and music and writing and living are all congruent expressions of your political integrity. Or to paraphrase Godard: …not to make “political” films, but to make films politically.” – Steve Peters, the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center, home to the Wayward Music Series, Seattle

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