I was reading the other day the top ten list of reasons for buying a painting and it made for interesting reading. Most people when having bought a painting and chatting about why they bought it, the reason was because "they like it". Fair enough but coming across the interesting survey done by blogger Katherine Tyrell (Making a Mark) delves into this a little deeper. The results of her survey were; at number four is 'disposable income of the buyer', number three is 'design and composition', number 2 has the hotspot of 'colour' and number one is 'subject matter'.
I was very surprised and I wasn't sure why number one should be subject matter, but it sort of makes sense. As an artist my focus, when I am exhibiting, has been on other criteria such as 'complexity of the painting' and whether it is oil, acrylic or watercolour. These in Tyrell's list appear further down the top 10. Price would certainly have appeared much higher on my list. So, it appears that subject is incredibly important when buying a painting, after all most people will have a special place for it to go when they have it delivered and this is often on their mind before they even enter into the idea of buying a painting.
Interestingly number 8 on the list was frame and even more surprising was size wasn't in the top 10 at all, leaving the idea that perhaps if the painting is exactly what someone is after they will make room for the very large 3 metre canvas? The biggest so far for me have been 1.80m and they have proven rather popular for buyers.
Thanks to Katherine Tyrell I can say that I feel like I am on the right path because in another article elsewhere I read that figurative painting has had a massive surge in popularity over the last 10 years. Having such a broad choice of subjects that I could paint and have had a go at in the past, I chose the path of painting the figure. This focus specifically on the human form is in itself a large enough subject for several life times but it keeps me on the straight and narrow from straying off into other subjects. Of course there are my own sub categories such as the body and movement as this gets me excited to draw and paint.