My Silver Dollar Campaign and Barter List
[I have been putting this notice out at several gallery shows for the past 6 years. I have been bartering for twelve. Only two people have taken me up on the silver dollar and few have bartered. Of the latter I once received three hot air balloon rides for the same number of paintings. I never intended on "cashing in" because I thought I would die from the sky for sure. Please take my offer seriously. I am saving long term for my grandchildren's future monetary needs. It's easy to get a silver dollar. Any local pawn shop, eBay, and commercial precious metals dealers will gladly trade in U.S. dollars. Thank you.]
I have had it with business and art. It doesn’t work. The moment the painting gets offered, haggled, denied, etc, on the market exchange, the entire culture of the thing created gets violated. I lose all semblance of its original innocence as soon as the money door opens. Only once have I made a painting thinking about money, or a sale. Here it is:
“My Heart’s Desire is That One of You is Drunk Enough to Buy This Painting” 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 14”
I was invited to a rock concert with some friends where there would be a section of the parking lot cordoned off for vendors. I painted this the night before, and had it sold before we finished putting up the tent.
It is stated in my great grandfather Henry Throop’s account book that on September 14, 1907, he purchased the following for one dollar:
2 loaves of bread
1 dozen cookies
pound of butter
and a haircut...
A dollar in 1907 had the spending power of about $25 today, without the haircut (some small luxury to prove how contemporary economists always seem to get it wrong). So, about $40 today would buy these goods Henry bought in 1907. A dollar was a dollar and it purchased what forty more dollars could buy today.
I love the silver dollar because it has an ever changing value on the money market. For several years I have watched its value move between about $15 to $35. And it’s just a dollar! It also feels good in the hand, and I bet many of them in a small pouch attached to my belt (a lá Rimbaud), would feel even better.
Henry’s items listed in bulk are worth any one of my paintings. No one is buying the luxury items I have made available. So I have sweetened the pot in order to avoid the money exchange problem for the rest of my life.
I will amass silver coins!
From this day forward, any one of my paintings not hanging in a gallery can be bought for a silver dollar. Not what a silver dollar will buy, but exactly one, shiny silver dollar. I want to jingle coins in a pouch. I have set the value, and it is universal. Any size. Any painting not in a gallery. Of course, the buyer must pay for frame and also shipping on top of the silver dollar. I have some very big paintings. If they were purchased, I would have to charge a handling fee. Frames, shipping and handling could be exchanged in paper currency, however, the painting itself—always just one silver dollar.
Please think about this, and spread the idea far and wide. There must be a painting of mine that someone likes for such a fair price. I am just so exhausted from these encounters with the self doubt monster. It’s time to defeat pride and kill the money.
Think of unique gifts for birthdays and holidays. I look forward to jingling real silver coins in a pouch.
If, (like me but not like rich people), you are uncomfortable with getting more for less, then consider bartering. From Perspective Fusions, a duo exhibition with Marilyn Grosh at RIT in Rochester, NY.
I will trade for a painting or commission. Here is how I value goods over money. Listed are a few needs I have off and on again, and would be happy to make an arrangement. For instance, if you inquire about a commission(s) by Christmas, I am always in need of some bulk harvest items in late fall, or Christmas cookies hygienically prepared by a careful hand. Make offers. Think about what a cheerful non entity needs. Money can only play the part of an impatient middleman. It just brings worry in the abstract. I could buy the vegetables or the cookies, but then I would have to take time out from painting and/or being a family man to do the shopping. And time is what so many of us lack these days. The money value marked after the barter good is what I believe it would fetch on the market in a paper currency economy. Match that to the price list of my paintings. For instance if you want the music box (good anniversary gift), but don’t have $600.00 handy, and you’re a registered plumber by trade, replace my main shut-off and surprise your spouse with the joy of turntable music this year. I am open for offers. Try me.
50 lb. sack of potatoes, onions or squash… $25.00
10 lb. bag of pecans… $40.00
10 lb. bag unbleached white flour… $8.00
1 case of 28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes… $15.00
1 case Bordeaux red wine… $180.00
1 jar of pickles (or pickled equivalent)… $5.00
1 gallon maple syrup… $50.00
1 gallon honey... $30.00
Spices, herbs, dried peppers, mushrooms, etc… Negotiable
1 year of Internet… $480.00
1 year of Netflix or equivalent… $180.00
Lenses for a SONY Alpha 7iii digital camera… $1500.00-10,000.00
New Apple 27” iMac… $2000.00
Electrical improvements to house (new wiring and main repair outside of house)… $8,000.00
1 8 oz. jar Golden Acrylics (heavy body) color………………………. $75.00
Canvases and gessoed hardboard (preferably the latter)… Negotiable
Paintbrushes (all sizes and shapes except the frilly kind that makes grass)… Same
Frames, frames, frames… Again, negotiable
Promotional or word-of-mouth advertising
• 3 “Ron Throop—Good painter” schpeels daily for one month to different people each time… $50.00 (one month only)
• Sandwich board sign wearer on corner of Goodman and University Streets on two consecutive Saturday mornings... $100.00
Advocates (credentialed artists) to perform “Ron Throop—Great painter” schpeel once a month for a year at dinner parties where combined income of guests exceeds 6 million dollars annually… $65.00
Replace main shut off … $600.00 (must be insured)
Build a better bathroom off an existing one that is literally a closet to make water… Whole collection
1 ton manure or compost delivered and tilled… $400.00
Rototiller (rear tines)… Negotiable
Purchase and install a new attractive enameled wood stove in library (actually the room between kitchen and living room. There is a bookshelf with books, so I call it a library)… Whole collection
1 week in your timeshare south of Virginia… Whole collection if there are two bathrooms
Round-trip (preferably non-stop) airfare for three to a place with palm trees… Negotiable
1 week trade of abodes plus maid service on your end if you have a residence outside of this state or country, preferably in a low crime area, and can have reputable references vouch that you’re not a dangerous criminal… $100.00
Portable PA speaker for 2 microphones and two guitars… $800.00
A day job near Oswego
Something part time... $200.00
I am a cook by a younger trade, and am comfortable in the professional and home kitchen. I will be a home cook for a nice house without negative drama. Are you a doctor with little time on your hands to prepare and cook scratch comfort food for the family? For 25 hours a week I can shop and cook 5 dinners with leftovers. Menu planning would be a joy. I am the only saucier in Oswego worth the investment. I don’t smoke, spit, or tell tasteless jokes. I clean up after myself (dinner pots, pans and utensils—not dishes and silverware). I’ll wash my hands a lot and wear gloves when preparing uncooked foods. Fit me into your budget. I give back tenfold compared to that Mercedes box of rusting metal on wheels out depreciating in the driveway.
There. Let’s make a deal.