I don't remember if I have said this here before but it's possible I have. I have been painting for a while but have only sold a total of 7 paintings - small ones, all of them. I have also given many paintings away to friends. I gave a nice painting to a close friend and after about a month I saw her at her house and found my little painting sitting upright on the floor in her office. She had not bothered to hang it up even after one month. What does that mean? No appreciation for my painting, that's what. We are still friends but I will never again give her anything of mine.
You are aware that poor van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. That only speaks to the quality of the viewer, not the quality of the painter, but the fact remains that he gained nothing of economic value from his painting. It seems no gallery would touch van Gogh's work at that time. When they came to truly understand the works, they came around to a very different view of things but van Gogh was dead by then. I am now selling my paintings on Ebay although I would prefer having an agent. Agents are useful. Picasso was nobody until he got an agent. Agents will get your work to many viewers. I cannot sell if I have no viewers. Agents will also sell your work for more money than you can get yourself.