The Best Idea for Unloading Unsold Art

Black Forest Fire painting

We received loads of good ideas for what to do with earlier artwork that is taking up emotional energy and inventory space.

Many of you wanted to donated it to charity, sell it at a steep discount, repurpose it, or destroy it. On top of this, a number of you said that if it’s not up to your standards, you should rework or destroy it rather than give it away. I agree.

As promised, I have selected a winner. Be sure to keep reading for the honorable mentions.

The Winner

©Carol A. McIntyre, Nature’s Promise. Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches.

The best idea for “how to get rid of earlier art” is from Carol McIntyre. Knowing Carol, this solution fits her m.o. Like her painting and personality, Carol tackles unwanted work with a flair.

She writes

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Your Life’s Work: The Artist's Retrospective

Virginia Folkestad discovers insights into her life’s work by using a visual timeline.

A retrospective is an exhibition that shows off the entire oeuvre of an artist’s career. Typically arranged chronologically and later in an artist’s life, retrospectives treat art viewers to the progression of the work in a single space.

I try to visit as many retrospectives as I can for artists I admire, which sometimes involves traveling and going out of my way as necessary. You never know when they will happen again since it’s difficult to borrow or gather the work in one place.

Retrospectives aren’t just for viewers. They provide an excellent opportunity for artists to examine their accomplishments.

Even without an art venue for your retrospective, you can take stock of your life’s work by creating a virtual retrospective.

Virginia Folkestad discovers insights into her life’s work by using a

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Your Job Is In the Studio

Don Sahli’s still life set-up in his studio. Photo courtesy the artist and used with permission.

I work every day to give you solid business advice through my blog, classes, social media posts, membership programs, and this newsletter. This is not only my job, it’s also my purpose. I don’t write about how you can improve your technique, try fresh materials on the market, or remove creative blocks. Your #1 job as a professional artist is to be working consistently in the studio.

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11 Ways to Work Through Your Grief and Return to the Studio

Barbara Muir painting

For artists making art is life’s main goal, so what happens when we quit producing? When my 13-year-old dog died in September, I thought I’d hit the depths of sadness. Then my mother died in October, and I was suddenly sidelined by my own grief. The direct result of losing someone or something you love is profound grief. And that hollow, meaningless feeling that accompanies loss does not lead to art. Yet we know art is the answer.

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The First Step to Curating Your Art

empty gallery

Let’s face it. Artists are terrible at curating their own work. There’s no way you can be objective. You love everything, you hate everything, you want to show everything you have, or you don’t want to show anything at all. Sound familiar? Today’s article is inspired by an email I received from Karen Meredith, in which she wanted to know about the proper number of works to have on a website, in an exhibition, or at an open studio.

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Creative Immersion and Value of Connection

Photo of Artists at a Business Workshop

I interviewed Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water’s Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion, for my membership program a couple of years ago. To give you a taste of what my members receive, I would like to share this interview with you. Anne and I discussed creative immersion and the importance of connecting through relationships to facilitate creativity.

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Dear John: So Your Kid Wants To Go To Art School

William R. Struby Art

Parents are rightly concerned about their children’s future, but with preparation, an art student can excel in life. In honor of Fathers’ Day week (Can I declare a week for all dads?), I share this query from John G. from my Facebook page and my response.

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It's Okay To Jump From Idea To Idea

Kirstin Borror writes: “My difficulty seems to be staying focused on one creative idea at a time. Any tips?” Creativity coach, Romney Nesbitt responds, “Dear Kirsten, You may be fighting a losing battle. The natural tendency of creative people is to carry the seeds of many ideas at the same time; the trick is keeping all ideas moving forward. . . . ”

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What Did You Learn From Your Art Teachers?

I knew I was an artist when we made cut-out bunnies in grade school because mine was the only bunny with a hula skirt on. I was fascinated with Hawaii at the time. Two other art teachers have also left a big impression on me.

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Fight Complacency

When is the last time you promoted your art without relying solely on email and social media? Apply a similar mindset to your marketing that you use in the studio when you’re trying to work through a problem. Try something new. Anything!

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