Monday, November 8, 2010

Golden Oldies

Pink Tree Up Front, 2007, Oil on Wood Panel, 16"x20"

I have spent the last few days sorting through my inventory and my studio is still a mess with bubble wrap strewn around and piles of oddball paintings everywhere. But it is a huge relief to have reorganized my inventory cabinet even if I did miss out on a beautiful weekend outside and all the raking and gardening too. Heh.

It took me several hours to go through all the paintings, recording them, rewrapping and reorganizing them so they would be all neat and orderly in the cabinet and I was heading towards a funk when I started to see just how much unsold work I have on hand. Yikes! It was only a few years ago almost everything I painted was selling and even though I have been painting far fewer landscapes in the last 2+ years, evidently I am still too prolific for the current economy.

But as each group of paintings were spread out on the table, I realized that I was looking at work that was so colorful and expressive and well, accomplished. So my potential funk turned into pride that I could have created such things and now I am now feeling even more determined to find their people.

I ended up adding almost 40 pieces to my 'Available Work' page on my website and alas, that does not include everything that I have on hand. It also does not include any of the 'People You Know' paintings, none of which have sold, but I have some different ideas in mind for that series. Anyway, I am not planning to sell this available work directly (the prices listed are gallery prices), mostly I think this page will be a good resource for the galleries that represent me.

However, this does bring me to a question for those of you who have gallery representation. What do YOU do with older work that hasn't sold? I am firm in not selling around my galleries (particularly at lower prices, which is a real no-no) but then I end up with so much work on hand. It would be very helpful for all of us, I think, to hear how others have handled this situation.


Ruth Armitage said...

Drat... I was hoping to click on comments and find the wonderful wisdom of other artists with the answer to this question! It is a great question, as I too feel very firm about not selling around my galleries.

What you have done by listing all your available work on your site is a good start I think, Tracy. It helps the galleries as a resource to show their clients if the stock on hand doesn't match the client's needs.

I'm hoping you get lots of good ideas on this question though!

Tracy said...

I know, Ruth, i am waiting for some ideas and a few pearls of wisdom as well!

So what do you do with extra work????

Carol Lee Beckx said...

The storage of Golden oldies is a perennial problem for artists. I have been faced with trying to reduce the number of large framed/ (glass!) watercolours that will need to be crated prior to going into the container to Brisbane.The oils on canvas are easy.
I had an "Out from under the bed" exhibition at my home this last weekend. I was pleased that a number of these Golden oldies found delighted new owners.
Sooner or later each painting will find a home, it's just that the patience for that day is hard to cultivate.

John Karl Claes said...

I am always going through my inventory list looking at work that has not sold and mark those pieces that could be destroyed. I feel that it is important to only keep my best work and work that has not been sold...well, chances are that they are not my best. It not alway easy to destroy my paintings, but it sure feels good after I've done it.

Nancy Eng said...

I recently started a blog with the intention of posting & selling only my smaller paintings- those that don't blend with the style that I have in galleries. I feel that there is always a good home and lots art lovers with all sorts of tastes. I think that blogs are a great venue for selling excess paintings that are hiding under our closets.

Anonymous said...

I'll emerge from the safety of my studio for a moment.

First I destroyed the work that did not stand the test of time. I gave every gallery a notebook of work that was in my studio. The notebook was broken down into subject matter. Under each heading was a page of thumbnail images and a disc for more detailed viewing.

I also set up a website that contains work available in the studio. To view new work there is a link on the website to each gallery.This way a collector can purchase work that's in my studio from the gallery closest to them.
The smart galleries included a link on their artist page to work available in my studio.

This has helped eliminate some of my older work. No one knew what I had in the studio so it was kind of hard to sell it(hell I didn't know what I had in storage).

I hope this helps

CMC said...

Tracy, I have lots of these 'golden oldies' as well. I don't 'sell around' as you call it. BUT, if I have a gallery in one area (state)and someone in another area where I don't have representation is interested in a painting, I would sell it to them directly...of course, at the gallery price. I wouldn't undercut a gallery price.
I would love to be able to get some of the ones that are no longer exactly in a style I work in now out to their 'people'. I haven't put prices on the site though and hesitate to do so.
If sales continue the way they are now, I may have to by next year.

Julie said...

You could also sell directly at full gallery price, then give the gallery their percentage - lots of artists do that.

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