Sunday, 22 February 2015


By Sea Dean

8" x 10" Canvas Panel

To view my online Gallery of originals please visit Daily Paintworks
Shop for Limited Edition ACEO here

This painting is a favourite of mine and falls into the category that I'm happy to keep on display in my studio gallery for as long as it takes. Bird of Paradise blooms have a special place in my heart, but not many people grow them in North America so they don't invoke the same passion in my mostly US patronage. I'm sure it is only a matter of time, because it has been selected by outstanding artists as my best work. One day one lucky person will fall in love with it's unique quality.

For the past few years I've been a daily painter. That means that I create hundreds of paintings every year. Even the most widely collected Artist has a back corner inhabited by paintings that have not sold and I think daily painters have the biggest challenge because they are so prolific. So what are your options besides filling up your basement or garage?

I examine my catalog regularly and select only my best work for shows and exhibitions. I do the same with my online galleries. There is always work which no longer speaks to me. If the work is online I easily delete the file or place it in the online back room. Then I have to decide what to do with the original. Here are some ideas.

1. Re-touch.

As you grow as an artist and improve your skills, you will always be able to review older work and improve on it. Sometimes this is a simple check on values or colour and just a few brushstrokes will make it fresh again. It may even be changing mat varnish to gloss.

2. Re-use

Get out the gesso and create a fresh white or black canvas. You have to be a brave soul to do this, but some paintings just need too much adjustment, especially if it's a faulty composition. Almost all famous artists have reused canvases, so don't be shy. If it's too difficult, throuw down some tarps on the lawn and invite your kids and their pals to do it. (make sure they have old clothes on).


If it's a good painting and has received many compliments, it may be the frame which is making people hesitate. Perhaps the look just needs an update. Remember that many people have a hard time visualizing something different. If it's a deep gallery wrap, perhaps you just need to change the treatment on the deep edge.

4. Clear.

If the work is a few years old and no longer represents your style, use an age old retail technique and find a clearance location out of your area. A gallery may work, but perhaps it's better to find a Ma and Pa store in the country, a country pub, a home decor store, an antique store, it all depends on your type of work. You may need to use a pseudonym for this and change the signature.

5. Gift.

You like the painting but don't want to keep it. Make a gift to someone that has remarked on it in the past. If you have a staunch supporter or patron this goes a long way.

6. Reduce.

Do this sparingly or patrons will just wait for sales and your business will suffer. Try and tie the sale to a full price sale, like BOGO or patrons that introduce someone that buys at full price can choose from a selected list.

7. Share.

If you want to make a living as an artist you don't want send your work to charity auctions too frequently. Prints are best for these auctions as they rarely sell for high amounts and your reputation will suffer if it's original work.

8. Destroy.

Sometimes this is the best option and can be very cathartic. Selling second rate work does nothing to improve your reputation as an artist. Take a long hard look and put aside anything which doesn't look as good as it should for whatever reason. Don't send it to the tip because it may be fished out and come back to haunt you. Have a bonfire, rip, tear, splatter. Clear the space for you new and wonderful art to be born.

Don't just consider removing the physical evidence from your storage, you also need to remove outdated work from your online presence, especially Facebook and online shops or websites which you've moved on from.

Here's to a good old spring cleaning session.

Ref 1036 Bird of Paradise - Gaia