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 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 . . .
About 15 years ago, I had a bonfire at a friend’s country home, with lots of acreage, to burn many old watercolors, prints, and notecards. I invited only a few close friends who understood (I had a couple who got upset with me). Those that came brought something in their lives that they wanted to burn and tossed that in. It was a wonderful ceremony — music and poems, a great stew, hot cider, etc. — It was cleansing for everyone and an intimate experience. I would recommend it if appropriate.
Just the other day, I sanded a 30×40 panel with a completed painting, applied gesso and now I cannot wait to start a new painting.
I love this because 1) it took courage to do 2) it was emotionally cathartic 3) it involved others in a type of ritual 4) it involves fire, and 5) most importantly, it seemed to be more about the future than about the past. Full of hope and new beginnings.
Congratulations, Carol! You'll receive a copy of Chris Guillebeau's book, The $100 Startup.
To Helen Howes, who reviews her older unsold work on an annual basis: the PRIZE FOR PLANNING.
Jacqueline Quinn gets the PRIZE FOR TAKING ACTION. She's putting your ideas to work in her show this weekend.
Kathleen Moore receives the BEST AND MOST DETAILED IDEA FOR A CHARITY GIVE AWAY. You just have to read it.
Jana Van Wyk gets the PRIZE FOR THOROUGHNESS for sharing numerous ideas.
To Rani Garner: the ENLIGHTENED ARTIST PRIZE for noting, “If I don’t like it enough to exhibit in my own home, then I shouldn’t expect someone else to want to buy it.”
To Karen Meredith, the I WISH I HAD SAID THAT PRIZE: “I think a distinction needs to be made about whether something hasn’t sold because the right buyer hasn’t come along…or if it’s really not to one’s standards. ”
Another Karen Meredith gem gets the PRIZE FOR LET'S TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT: “Sometimes just changing the frame makes all the difference!”
Bill Engell is the lucky recipient of the LET'S BE PRACTICAL ABOUT THIS PRIZE. He writes: “Most importantly, try not to fall in love with the works. Love the process.”
Rusty gets the MARKETING PRIZE. He writes: “I gift some of my unsold work to some of my students. Sometimes they are demo pieces, work that I created just for the fun or exploration of it. They don’t really fit into any of my ‘series' and they don’t compete with any work that collectors/patrons have. My students feel valued and I know that I have a fan for life.”
To Will Eskridge goes the LET'S DO THE OPPOSITE PRIZE: “. . . or I raise the price.”
*Honorable mentions receive the deep satisfaction that they helped out other artists.