Tuesday, December 4, 2007


One of the things I am grappling with right now is the issue of showing vs. selling. I have been trying to create bodies of work. This year, I have hesitated to enter juried shows because I am planning to create proposals for shows that show a complete body of work in 2008. I just don’t want to chop up the series. In other words, I want to keep painting and not feel obligated to show until I get a cohesive, consistent body of work. I want to show the series together. This isn’t possible (or feasible) some times. Some of you know what I mean. It is hard to “wait it out”. I am a very SLOW painter. I just can’t crank them out. Therefore, it might take years for me to make a new body of work. This is very frustrating sometimes. I want to keep an active exhibition record. Yet, I am very happy I am FREE to do what I want to do. This is not a do or die decision. However, this is still perplexing. The “bottom line” is what should I do.? Show em or sell em? What do you think?

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self taught artist said...

something tells me you already know the answer, but if you want my thoughts:
If you can sell on your own first why not? It could save you tons of time/money/frustration. (or could cost you time/money frustration depending on how you do it)
But not all work does well on it's own and needs to be represented.
It sounds like you have many bodies of work so maybe one body of work can be doled out to juried things etc. That bag you showed a few posts ago is FANTASTIC and I can't think of one reason why it wouldn't sell easily. That entire series you got going is exciting to me. Everytime you post things about it I get chills, I KNOW you can make it with this. Something will happen,just keep working on it, I have no doubts!

self taught artist said...

maybe i didn't even answer your question:

show em or sell em?

tell us, how many do you have to show/sell? What sizes are they approx? If you have more than 20 you should have confidence to show. If you have more than 20 than why aren't you selling AND showing?

Lisa said...

What your heart tells you to do.

For me the answer is different for different work and depending on how I'm feeling. I tend to fall on the side of show vs. sell but that's just me. Gotta do what works for you!

Sheree Rensel said...

Lisa and Paula, Thank you so much for your feedback. Perhaps, I wasn't as succinct as I could have been. I have bunches of work that needs to be shown and/or sold. However, I tend to want to show my "current" work. This is the problem. I see the bodies of work I am working on as a WHOLE. That is why I am perplexed about showing pieces of a series with a price tag attached. I too have never been worried or concerned with SALES. I have always shown and preferred noncommercial venues (universitys, art centers, etc.). Now, I am rethinking things. Yet, I can't let go of old habits. I am trying!!

self taught artist said...

show whatever you are currently in love with and doing then, others will see it and be more inclined to look at the hidden works...at some point if you want to exhibit once the ball gets rolling people will tell you what they want to see so you can start digging the older works out yeah?
why hold onto bunches of work when it could be out there like an enzyme doing its magic?
I LOVE THOSE BAGS AND IF I HAD MONEY I WOULD BUY ONE!!!!! (and i dont like to buy stuff, believe me i'm non materialistic so this is my highest compliment)

Eva said...

OH Sheree, I wrote a looooonnng comment here and it disappeared! I hate that!
So this time i'll make it short:
SHOW. Hold back, make the body of work and then show before you sell (or pre-sell with agreement that it will be shown). No one will really know what you are up to if you don't show it.

I learned this the hard way...

Sheree Rensel said...

I agree with you. I don't think I expressed myself well in this post. What I meant was selling a piece before I have an entire body of work done and show as a whole. I agree and want to SHOW the stuff before I go out and find someone to buy individuals pieces. Then my "body" of work is shot. You know? Also, I really want to have a cohesive body of work. I have plenty of odd this and that. Thanks so much for posting!!