The Business Side of Art


Being an artist isn’t just about painting; the business side takes as much time as the creative time. I just finished an enormous project of scanning old photos of my paintings, and then editing, color correcting and cataloging almost 1600 images. It is something I needed to do as I had digital copies of about 600 of these, but another 1000 were mostly old, bad exposure photos. It took a long time, yes, but in doing this, I was able to revisit these old paintings and the many places I have traveled to paint – Carmel, England, Scotland, San Francisco, Napa, Burgundy, Provence, Dordogne, Paris, Tuscany, Venice, Lake Como, Amalfi, Sicily and more. I have a fairly good color-memory but revisiting a certain painting reminded me of a light-bulb milestone in a painting technique – one you do not forget. I would come across one and think, ‘Wow, I did that?” I had forgotten.

How and why did I do this?  I now have copies of them safely ‘in the sky’ with several additional backups. Each image is in IPhoto, in my Pictures (easier for viewing) and in a FileMaker database. In an instant I can find, for example, all paintings of Paris. I am stating this to emphasize the importance of keeping records (often not too popular with artists). Galleries and your clients will love it!

The watercolor painting above of Angel Island is the very first major competition (the San Francisco Art Festival) I entered and was accepted in about 1970. This information is now instantly at my fingertips.

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