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Sep_21 Record Keeping – How and Why . . .

The creative journey has such a spontaneous element to it might seem that record keeping is incompatible with the creative spirit. This may be true for some, but I have found that I take great pleasure in having accurate records of my art.

When I began painting, of course I had no idea that it would blossom into a personal passion as well as a second career. So, I didn’t start keeping records until after I had completed the first twenty or so paintings. On September 12, 2014, something very significant happened. Rita, a dear friend who was visiting saw one of my paintings, fell in love with it and asked to buy it. Until that time, all of my art was around me, hanging on walls and inspiring me. That was the first painting to "leave home." My husband took photos of the two of us with her new painting.

So began the documentation of my art . . .

Because this was so early on in my journey, I was able to look back, figure out the order of the paintings and make a list. If I had waited much longer the process would have become too difficult. I asked my webmaster to create a record-keeping method to record the basic information: order number, painting name, date created, price, size (width, length), sold date, status (sold, gifted, for sale), name of recipient. I’m glad that I started entering early on because at this point, I have over 700 paintings in my list! Although I’m fairly good at remembering the paintings, the specific details have expanded beyond the capabilities of my memory.

The next task was to take a photographic record and enter these into an actual physical book. I have entered these photos in order and used three sticky dots of different colours to indicate their status. Red is traditionally used for “sold,” so that was an easy choice. The yellow dot was chosen for paintings in my NFS, or personal, collection. Finally, the green dot was chosen for paintings that are gifted. I am now working on my third physical book of paintings.

And in addition to the paintings and the dots, I will often add a photo of the painting taken with the purchaser. This is a wonderful memory for me to have right beside the photo of the painting. Here are a few sample pages from my books.

One final form of documentation that has developed in the last few years, is having a photo of each painting being held. This is based on the discovery that people like to see a painting against a person so that the size is obvious. Giving dimensions is helpful, but the photo tells them everything they need to know. When someone expressed interest in a painting, I would send them the photo of the art work as well as me holding the art work. I now have a collection of photos of me holding my paintings. This way, if someone makes an inquiry, I can go to my collection of "holding photos" and send them that as well. It’s been so helpful! Besides, I love holding my art and sharing it with others. Here I am with my three most recent paintings, “Emanating Outward,” ”Proceeding,” and “Worlds Coming Together.”

Now that my collection has grown, I’m grateful that I started this record keeping. I get to look back over my journey and see not only my personal progress, but the specifics about each painting and its history as well. I’m reminded of the various purchasers and it warms my heart to see them!


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