© Tammy Kaufman - "Illumination of Solitude"
I honestly did not realize just how many works I had until I decided to organize them recently. The dozens of larger and odd-sized smaller ones I put in clear photo bags in a print rack with the overflow in a large box underneath (yes, there are that many!), but that still left over a hundred more in standard 8 x 10 and 9 x 12 sizes that ended up going into portfolio style notebooks. It may sound egotistical, but I almost felt sad putting them into storage; I believe it's more because I don't want the magic I felt recreating those scenes in pastel to be hidden forever just yet. So I made myself a promise to at least periodically flip through those books, boxes and racks myself as a personal reminder of the earth's beauty that so moved me to paint it.
I will be periodically changing out my works at Ollie's, but painting as often as I do - nearly every day - means I will always have more works than I have space to show them and not all will have the opportunity to be framed and displayed, not to mention the fact I simply cannot afford to do that for all of them as there are just so many. Some of these may at some point in the future be recycled. I've already discarded hundreds of old works as I have limited storage space. However, I do like to keep newer ones around for a bit before making any permanent decisions on recycling. In the meantime, I'd like to invite anyone who is interested in browsing through these unframed stored works to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.215.5241) if you'd like to see them in person. My apologies if this all sounds braggadocious, but some of these works I feel successfully captured the emotion of a place yet space and cost limitations mean I have to curate much like a juror at a show what I can realistically frame and display at the gallery, even though I still would be honored to have others see them.
So what about you? Would you still paint even if you knew your works would never be seen? Do you feel art is meant to be shared, even works that are perhaps only personally meaningful to you - and are you sure those wouldn't be meaningful to someone else as well? Do you have works you'd like others to see but you have to store them away rather than display them for whatever reason? If so, do you at least look at them from time to time or have you thought of ways to get them seen? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, and would love to have you leave a comment!