Old Art: Keep or Throw Out?

I'm starting a big sort/clean up in my studio this week. This is partly in preparation for my March 1st charity crop which is how I like to celebrate my birthday, and partly just to get a little more organized and clear some room on my shelves. My studio space is lined with shelves and they fill up so quickly as I create art and paper crafts. It is very possible that during this week I'll find some goodies to sell on this site, or even give away, so keep checking back!

What do you do with paintings that you don't plan to frame? I have a hard time throwing away a painting if there is anything in it to love.

I love this painting of lilacs that looks so windswept. Lilacs are definitely my favourite flower when it comes to fragrance, and I've struggled to grow lilacs on our shady acreage for thirteen years now. I'm thankful I can at least paint them, if not grow them!

I titled this painting "Bird of Paradise" and I had so much fun painting this abstract, exploring shape and line while keeping a sense of movement. I am trying to decide whether I should frame this little gem - what do you think?

Sometimes I'm just happy to paint a little study. This orchid includes the roots that spider out of the pot that I never know what to do with. I like painting a flower's "portrait."

I painted this outhouse during my last session of watercolour classes. Outhouses have their own charm, don't they? Which reminds me of this photo I took while rummaging through an abandoned property a few years ago:

Makes me laugh!

This one's really quite old. Sometimes I just need to keep a painting and remain undecided on its future until I've improved enough as a painter that it no longer represents me. Then I can be encouraged by seeing how far I've come! It's a good idea to hang onto a few older paintings just for the sake of measuring growth.

So as I clean up, I try not to be too ruthless. Sometimes those old paintings just need a few finishing touches to complete them. I held onto one painting for three or four years before I realized a solution to the problem that had caused me to abandon it, and once I'd fixed the problem and finished the painting, I framed it and it sold immediately.

And sometimes an old painting is an old friend. I don't have to paint for a market all the time. If I love a painting enough to keep it for the days when I need a smile, a reminiscence, why not hang onto it a little longer?