What Goes into a New Collection?

SO MUCH. That is the short, nondescript answer. A new collection is mostly a lot of decision making . Here is what it takes to put together a new collection.

My collections tend to be very separate from each other. You can tell the artwork is by me, but the colors and/or the moods are very, very different. Before I begin a new work, I must have an idea. For me, a collection is usually inspired by one of several things, namely: music (a particular song will stick to me and I have to keep painting till I get it out), personal life events (i.e. The death of a loved one, a chronic stressed relationship, or something that continually frustrates me), a memory (or a series of memories tied together and the feelings they evoke), a philosophy or idea I’m trying to perpetuate.

One of those topics will bubble up and I need to deal with it. Whatever the inspiration, I always ask myself three questions. “Where is the beauty here?” “How can I find peace in this?” “How can I bless others with this?”

Once I’ve answered those questions I pick how many pieces should be in the series. Sometimes a series is as few as 5 pieces, sometimes it is as many as 30. It really all depends on how much I need to express, how I think they will be received, and if they will be in a show or not.

Now that I have selected the theme, I choose how many pieces I will paint. I usually have to order materials. With the exception of smaller works, I stretch many of my own paintings. Depending on how many works are in a collection, cost for materials range anywhere from $150 – sometimes $3,500. It really just depends on what is needed and how much gold I have to order.

When everything is ordered, all the canvases are stretched, I play with my palette. I always know what colors will be involved in the pieces and map out in my mind which pieces will get different treatments, different amounts of each color. The main thing to keep in mind when working with color is asking yourself, “Does this add to or detract from the underlying mood and message?” I mix almost all of my colors from primary colors with the exception of metallic paints.

Painting a whole collection again greatly varies depending on the size of the pieces and the number of works in the collection. A series can take anywhere from 2-3 months to several years.

When the pieces are finished they must be titled, priced out, photographed, photographed in rooms, uploaded to the store, have a description written for each piece and have a general description written for the series as a whole. I pick titles that coincide with the original theme, things I associate with that theme.

Creating a new collection has never taken me any less than 3 months. The average amount of time and money it takes for a new collection is 6 months and about $1500.

That’s what it takes to put together a new collection. If you have any specific questions feel free to comment below or send me an email, and as always if you learned something or liked this post please share it with your friends.

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  1. I loved reading this post! It helps me one day conceptualize what would be involved in committing to a series. Do you prefer series or One-off paintings/commissions?

    1. Author

      Oh my goodness, that’s a hard question cause their both so different, but I prefer a series to a commission.

  2. “Where is the beauty here?” “How can I find peace in this?” “How can I bless others with this?”
    ^^^ Love that. Love that those are the questions to ask first before “How is this relevant and will bring in more money?” Because that never is a good way to measure success.

    Thanks for sharing!

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