Monday, October 18, 2010


I was talking to another artist and after mentioning the larger paintings I have been doing was asked, "What are you going to do with them?"


My answer:  The same thing I do with the small paintings. 

(Put them away, keeping some, tossing out others after reviewing them later on.  Maybe even trying to get into a show with one or two.  Or just letting them sit there because they are too good IMHO to throw out but not good enough to put money into matting and framing and hanging them around the house.) 

Maybe it's a matter of being a painter who doesn't have any shows and doesn't put her work out there in cafes, coffee shops, small galleries or other venues.  Maybe it's just that people wonder why you are painting big if you aren't showing your work all around the area and then some.  Well, I guess this blog is my venue - and it's the only one, for now.

So thanks for letting me share my work here.  And thanks for stopping and commenting once in a while (I do seem to have my dedicated followers who are always around for support and a word or two and a BIG THANKS to you all = you know who you are!)

The Middletown Arts Center's current show ends the 23rd and I've been wanting to drive up to see it.  Maybe I'll do that this week before it's gone.  If you're interested, check out their link here to get more information about the show.

(I mail off my SWAP painting to my partner today and she doesn't know it's coming from me.  Hope she likes it!)


Paul Kasmir said...


I have paintings all over the apartment many artist have plenty of paintings/drawings/sketches that will never see the light of day the person that asked you that question? probably a very pratical person, sometimes I have to create just for the sake of creating nothing wrong with that at all.

Artist have been painting on cave walls and thats not practical at all can not really move that from gallery to gallery and that would cost a fortune to frame.

But one thing to consider is if you think you might want to enter them in to shows then you can go as large as the gallery/show will be able to handle and another thing to consider is that a lot of shows/competitions have size restrictions and if you plan on mailing out your work to competitions it gets very pricey the larger you go.

I guess in one respect the friend is just asking look down the road and see where these are heading if your painting and keeping them in the house somewhere then fine but if your thinking down the road you would like to enter these in shows then find out what type of shows and or galleries those would be and see if they have size restrictions.

If your blog is the outlet you use then it does not really matter what size you paint but if your thinking long term it might help you to find out what avenue you wish to pursue with these big works.


RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Paul. All of that is good advice. I don't think I'd paint big just to be painting big so there is something I like about that process and learning. I know often the size could be a problem when shipping something but I haven't gotten that far in my art journey to start thinking about that so just enter local shows where I can drive them and drop them off. A larger painting does command more respect in a room full of paintings - I've seen that. But again, even our friend, Nick, says the painting will determine the size - if it should be small or large.

Vicki Greene said...

Just keep painting, whatever size you enjoy. When you are ready for a show you will not have a shortage of material but you sure will get tired of framing them all at one time.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

We all know the problem of storage. I have decided not to paint any new 'serious' work for the rest of the year but concentrate on sketching. I know the shows I shall be submitting from year to year and my first after the christmas themed show I have already created work for will be next Easter at Grimston Church. If they sell more work at my permanent local scenes show at the riverside pub, I will produce one when needed. So I feel the pressure is off and I can play. Meanwhile, all our rooms in the house are used as gallery space and whenever I remove one for a show, the walls look so bare. ... but I agree isn't it wonderful to share our work with each other in this great blogger world - no mounitng or framing costs involved too!!. Just paint for the pleasure my friend.

Irina said...

I like so much to paint big. Large sheet gives extraordinary feel of freedom and absorbing into the process.

RHCarpenter said...

Ah, the age-old conundrum, Vicki! At least I paint on paper - thinner and easier to store than lots of painted canvases :)

Joan, sounds like you have a plan! Hope you enjoy sketching and preparing for your trip in May - what fun!!!

There is another feeling to painting big, Irina - a challenge, a looser feeling, something.

Christiane Kingsley said...

I find painting big easier than painting small: I really like it. Like you and most artists, I have all kinds of paintings that I will never frame or show - it really does not matter. I like looking at them, learning from them. If we worried about those paintings accumulating in our house, we would never paint:-)

Deb Léger said...

Hi Rhonda,

Create for the love of - and need to - create. Not for what you'll do with them later. Just because you love to create.

That's my reasoning.

If I had to think up a reason for why I was painting a certain size, or why I was painting a certain painting, or what I was going to do with the stacks of paintings sitting around here, or when was I going to start selling my work, ... I'd be in deep trouble and would end up not painting.

Gee, hasn't that just happened? ROTFLOL.

Gillian said...

Once again I find myself empathising entirely with what you're saying. I don't work big so storage is less of a problem but maybe you could consider selling through your blog - using Paypal's Buy it now button? Very easy to set up.

I agree that larger works command more attention but also small pieces in a big, opulent frame can draw people in too. Something else to consider. x

Gretchen Bjornson ART said...

I'm slowing growing a stack of work myself. Hiding them in my closet and posting a select few on Etsy. I'm trying to participate in local art venues as time allows. We have a nice group here with the Licking County Arts. Sounds like Middletown does a pretty decent job as well. Painting big is a challenge for me in watercolor. I think my comfort zone is somewhere around 5x7 and 11x14. I love your blog and look forward to seeing more of your work!

Jane said...

Eventually mine get cropped or torn up for collage. Even later, they get folded up and put in recycling. We just don't have enough room to keep the output of 2 people! I usually don't frame until I need to and often take an old one out for the new one . . . the value of painting standard sizes!

RHCarpenter said...

Christiane, I think I've gotten used to 22" x 30" and am okay with that size but going bigger has been a bit of a challenge.

Deb, you're right. I think if I quit painting there would be a big hole in my life.

Thanks, Gillian and Gretchen :) Perhaps it's just the time of year to rethink things and where I'm going but I must not forget the joy in painting - just joy that is almost free and doesn't come with much pressure (except internally) attached!

Jane, you don't save any of your work? I can't imagine - although I do often go through and toss out old stuff that I think is horrid (about once a year). Maybe I'm in the mood to do that now...