Artists: Are you Consistent? A Gallery Owner’s Perspective

How Developing a Strong Style and Laser-Like Focus is One of the Most Important Things you can do for Your Fine Art Career

A number of years ago, I was approached by an artist who was seeking gallery representation in Scottsdale. She had been into the gallery during an opening and after striking up a conversation, had asked if she might stop back by the gallery and present her portfolio to me when I had more time. I had agreed and she was now back in the gallery on a quiet weekday afternoon with portfolio in hand.

The moment I saw the portfolio I knew I was in trouble. I am not exaggerating to say that this portfolio was at least two inches thick and must have weighed a good eight or nine pounds. After a brief conversation and reintroduction, she handed me the portfolio and said, “this is really only a small sampling of my work – I’ve been painting for over forty years and I have hundreds more images.”

I opened the portfolio and began randomly paging through with the artist looking expectantly on.
There was simply too much work in the portfolio, and I felt as if I were taking a survey of the entirety of art history. The work literally encompassed every style from cave painting (granted, an abstract take on it) to the Renaissance, the impressionists and all of the modern movements since – expressionism, minimalism, and pop, to name a few.

“You’re work is quite diverse,” I said.

The artist took it as far more of a compliment than I intended. “I’ve always felt,” she said, “that it’s important not to get myself pigeonholed into one particular style or theme . . . I like to keep my work fresh.”

I don’t remember the rest of our conversation – although I’m sure I politely waved her off with a stock “we don’t have any room right now,” or “we’re not the right fit.” Looking back, I wish I would have taken the time to give her feedback on her presentation and body of work, as she surely went on to have a very difficult time persuading a gallery to carry her work using that all-encompassing approach.

While this is an extreme example, I encounter variations of this approach quite frequently. Now that I have been in the business longer and have more experience working with artists, I always try to  have a conversation about the importance of consistency (not to mention the importance of creating a concise portfolio).

So why is it important to develop a consistent body of work?

 . . . the decision I am ultimately making is whether I am willing to invest in the artist and their work . . .

Step into my shoes for a moment and view your art through the eyes of a gallery owner. You will quickly see that as I consider an artist for representation, the decision I am ultimately making is whether I am willing to invest in the artist and their work.
I am going to devote expensive wall or pedestal space to displaying the art. I am going to have staff spending time and resources promoting and selling the work. I am going to spend advertising dollars informing potential clients about the work. In order to make this kind of commitment, I have to feel confident that I can see a return on the investment.

This is not to say that I am not willing to stretch and take risks with unproven artists, but I am far less likely to make such an investment if I see inconsistency in the work. My concern is that I will make the investment and begin to build a following for the artist’s work, only to have the artist make a sudden and drastic change in their style, forcing me to start over again. It can sometimes take years to build a following for an artist, and during that time a steady stream of consistent work is key.

Of course, there are many other considerations – quality, creativity, and confidence – but consistency is actually one of the first indicators I look for as it often speaks to the other factors as well.

In fact, when asked what an artist should do to increase their odds of finding gallery representation and building long-term commercial success, consistency would be the very first factor to which I would point. That’s right. Even above quality and creativity, I feel that consistency is the key to long-term success.

So what do I mean by “consistency”? Many artists hear the word and feel a cold-sweat break on their brow. Most artists can understand the importance of consistency almost instinctually, but when it comes to actually creating a body of consistent work, they’re not sure where to begin. Does this mean they should only have one style and one subject? Does it mean they don’t have any latitude to experiment and evolve? Does consistency become a straightjacket to creativity?

To answer these questions we need only delineate our goal. While my ultimate goal is to sell an artist’s work and create a base of collectors who will sustain the artist over the long-term, the immediate goal in terms of consistency is much simpler: when someone walks into my gallery, I want them to see a number of your pieces and have them be able to instantly recognize all of the work as having been created by one artist. I want the artist (you!) to give them a strong thread running through the work that ties it all together. From the first piece they encounter to the last, I want them to look at each and see its relation to the others.

Furthermore, when that same client walks into the gallery a year from now, I want them to see and recognize the new work in the gallery at that time as yours. In the marketing world they call this “branding” and that is exactly what we want to accomplish with your work.

Seeing consistency this way, you will realize that you do have some latitude to vary your work. You can paint landscapes and still-lifes as long as the style or presentation ties the work together. You can sculpt figures and animals as long as the visual language is consistent across the work. You can even vary the media you employ to create the work if the subject matter and theme are unified.

A few illustrations from artists in my gallery will help to illustrate what I mean:

Guilloume. Even though this artist works in oil and bronze, his figurative subject matter and his consistent style translates across the mediums. There is no doubt in a viewer’s mind that this work was created by a single artist with a clear vision of his work.


An Evening Out by Guilloume
An Evening Out by Guilloume
Mutual Thinking by Guilloume
Mutual Thinking by Guilloume


Lorri Acott. Lorri produces in both bronze and clay mediums and sculpts both animals and figures, but her style is consistent and clear. Through the use of elongated limbs and a “cracking” in her forms, both humans and horses are easily identified as being Lorri’s work.

Conversation with Myself by Lorri Acott
Conversation with Myself by Lorri Acott
Deja Vu by Lorri Acott
Deja Vu by Lorri Acott


John Horejs (full disclosure, this artist is my father). Though creating desert and mountain landscapes, florals and still-life work, Horejs’ style and presentation tie his work into a cohesive body.

Salt River Vistas by John Horejs
Salt River Vistas by John Horejs
Colors of October by John Horejs
Colors of October by John Horejs


Dave Newman. Newman’s nostalgic Americana inspired style is both unique and consistent.Though Newman relies on random found objects to create his imagery, he has a very clear vision of how he will give these objects context and how the objects relate to one another. Again, presentation becomes an important part of the equation in creating consistency in Dave’s work.

Taking The Scenic Route by Dave Newman
Taking The Scenic Route by Dave Newman
V8 Road Trip by Dave Newman
V8 Road Trip by Dave Newman


Jeanie Thorn. It is easy to identify Jeanie’s work by the materials she consistently employs. While she varies the size and shape of her sculptures, there is an obvious unification amongst her work that allows visitors to the gallery to locate her work with ease, even when it is scattered across multiple walls.


Mandala by Jeanie Thorn
Mandala by Jeanie Thorn
Cross Cut by Jeanie Thorn
Cross Cut by Jeanie Thorn


“But Jason,” you object, “I’m afraid I am going to get pigeonholed into my current style or subject matter and frankly, I just get bored quickly.” I understand these concerns. Here are some considerations that will allow you to live with (and embrace) consistency:

  • Edit. The great allure of being an artist is that you get to try new things and you are your own master. I’m not suggesting that this has to end, that you are stuck for the rest of your life creating the same art over and over again. What I am suggesting is that you make a conscious decision that the work you are preparing to present to the public or to galleries must be consistent. You can do the abstract work if you are primarily a landscape painter, but don’t include it in your public portfolio. Edit your work down to only the work that is congruent.


  • Give yourself parameters. Allow yourself one experiment out of every 20 pieces – 19 are going to be the consistent, the twentieth can be whatever you feel like doing. This twentieth piece might end up hanging in your private collection or might become a gift to a friend or family member.


  • Evolve. “Look at Picasso”, you say, “he didn’t just stick with one thing throughout his life.” I will agree with you, but if you look at the arc of the lifetime of work Picasso created, you will see an evolution over years and decades. What I want you to avoid is the bi-monthly reinvention that many artists experience on a regular basis (you may be going through this now).

 Now here’s the secret about passion: passion isn’t that feeling you get when you first try something. True passion comes after you’ve sacrificed and devoted yourself; after you have been true to your commitment

  • Choose. Sometimes a lack of consistency comes not out of a love of variety but instead out of a fear of commitment. You might have three or five (or twenty!) different styles you have dabbled in and you’re just not sure which one is the right fit – which one will engender success and sales. I am often asked what style of art sells the best. My answer is simple: the style which any individual artist is most passionate about. Art taps emotion and you are going to be far better at selling if you can make a primal connection with your viewer. You are going to be far better at making this kind of connection if you are creating work that you are passionate about. Now here’s the secret about passion: passion isn’t that feeling you get when you first try something. True passion comes after you’ve sacrificed and devoted yourself; after you have been true to your commitment. There are no two ways about this and you are eventually going to have to make a decision when it comes to your direction – so why not make it now?


  • Cheat. If you have work that is close but not quite consistent, you can fudge a bit by simply using a consistent presentation. You would be amazed at the variety of work that can show together simply because it’s in the exact same frame or has an identical base. There are limits to how far you can push this cheat, but in a pinch it can maintain your portfolio’s consistency.

I met another artist several years ago who had made a commitment to consistency. She decided to focus on one subject for a year. Instead of becoming bored with the subject, she reported that the more time she spent with it, the more she began to see that there is an infinity of variety in the nuances of any subject.

If you have a problem with consistency, I encourage you to make a similar commitment. I promise you that this commitment will have a revolutionary effect on your work and your success as an artist.

What do you Think?

Do you feel consistency is important? What have you done to maintain consistency in your work? What are your greatest challenges as you seek consistency in your work?

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. I have this same problem because I get excited about different things. So if an artist comes into the gallery with different styles couldn’t the gallery choose one and have the artist create that one style that the gallery will only sell?

  2. This is very much directed at me! I value your advice as a gallery owner, and will endeavour to edit my public profile to works that are of my primary subject matter and style. Thank you.

  3. It is both common and expected that any artist will want to experiment and explore different areas. Look at the work of Picasso and how he evolved over time. It is wise that should you (as an artist) venture off in a new direction, that you try to implement it into your existing style. It might be for example: a shift in color, or the subject matter itself. Whatever it is, the public should be able to recognize your work. When an artist reaches a high level of status and his or her work commands a high degree of respect, the more latitude they have in changing their style. I have come across talented artists; however had to drop representation with them, because I was unable to build them simply because they were all over the place. A gallery can sell more of an artist’s work when the artist has a following. A following can only be developed with consistency.

  4. Approaching a gallery must be carefully thought out. Put yourself in the gallery’s shoes and plan accordingly. I’ve learned that the first image of you and your work has to be a “stop sign”. After that, a turn onto another street. THink about the times that has happened to you, figuratively.

    I have a wide range of media that I can work in. I have a wide a fairly wide interest spectrum from which to produce work.
    Finding a consistency was a fearful issue as I submitted my work to the consistency master. Jason’s evaluation of my work was mind bending and life changingly liberating.
    My work is very geometric which reflects how I have approached some major design problems in art history, but I am also very much at home with the landscape genre.
    I now have a lot of work that I can look at, and I can begin to see my “fingerprint” (Jason’s branding).
    It is doubtful that I will have a gallery in the foreseeable future but I am pointing all my efforts as best I can to that goal.

  5. I have read your blogs often about consistency, but never quite “got it”. But this full article really pulled it all together with explanations on “why”, and confirmation that an artist doesn’t have to do just one style. The statement, edit the work down to that only is congruent, for presentation reasons, made the lightbulb finally go on. Why, of course! It made sense then. Thanks much!

  6. This is probably the most difficult thing for an artist to do. Fifteen years ago I was telling myself to focus. Today I am still saying the same thing. By nature artists are inclined to say: “what if?” We explore, experiment, envision! The key, as you wrote, is edit the work down. Just as we don’t have to share every thought, we can choose carefully what we share in our portfolio. Thanks for this very helpful advice!

  7. I try to keep a certain amount of consistency in my work. That being said, I don’t always have the same subject matter. For one theme “doorways and transformations”, I went off on a photo exploration and collaged these door images with others. Some doors physically opened from the panel on hinges. It was still consistent with the way I work, in mixed media on cradled board. I don’t feel restricted if I explore a theme and move to another and return to that theme .

  8. A few years ago, my niece (age 14) said to my sister “have you noticed how you can always tell Auntie Cyn’s work even if it is on a jacket or a canvas?”

    She was not complimenting me but rather complaining how I didn’t seem to evolve. I on the other hand took it as a compliment.

    Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of subjects and content matter but my composition and brush strokes have remained the same albeit a bit more refined as the years go by.

    I’ve noticed lately, as I’m focusing on my summer flower series all year long, that my brush strokes have become less precise. It happened when I forced myself to slap the paint on the canvas – stepping outside the lines – and just be free. “Who cares,” I told myself and I’m happy I did. So what if no one likes it, I feel good when I’m painting freely. And guess what, it still looks like me work.

    Is this consistency? Don’t know. But it feels good to let loose once in a while. Not trying to be contrary- just saying.

  9. It was this advice you gave me after seeing an early portfolio that has taken my art and career to where it is now, and I’m so grateful! I don’t get bored because there are infinite explorations waiting for me in my subject matter!

  10. I agree with every word you just said. I’m an artist and I love to do still life, portraits, landscapes, and abstracts but I made up my mind that abstract is what I love to do the most. I have dedicated myself to that art form and do not plan to stop, love will show u the way. I believe in the series approach, one picture leads to another, and I’m having so much fun. Now I need to make money from.

  11. I collected art before I was an artist myself. I collected art from artists who kept their style/vibe consistent. Most of the folks who collect my art, collect my art because they like the style. Thankfully I always approached my Mandala art as a lifetime journey. That “10 000 hours” to mastery type of idea. So far I’m around 8200 hours and I’ve sold around 350 of my pieces. But, social media algorithms have cut deeply into my sales over the last couple of years. Might be time for me to start approaching galleries…

  12. Hi Jason
    I have been painting for a number of years, with Sea/Landscape in a realism style. in the last year or so I have ventured into plein air work and enjoy the challenge of being looser in style but generally keep the same subject matter. Do you think that can work well? Enjoy getting your blogs and the input.
    Best Regards,
    Lee Munsell

  13. Consistency for different markets is important
    For example the European market is definitely different from the Canadian or American.
    And what is in vogue does change over time.
    My sense is that in Canada artists feel they have to shout for attention
    Similar in Britain where the equipment of swearing but in art has been a recent attenTion attracting theme.
    What the mainstream enjoys compared to more rarified gallery context can be very different.
    And it depends to the depth of the market.
    Again Canada’s is relatively thin even given its smaller population
    In the US the buyers market can support a wider range of styles.
    I do what I do trying to listen carefully to what the market is trying to tell me.
    Europe is very different as is the US from Canada’s very thin thought leaders
    In fact Canada is not the best place to be as an artist it is frequently theme and fashion driven unless one has a juror willing to fight the current “trend”

  14. Now I understand the definition of “consistency” within the artist’s world! I have submitted to National Societies for higher member status and within my critique they would state that they wanted to see consistency, but never explained what that meant! Thank you, Jason, for this article. For the first time, I understand what that means to the artist and the reason it is so important.

  15. This is a great article. I’ve heard this before many times as a concept but I really appreciate the practical advice on how to apply it. I especially liked the anecdote about the artist who discovered new depths and levels of creativity in painting consistent themes. And how this can grow your passion for that theme. I have many paintings done over the years that are quite diverse but I THINK they mostly have a similar style. (I wouldn’t mind some other eyeballs on that though to give me opinions). But now I’m painting seascapes and coastal areas to build up a series because I’ve isolated those as what I am most passionate about now and probably always will be. (With high desert a close second!)

  16. What an excellent article! As a member of a non-profit, artist run art gallery, I have a little more latitude in deciding what I want to present to the public, but I am still focusing my interests and effort on one particular style and medium that has had a positive response from the public.
    I’ve also noticed that artists who attempt to jury into our gallery, tend to get turned down when their portfolio is too broad. Emerging artists tend to include every medium and style of work they do in their portfolio, rather than focusing on what they do best.

  17. I can understand your encouragement of consistency as it is obviously 80% of your work done, and of course as artists we wish to sell our work. But I do object to only being assigned 20% of my full creative direction to subject, medium or framing to facilitate your job. Especially framing that should be an individual decision for each work, unless the buyer wants to reframe the entire room.
    I’ll take my chances, open my own Gallery and live happily ever after. I will also continue to read your very enjoyable and educational blog. Thank you for the opportunity.

  18. I absolutely agree. I appreciate artist who have made that kind of commitment to their work because it shows dedication and an ability to subjugate the frivolous, fleeting ideas of the imagination for the more focused and disciplined process. That is, I think, maturity. Mature work is very appealing. This is a particularly interesting topic for me now. I have recently returned to painting after twenty years. I am at the place where I am still exploring in order to find my rhythm, my voice, and my natural response to the work I want to do. I find the search tiresome and I can’t wait until the time when I have my ah-ha moment and know the direction for my work. Although my work is executed well and is uniquely me, it nonetheless lacks consistency now. I know when I finally get there, there will be no limit to what I can express but until then I can’t sell my work other then a piece here or there. Reading your analysis helps me remember what my goal is. Thanks.

  19. As an illustrator for 35 years, I can tell you that everything you said with regard to consistency in creating fine art applies 100% to whether or not you are hired to illustrate.

    My illustration work evolved over the years, but it was always identifiable as my work. Now, as a fine artist, I think my work is similarly consistent. One of my favorite artists is Red Grooms. He has worked across all venues and used various materials, but his work is always easily pegged as his work. Why? Because his mark making style is constantly his.

    I am also a collector. I look for artists like Grooms, and another favorite, Terry Turrell, who present a very unique sensibility when I buy pieces.

  20. I have been painting or drawing since I was three or four. I had heard about consistency over the years and you for the first time made it make sense to me. Now I have a direction to make my animals, portraits, landscapes and abstracts have a consistent theme if possible.

    I bought your book and read half of it the first day. You make it easy for me to learn from your style of conveying your knowledge and experience. Now I am motivated to stretch myself in refining the things I have learned and deciding what I like the best of what I already know.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Judy Strait

  21. Hard to hear but great to know, I am two years in and still haven’t identified my style or a direction in consistency yet I am self taught so I feel I have at least another year to explore me and what I get really excited about now I know how to focus as I walk through the mire to find my way I understand what I need to do thank you so much

  22. Wow ,
    I have been reading your advise on “consistency” for years. It’s always been in the back of my artistic brain. Now having just read this information, I feel more motivated to decide on one of the many themes I have enjoyed painting and lend my “passion” to a more unified area. Thank you for your perspectives. As I reevaluate where I want to move with my painting, I will allow your wisdom to hopefully move me in a direction that will enable me to actually be more financially successful as an artist.

  23. Thank you for this article. It clarifies the concept and gives us excellent examples as well as explaining the value of consistency.

  24. As someone who reviews portfolios frequently, I couldn’t agree more with this article. In fact, I find that artists who have committed to going deeply into a direction have the most interesting and mature work. Choosing consistency allows you to explore and perfect that direction. A portfolio presentation that has a cohesive signature look always makes an impact that cannot be achieved by showing “some of this and some of that.”

  25. Last spring I finished taking Jason’s art business academy. Consistency was only one of the assignments he had me focus on. The academy has had a lasting influence on my artwork.
    Next month, I will be sending images to a gallery that has requested seeing them. Consistency will be at the top of my list in putting together a portfolio.
    For experimental artists, like me, it’s not easy to keep a solid consitency but over time, I have been able to identify what works for my visual language and what does not.

  26. This was exactly what I needed to read. I have been a rebel about consistency because I am just starting out and am trying to find my best style. Not wanting to be told what to do or have my creativity directed for me. After reading this I can see it in a different perspective and it makes so much sense!! So much that I am going to try and modify my existing pieces to be consistent before I put my portfolio together. Thank you!!!!

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Having been a commercial artist for decades I have been trying to be in the fine art world. Now, I feel like I know one of the most significant things I need to work on…I love all your articles! I’m going to revamp my website first because I’m sure it is inconsistent enough to make anyone dizzy….

  28. Your article is so pertinent right now because as an artist I am at the crossroads of what style I should adopt as my consistent
    My dilemma is this.. So far I have been doing series .. of different subjects but in the same style.. and they appeal to a wide circle of viewers. However like you correctly pointed out , Galleries require consistency for acceptance. But then, the style that I might use to be my consistent one may not t appeal to all viewers and collectors!
    Do advise. Thanks

  29. Really good post. Hits the nail on the head. I floundered about quite a bit before I realized I was always on the path to “pattern”. Even though I experimented with different styles the idea of pattern was always in my mind. Clarity of vision is a wonderful thing!!

  30. A good article and thanks for the info. This is something that I have learned recently as an artist and a businessman trying to sell originals and prints. As a painter I have ended up doing work dealing with the ocean and sailing for topics more than any other theme. I think finding that topic/theme that moves your heart and that you could literally do over and over again is where you need to be.

    Second, I think the commission work is where I find the variety. I have one coming up that a client wants me to do in a city-scape because she likes my style, not necessarily my topics.

    Third, through some mentoring I learned that about 70% to 80% of what I do isn’t what I want to do, but what sells. This is less artistic and more business orientation that being a creative I don’t like. Do what sells. Right now, the ocean is selling for me so I’m lucky that I can create from my heart.

  31. Great advice! All true for fine art galleries. Over the years I have been represented by many galleries and understand what consistency is all about.
    One gallery owner actually told me if I would relocate to his city and paint what he told me to paint I would become a millionaire. I don’t know about the millionaire part of his proposal but do believe I would have fared very well simply by painting one consistent theme and style.

    Eventually, I opened my own gallery in my home town. For over forty years I have had the good fortune of combining several different styles of my explorations in art all at the same time. Realism, Surrealism, and Abtract. Most of my clients preferred realism, which was no surprise. But others were attracted to the abstracts and surrealistic work because they had modern decore. I understand this is not common practice nor good advice to up and coming artists but if I had to paint in the same style for years on end I would be bored out of my mind. My story is not meant to refute the good advice Jason has stated so well and his advice is spot on…It’s just my experience.

  32. First thanks for the article. I’m on my 2nd gallery ( different states) and both wanted the ‘consistency’ you spoke of, but didn’t say it the same way.
    An artist ‘s style develops and changes/grows over time _ I think. but its gradual rather than radical.
    I want to experiment, but so so sparingly as I also want to be sure I am learning and growing in the genre and medium I have chosen. But I cannot paint the same subject matter over and over __ most of the time.

    So a Question _ consistent style is more important than consistent subject matter?

    1. I would say it this way – if you think of consistency as consisting of six key areas (subject matter, style, theme, palette, medium and presentation) as long as you are consistent in any 4 of those areas you can introduce variety in the remaining 2. So if your style is strongly consistent, along with your palette, theme, medium and presentation, you can definitely vary the subject.

  33. Good advise. Throughout my history I have been very versatile, but alway have not been content to do only one or a few pieces in any given manner. I am embarrassed by the amount of work I have on hand – indigestible.
    But there are five or six modalities that are self resonant each with dozens or scores of examples. I am willing to make believe that I only work in one modality.

  34. Thank you for the article. It was hard for me to read for me because I identified with being like the lady with forty years worth of different aspects to her work otherwise, although I don’t have that many years worth. I had thought that was something to be proud of – to be able to be diverse. And it’s enjoyable. Although I only have five years of painting experience, I recently had a woman view one of my paintings and tell me I couldn’t possibly have taught myself to paint something like it in only five years because it was “too good”. That painting didn’t even make it into the FAV15 in the BoldBrush contest, so maybe it’s not as great as I think it is, even though I felt I’d reached a new level of achievement with it.
    I want all my work to elicit that sort of response – consistently. And so, I spend hours trying to decide what to paint next. I’ve recently been struggling a bit with two dilemmas: the first is that the gallery I belong to is a co-op and while I was juried into it along with two dozen other local artists who work in various media, I have been struggling with the concept of creativity v. commercialism. I need to sell a painting at least once every couple of months to pay the rent for my wall space there, never mind having an income from my work.
    So I’ve had to consider what will sell in a small historic town that attracts both tourists and locals. Since January, I’ve sold two paintings, about a dozen note cards featuring photos of my paintings – and a pillow! That’s not really what I want, but as a fairly new painter, just getting the public exposure has been at first frightening, then exciting and now has me going through my files of ‘to be painted’ ideas with selling to this public rather than painting what I am most excited about at the moment.
    That is where the second dilemma comes in – I get excited by so many ideas because I see them all as a personal challenge and want to paint everything I see that would be one. I will mull over a photograph for a long time before putting it onto canvas. I haven’t found my unique style yet let alone subject matter as my collection of art ideas is very diverse.
    I have seen great commercial success for some artists who see to paint the same thing over and over and decided that wasn’t for me – boring I think. However, as I review the FASO Daily Art Stream each time, I have come to recognize certain artists without even looking at the name on the work – just as I can differentiate between a Monet, a Renoir, a Picasso or Pino and just about every other famous artist out there.
    I’ve come to realize it that it isn’t just the subject matter – that I don’t have to paint pointy people in the rain with red umbrellas, for example, in order to achieve the consistency you speak of – it’s much more than that.
    The technique of how these artists apply the paint to the canvas makes their work recognizable even more than the subject matter. The color palette may work toward this as well. I’ve studied some work of current artists and wish that I could figure out how they apply their brushstrokes to the canvas to achieve the look that makes their work unique and recognizable – consistently.
    I have a goal of applying to the Arts Club of Washington, DC next year. I need ten consistent paintings to submit – this will be a great way for me to practice the goal of achieving something coherent in my work and while initially I was thinking that I could just submit ten works with a common theme, I think there is going to be so much more to it in order to achieve the consistency which they may be looking for.
    I am not sure I have honed my technique yet and would like to have it be something more special than it is. I hope my work continues to mature, but along with theme, color palette and I think of equal importance will be the emotional reaction that the viewer will see each time they look at an individual work – they won’t react to some more than others, they will react to each one with the same visceral reaction. It’s great that my friends and even the public all give me positive comments, but it sounds as though that is not enough. So, I wanted to ask: is that considered consistency – the reaction to the works?

  35. You wrote something about this a few years ago, I think, back at the height of the “Painting-A-Day” movement. At that time, I began to do some small representational studies in oil. While I’ve always tried to tell a story with my work, it was not always connected enough in other ways. Then later I read something else you wrote about this and things started to come together. I’ve finally found my place and am beginning to sell more work. It’s not a flood yet, but closer than I’ve ever been. One thing that will help is to edit out the side-trips I’ve made along the way. I’m kind of proud of that side-trip artwork and I thought that having a separate section for each on my website was the solution. You’ve made me rethink that. Perhaps I will sell more if I cull out everything except my central passion.

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