Collective Wisdom | What to Do with Older, Unsold Artwork

I’m not sure why, but I’ve recently received a lot of questions from artists wondering what to do with older, unsold artwork. Storing old artwork can become a huge challenge, especially for artists who have built up hundreds works over the years. Studio space is at a premium, and every square inch that is taken up in storage is a square inch that’s not available as work space. I have a number of different suggestions of possible approaches to dealing with older work and their benefits and challenges, and then I would like to encourage you to share your experience with older work. Together, hopefully we can find the perfect solution to the older work challenge!

Idea #1 – Rotate Older Work into Your Current Inventory

Sometimes older work didn’t sell not because there was something wrong with it but because it simply didn’t wasn’t in the right place at the right time to get a buyer. I’ve sold many works that were created years prior to the sale. For artists whose work is consistent over the years in terms of style, technique and quality, recirculating art can be a viable option. The older work can be shown in galleries or at shows or art festivals, and, as long as the work doesn’t have a date on it, no one may even realize the work is older.

The work might need to be touched up, and it may need a new frame, but refreshing your older work in this way allows you to leverage your existing work to bulk up your inventory.

The Problems with This Approach

If your work has changed significantly since the older work was created, it may not be possible to show it with your newer work. In this case, introducing older work may make your body of work feel inconsistent, or it may call into question the quality of your newer work.

Many artists pass through significant changes in style and format, and for those artists, it’s not feasible to reintroduce the older work.

You would also want to avoid sending a piece to a gallery that has already had the work, unless they expressly requested the piece back (unlikely), or unless the work was significantly modified.

Idea #2 – Repurpose the Materials to Create New Art

I’ve known of many artists who take old canvases and paint an entirely new painting over the top of an older work. Some of these pieces are totally new compositions, while some are significant modifications of the older imagery. I’ve seen abstract artists who will let glimpses of the old work show through as texture in the new piece. I’ve also known of sculptors who have melted down an old piece to cast a new work (not recommended in most cases).

The Problems with This Approach

Not all art materials lend themselves to being reused, and sometimes the effort it takes to prepare used materials isn’t worth it.

Idea #3 – Offer the Art for Sale at Dramatically Reduced Prices on Your Website or at Shows

Some artists will offer older work in a “bargain bin” at their open studio event or at a show. The price may be significantly reduced in order to help the work sell more quickly. I’ve heard of artists offering older work at 50%-70% off the original retail price.

The Problems with This Approach

Deep discount sales of this kind present several problems. First, the old work can be a distraction from your new work. The pricing of the older work can also be a distraction. The bargain art may make your regularly priced work seem expensive and prevent sales – not the desired outcome at all!

Idea #4 – Hold a Studio Sale

Another idea is to hold a kind of art yard sale at your studio. The sale may target existing customers, or it may be an opportunity for friends and neighbors to acquire your art at prices more suited to their income.

The Problems with This Approach

If you target existing customers you risk training them that they shouldn’t buy your current work but should instead wait for your work to age and for the price to decrease.

Even if you aren’t targeting existing customers, this approach may not work well. Your neighbors may feel that even at a greatly reduced price, the work is still too expensive, or they may feel they don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on your rejects.

Idea # 5 – Donate the Work to Charity

Some charities hold art-related auctions or sales. Your donations give them a potential source of fund-raising.

The Problems with This Approach

Charity fundraisers can actually be a good source to build relationships with influential people in your community. A silent auction bidder may eventually turn into a collector. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to put your best artistic foot forward instead of presenting older work.

Another problem with this approach is that most events will only be interested in taking a piece or two per event, not a good way to dispose of a large body of unsold work.

Finally, the other huge disappointment in donating work to charity is that you can’t deduct the value of the artwork from your tax bill. You can only deduct the value of the materials, but most of you are already taking a deduction for those materials, so the net effect is that you get no deduction for the donation. This is inexcusable, and the congress should definitely amend the law to allow artists to take more of a deduction for donations, but until that happens, you are going to be donating out the goodness of your heart.

Idea #6 – Give the Work to Family Members or Friends

Many of your family members or friends would love to have a piece of your work, and they’re unlikely to look a gift painting in the mouth . . .

The Problems with This Approach

If you are particularly prolific, you may eventually overwhelm friends and family with too much art.

Idea #7 – Bonfire

I remember an experience early in my career when I was working in a large gallery. An artist was in town from out of state and brought in several new pieces. The owner of the gallery indicated that it would be a good idea for the artist to remove several older works from inventory.

The young artist agreed and pleasantly removed the older pieces, work on masonite panels, from their frames. One by one, he snapped the paintings in half over his knee, destroying them. My co-workers and I were mystified, perhaps even horrified, at the destruction, but the artist felt that if the work hadn’t sold, it must not be any good.

In the end, I suppose that if you feel your studio space is worth more than the work, or that it would take too much effort to dispose of the work in any other way, destruction is certainly an option.

The Problems with This Approach

It seems like a travesty that the destroyed work will never be enjoyed.

Bigger Issues

If all or most of your work is piling up in your studio, you don’t have a storage problem, you have a marketing problem! If you are producing work far faster than it sells, it’s time for you to shift your energy away from production and towards marketing. It’s time to find gallery representation or to participate in more shows and develop a collector list.

What Have You Done with Older Work?

Share your thoughts and experiences about what to do with older work, or ask questions about the topic in the comments below. Your input is invaluable – thanks!

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 often paint over sections of older works that haven’t sold. I see that as an opportunity to improve my artmaking for myself – not just as change for sales sake but to truly make it a stronger piece of art. In fact, many of my most successful paintings have been created incorporating former paintings and ‘improving’ them against my personal criteria. Perhaps the original stirs memories that I build on, or perhaps it just loosens me up for a more ambitious result but having the older work as a base seems to inject energy into my desire to improve what may have made sense way back when. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I just gesso over the whole thing but more often I am thrilled with the result. And my collectors know what’s good and what’s not yet quite there.

    Improving the piece – whether from a conceptual or purely aesthetic perspective – allows me to market the new one with greater understanding, confidence and commitment. That I’ve spent so much time developing it provides a meaningful story to share and opens up an interesting conversation with a prospect. Having access to my struggle and the evolution of the work engages them more deeply in what they are looking at and, I believe, contributes to them more fully appreciating my art.

    1. I agree with this comment. This may be the perfect opportunity to express growth in one’s artistic abilities. I’m guessing that most of us know when truthful to ourselves, whether a piece if art is really our best, if it misses the mark, could be improved or needs to be painted over. I’ve repainted pieces and it has sometimes taken a few years to come to the conclusion it’s not as good as first thought. Sometimes, I could only get so far with a piece at a given time and it needed to be put away to be finished another month or year.

  2. I am firmly in the slash-and-burn camp, though perhaps not to the point where I pull something off a gallery or show wall to destroy it. This is because my storage space IS limited, reworking old canvas/panels is NOT best practice for longevity (acceptable sometimes for practice pieces though so there’s that) and requires scraping/sanding etc. to make the substrates reusable – time better spent marketing or painting. Also, my paintings continue to mature, my skill level rises; I don’t want work that doesn’t meet my personal curation level out in the world. I also do not believe in training collectors to “wait for the sale”. I want to show and sell my best and want my collectors to continue to feel they are buying something that will hold value over time as well as delight the eye.

    1. I 100% agree. I have a “slash ‘n trash” day about once every 6 months or when I feel like I just have too much mental clutter to work around and as my skill level rises. When I tell people what I’ve done– they are horrified, but it just makes the most sense to me. If you want it; buy it. If you don’t…and leave it to my discretion — I’m trashing it.

  3. Thank you for delving into this issue. I agree storage and marketing kind of go together.
    Reading Idea #7. I was reminded of the time I enetered and was rejected from a rather prestigious exhibition. had created two large (for me) paintings about 4×8 and I was in a kind of Rothko mood. I was just out of school and had done well with other juried shows so I thought, “Why not?” I borrowed a truck to deliver the pieces but when they were rejected, I did not have anything other than my old VW Beetle. The pieces needed to be removed.
    I packed a saw and a knife.
    As I was dis-membering the canvasses in the parking lot, a shocked museum goer asked what I was doing. I told her I had to get them home and this was the only way. She was almost in tears.
    It is a violent act to many, to see art work destroyed. It’s a matter of one’s perception.
    Sometimes there is no choice.

  4. This is great – all good ideas. One thing I’ve been doing recently is holding free giveaway contests to get subscribers onto my email list. I am also planning to give a few away as incentives for people to stay to the end of my upcoming webinar. I prefer to give stuff away than throw it away, although if a piece is truly horrible, I’ll do that too. Thanks Jason!

  5. I am in the process of repurposing my stretchers. The older work is either rolled if I see some value in it or headed for the BBQ. Many have decried the idea of burning due to inflicting more damage to the environment. I will relook at what I have on that pile and perhaps reform it. The rest will meet the knife.

  6. All of this is such valuable information! I am on year 32 of being a selling artist and I am extremely prolific. I definitely alter my production with marketing and have employed all of these ideas to some degree. Recently I was doing a studio overhaul and had a piece where the frame had been too badly damaged to repair ( I also have lots of old frames sitting around). I had pulled the piece from the frame and was getting ready to cut it up for use in my newest collage works. I had a regular collected visiting my studio that day to purchase a small collection of works. We were wandering around the studio looking at everything, including discussing my latest endeavors. She saw the piece sitting on my work table and fell in love. The work was 20 years old! She had been collecting my work since 1995, so the age was not a hurdle for her, rather another piece of my artistic history. I did divulge to her that the piece was going to be “reconstructed and repurposed” and she couldn’t stand it:) I sold it to her at a small discount and she was thrilled!
    I had a huge shift in my work this past few years and I am now using new and old works for display in local businesses and offices, just so it doesn’t sit around my studio. They are marketing tools in my local community. 😊

  7. I have learned that, in the right mood, I can have a “fix it” day where I correct problems in old paintings. If not successful, I use the old painting as a colorful underpainting, and have have success with vibrant areas showing through. I often remove old paintings from the stretcher bars and put new canvas on. I cut up or crop old paintings to use in collage, or restretch the cropped painting on a smaller stretcher bar. Lastly, I have put discarded paintings out on the street where people walk by…they are always gone soon. Studio sales have brought me good profit, attracting those who can’t afford expensive paintings.

  8. Thanks Jason for starting this conversation. I’ve done many of the above-mentioned things: donated for fund-raising auctions (although newer work always does better) or given them to family/friends. I’ve reworked them, which sometimes has been quite successful. I recently created a new mixed media piece incorporating an older painting, which gave it a whole new context and it was accepted into a juried show. I also have painted over them entirely. I recently brought out older work to show again after years in storage, but it feels awkward to show them unchanged alongside new work, sales of the older work didn’t improve, and I am concerned that mixing in older work may have lessened the impact of the new work; I’m not likely to do that again. I have never destroyed old work, not wanting to add to the waste stream, and I’ll ever destroy sketch books….but I am paying for a storage unit, so I’m considering a one-time storage-unit-sale (at greatly reduced prices).

  9. These comments are very worthwhile, as was your summation of this problem. We live in a two bedroom condo in the winter in Palm Desert, CA. Every nook and cranny is filled with artwork. Each season I have a sale, and usually give away two paintings to bring in the people. I do okay and sell around 5 to 10 pieces, but that doesn’t even seem to put a dent in my supply of paintings. Ever since my gallery closed over 17 years ago, I’ve not marketed. I’m such an eclectic painter. My main love is oil and realistic scenes, but then between each realistic painting I “play” with ideas I’ve seen on YouTube. What’s fun is one of my “play” abstracts was accepted in my home town’s art center in Sioux City, Iowa. The event is called Artcetera, and little did I know that they are bringing many gallery owners and clients to bid on the pieces that were accepted. I’m almost 80, and paint every day. My goal right now is to paint where we live. So far I have five paintings finished. Next year around this time I’ll have a show. We live at Palm Valley Country Club, so some paintings are of the golf course, but mainly what I see when I take my walks around the complex.
    Your comments and helpfulness is wonderful. I bought your video, but have yet to take the time to sit down and listen and learn. My husband has been ill, so that’s been taking my time. Hope to get to it soon.
    Thanks again for your blogs.

  10. Jason – Many Fine Art Galleries in Houston once contracted with are now closed and I’m finding wall space in ‘Consignment and Antique Shops’ to show and sell to ‘art collectors’ with the date and signature in full view on the work. My work is finding new homes as a recent sale was to a doctor @ Texas Children’s Hospital . I’m living with a large inventory of work that once received many likes on a East or West coast ‘Artist Web-sites’ = PaintingsDIRECT and Saatchiart . . . Barney Davey says there’s two reason art may not sell – Not Good Enough or Not Seen By Many. Hmmm! Well I’ve received many likes and think it has more to do with just being in the right place at the right time – or our ‘luck’. Finding Balance is a full time job for me and many artist . . . Wouldn’t you agree?

  11. That “only worth materials” rule may not be as hard and fast as you think. I know that when my sister donated their old minivan to Rawhide, they were given the choice of a flat $500 valuation, or wait until it sold and get the sale price. I think the rule Rawhide works under also applies for charity auctions–namely, that an artist can use the auction-sale price as their tax-deduction value. Not sure how it work if it ends up being a raffle item.

  12. I’ll be melting down an old bronze piece that I was never satisfied with, so I can pour a new one, more in line with my current style that sells well. In most cases, I wouldn’t destroy an older piece, but it’s the right move to make for this one.

  13. I don’t bother with whether or not my art is selling as I’m not a business person. I cringe at the thought of huckstering. I make art purely for the joy of creativity. I love to spend time in my studio. I’ve sold a few pieces to friends but I’ve also given away a lot of my art.
    Currently I’ve got a pile of fresh blank canvases that I haven’t even painted yet. My walls are covered with my art work and I rotate my pieces. I don’t have any more room to have artwork so I’m working on small greeting cards that I will mail it at Christmas and for birthdays.
    All of my friends have received artwork from me and I don’t feel that I can bombard them with any more. I’m 65 years old as are many of my friends who are downsizing and don’t want more stuff. Plus I paint abstract and most people don’t like or appreciate abstract art.

  14. Wow, timing is everything. I had witnessed another artist doing a ‘burn purge’ of older works as a spiritual practice, and I became quite fascinated with this ‘clearing of old energy’. I have changed styles/mediums about 8 years ago, and have a couple decades of older unsold work. There is some I will destroy, and some that I will save. I’ll make this decision each year from year on out. (Okay…now I’ve said it – I’m planning a ‘burn-purge’ of works that need to be destroyed.).

  15. I love renovating old pieces of work. I always put removable varnish so I can easily remove it and renovate paintings that haven’t found the right home. As I’ve learned new art skills as I study and paint, I feel I can improve some artworks and usually they are the ones that end up selling.

    1. Wanted to add…. Sometimes a painting just needs to be cropped smaller. This also gives it a new look and some people want smaller works for their smaller homes.

  16. For older paintings, I would check my Inventory files on the computer Evaluate them and decide if I want to
    modify them. When my decision is made, I’ll take them out of storage and rework the paintings.

  17. I am a tapestry artist, which means I weave my work. Then I mount it on a wood frame. I recently moved and have almost no storage space for old work. I am pulling staples and re-using the wood frames, and taking apart the tapestries. The yarn can be used for experimental playing around.

  18. Sometimes I’ve gotten collectors to buy a piece that they can then donate to a charity auction. The collector/ donater can then take the full deduction. A win win.

  19. I went through my pile of paintings, and some of them didn’t measure up to my expectations. Some just didn’t work. I split them into to piles, one to touch up or rework problem areas an the other to sand down and use them for my plein air adventures. I knew that I would paint something better this year than the ones I did not like last year. Since we are always learning and improving, we can apply all that to problem solve the old work to make it work.

  20. I’ve been painting for 40 years and paint mostly everyday. Im 81 years old and have at a hundred paintings stored. I sell from time to time, mostly commissions, and for the past year have had art classes in my studio which I enjoy immensely for profit. Got started with a sign up sheet at church.

    1. Yes Ella, you are so right. I sold a painting this past weekend I was about to “redo” so to speak. (the wonders of acrylics). Anyway, in walked a couple who just loved this one painting and it was one of the oldest in my studio. They actually liked two of them. The other was only about a year old but the first was about 3 years old. I offered to take them to their house to see how they worked. I arrived with my “white gloves” and they did the rest. I am not a very prolific painter, so it seems about the time i am ready to re-do something to make it better (what ever that means) I sell it or someone needs a donation and I write it off.

  21. A word of caution about giving art away…when I was employed by a gallery selling very fine antique American art, we were invited by the family to see work by a famous (and wonderful) artist, long dead. These were family-owned items. My thought, as I saw the work, was that the artist would be incredibly embarrassed that they ever saw the light of day outside his family.

  22. If a friend or a family made a sincere comment about the piece being good I will tell that I would like to give it to them if they feel it would work in their house. If I have not had a good response and it is one of my older glass painting -dumpster. If it is a small metal sculpture I will disassemble it and perhaps repurpose it in a future piece. But generally I box most of it. I feel it is more the price than the product were I live and hopefully will be able to show in a show or gallery down the line since I have been doing the same style but with different material for about the last 16 years.

  23. Yes it’s very difficult to decide what to do with older paintings that maybe are 10, 20, or 30 years old I’ve painted over some Canvas 10 times over or until I think they work But destroying them is almost like Suicide destroying you own History as an Artist and than there’s the problem of storing the works especially when they’re in every room in the house it’s sad when people will buy a poster or machine printed paintings that you see in so furniture and goods store when they could have an Original Art Work

  24. My taking 20 years off to raise kids has helped me dodge this problem so far! Since I did predominantly drawings before my hiatus I take them out of matts/frames and have put them in Acetate sheets and have them in a storage container on a shelf. My relatives are clamoring for art, so if someone really likes one I will just give it to them. I am having a harder job developing a “Cohesive Body of Work”, especially since I both paint and draw. I did develop 23 works over the last 3 months based on “abandoned” farmsteads for my first every Gallery show which happens to open today (so excited!!). I’m sure I will find out about handling excess artwork after its over, so all these suggestions help a lot! For once, though, I have a bunch to pick from when entering my usual shows.

  25. I would never, ever, destroy my older work, since I think quite a bit of my older work is some of the best work I have done. They are my history. I can’t even imaging destroying or painting over those. As for the not-so-hot work, I still couldn’t destroy it. At least, for now..

  26. I recently had a client approach me with the offer to hang my work in her Air B &B so that she had quality decor and I had the chance to sell it. Obviously, that is a bit of a risk. I plan to counter offer and let her purchase my older art at the wholesale price and then she can sell it for retail price ( or higher if she likes). Win, win. She recoups her decor investment if it sells or potentially makes money. If it doesn’t sell, she still has the art and I have the same amount I would have if it were sold in a gallery. Granted this may only move a few pieces of work, but every little bit helps.
    If the art is able to be reworked or able to be utilized in a different way, then I try to freshen it up that way, but I always keep a photo record of all of my work-even the pieces that don’t meet my quality standards.
    When first starting out there is a pressure to produce quantity, as I have progressed, I feel that pressure less and focus on quality and try to be more mindful about curating my work to present a consistent quality and cohesive body of work which can be difficult as I work in different mediums and styles. On the other hand, it does open my sales up to a variety of collectors.

    Sometimes a piece is just waiting for the right person. I recently sold 2 pieces that I created 6 years ago. If you can find the space and the quality is there, be patient. Both pieces sold for a considerable amount more than I originally asked.

  27. I had chosen several paintings to destroy in preparation for a move. I had another artist help me decide which ones should go. Before I did that, I had a home studio sale and those paintings sold. It showed me that everyone has different opinions about art. So of course, now I am conflicted about destroying old works.

  28. I’ve done a combination of most things mentioned.
    I also have a page on my website where a percentage of sales go to animal rescue.
    I get enough to cover costs and the rescues get the rest. Win win.

    1. Yay! I was hoping to see this suggestion. I request from my various artist groups donations of the less saleble for our annual auction. Their contact information goes with their piece and a suggestion to see more of this art, and support this artist directly make an appointment.

  29. I know of a surety that I have a marketing problem. Although I do sell a modest amount of physical artworks, usually new ones, most of my income is through my mural painting services. I’m gradually making a transition from full-time muralist and part-time oil painter, to full-time oil painter.

    When I get a big mural project, my time is temporarily, and of necessity, shifted away from the studio. Once broken, that creative flow is hard to recapture, especially when fighting for attention with a body trying to rest and heal from the rigors of a big mural project. If you’ve ever had to haul scaffolding or a 50lb monster ladder around then you know what I mean.

    So here’s a modification of the “…shift your attention away from production and toward marketing,” approach that I plan to use.

    1. Keep the production of new work going, but perhaps dialed back a notch. The new work i’s what keeps my followers and newsletter subscribers coming. I have been repeatedly surprised when someone who has followed for a long time suddenly decides to purchase something. I want to grow that audience, not replace them.

    2. MAKE time and MAKE $ for the Social Media Marketing program Jason is offering. When he first put this out, I cringed at the thought of investing more right on the heels of another large output for Amazon fulfillment training (big expensive disappointment). Still, I just realized that if I culled out a few small monthly subscriptions to things I no longer really need, $30 to Shutterstock, $13 to Canva, someone on Patreon I no longer access, etc…I can comfortably pay for the program.

    Here’s what I know!!! Jason has repeatedly proven his trustworthiness to his following. He has given value after value through his blog-for FREE! He has taken much of his own time-for FREE to do the online critiques. I benefitted greatly from one of those last year.

    If Jason says he can help me figure out how to leverage social media, then I plan to hold onto that backlog of older pieces for now, dial back production just a little to allow time for some new learning, and see what the next few months bring.
    That’s my plan.

  30. On occassion I give paintings to homeless shelters. Dropping off art at thrift shops even far away can produce a real problem. Recognized bad or embarrassing paintings need to be repurposed.

    Old work is placed in a bin with only $5 – 10 off. The bin does not say Bargain, but it is assumed and always a couple leave this way.

  31. I’m a ceramic artist, mainly focussing on horse sculpture. Anytime I look at old unsold work, I ask myself: “Would I still put this in a show with my current work, or would it be an embarrassment?” -even if at the time I first showed it it seemed great. If the answer is no, I wouldn’t want to show this now, then it is time for Mister Hammer to make an appearance.

    Or, if some close friend or family has expressed an interest in the piece, I will quietly give it away.

  32. I am dealing with this very issue right now. And the burn thing has totally crossed my mind and, as a matter of fact, is specified with my family that anything they don’t want or can give to charity should end up in a bonfire after I am gone.

    In the meantime, I am looking at renting a storage unit as we have absolutely no more room in our house. I have sold paintings – I am just much faster at painting them than I am at selling them. That being said, marketing is necessary but I always sell in person and never on my website or social media.

    What do people think about online auctions? Some of my work is 10 years old but still in great shape for the subjective buyer. And I do not want to make any collector of mine feel as though they have been short shifted when I put my works on sale. Such a dilemma. Maybe we need art warehouse discount stores for people who can’t afford expensive art. We could put all of the orphaned artworks that still have visual value at a high discount for people who need a little joy in their life. Part of those proceeds could benefit homeless, children’s cancer, humane societies and any number of special causes…

  33. When I spent ten years taking painting classes I had many subpar paintings which I trashed but the ones with redeeming features like a particularly nicely painted peach, I cut from their canvas and glued to a large canvas making a collage that looks great and reminds me of successful moments in my learning process. 21 paintings became one collage. I recently held a giveaway for subscribers and picked 5 nice but old paintings which I sent to the names that came out of the hat. In the process of picking those I found some more that got trashed and a few that I repainted. I paid for shipping for two, the rest were picked up by the winners, but it was still worthwhile to recover storage space and connect with followers.

  34. Just because I want to paint does not mean the world has to want to buy my work. I’ve sold some but have a lot more stored at home. A prolific artist friend died recently and his wife had an estate sale. As I wandered around looking at the stacks of his work, I had a lot of thoughts of my own work. I also remembered a quote someone gave me years ago: “You never see a hearse pull a U-haul.”
    I’m in my 80s. Time to clear the decks.

  35. I’ve been thinking about hosting a “you can’t take it with you” adopt a painting party, as I’ve been very prolific this life. And have also survived a widow maker heart attack and open heart surgery, which brings ones mortality to the fire – what do I do with all this art?!? Back in 96 a forest fire destroyed thousands of my artworks. Being like the proverbial Phoenix there are over a thousand more since then. I still often sell prints and art cards of fire destroyed artworks, so even old ones sell well. So still mulling this all over, it’s helpful to read others experiences and thoughts on this…

  36. You just gave me an idea. Here it is: Remove the canvases from their frames and PVA glue them onto three tall narrow panels. Then hinge the panels together to make a room divider and auction it off.
    Just an idea.

  37. I’ve had fun a couple of times during home remodeling projects by putting groups of paintings in plastic bags and hiding them behind the walls or stairs. Then, who knows, one day someone may get a surprise when they, in turn, remodel at some distant future date.

  38. Last year I wanted to reduce the number of older paintings I had stored. I have quite a large family so I emailed photos of some of the work to family members and told them they could choose one as a gift but would have to pay the shipping to get the paintings to them. This worked well. I reduced my inventory of older paintings and family members were happy with their new artwork. It was a win-win situation.

  39. Jason, this chain of comments comes at a perfect time. Thank you. I will muddle with all the answers and perhaps clear out my storage space so that I can paint again.

  40. I paint on canvas taped to a board. I have 4-5 canvases tapped to a 2’x3′ board. When the painting has dried to the touch, stack them, flat. A dozen painted canvases only take up about an inch space by the sq. Then if and when a painting sells, I will stretch it and varnish it. Most of my paintings are 16×20″. Instead of hundreds of stretched canvases taking up space. I have a metal with canvases stacked up.

  41. I have used all the disposal methods described except physically burning and the repainting. Two days ago, I decided to try the repainting on one piece from a couple of years ago so the comments above have given extra impetus to that idea.

    Grew up in a military family and married military, where every move meant I had to trash most of my treasures. Lesson learned, trashing old work is easy for me to do. However, I do have one pastel from an ancestor and three oils from my past 60 years…not a storage problem yet. That might change if we never move again as I have become more prolific.

    FYI: Old photos of works sold have turned yellowish (the chemicals, not the paper) so, they are memories not archives.

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