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How to Inventory Your Watercolor Paintings

If you are like me you have lots of artwork! What do you do with it? I used to just put it in a plastic bin and that was it. Until one day someone wanted to buy that certain piece, where was it? which bin? What was its name? how big is it? Did it have a mat or frame? or both? Oh no...I knew which painting it was but, didn't remember anything else about it.


So I thought I would be smart and make a list. I did, I gave each piece a name and a number. Still didn't answer my questions., Because I had forgotten the name..etc. So now I make two lists, an alphabet listing of their name and a yearly list with names and numbers. Still, confusing....but better than nothing. Now a few years later, I have numerous bins, I tried to list the contents on a list....not helpful. So accidentally when taking a photo (I used to take a photo and put it on the list, waste of paper and not helpful) I realized you can record all the information on the picture! Wala...So I still use some lists, but the computer has been a lifesaver.


Look at first picture....it is "The Forest". On the back of the painting, I always put the # in pencil.


Second picture is where I enter the information.

(Go to the photo. and click on the little i in the blue circle and this screen shows up..here is where you can put the info in. Now if you want to find the photo, just go to photos, and at the very bottom it has a magnifying glass icon that says search, click that, and then you can put in the name of the photo and it comes right up.). I usually for my own records enter the # (ie: 24-1, year 2024 first picture I finished.) I also enter the price and size.


Third picture is the List, I now Put the Year at the top and numbers accordingly. It is just a long-time habit, if you use your photos with all the information on them you can create albums, for Years, Shows, or even certain types of art. For example, Still lifes, Landscapes, Seascapes, abstracts, or whatever you want that will make it easy for you to find.


The other way would be to back up the pictures into a thumb drive or a hard drive. Do what easiest for you, but remember the more you paint the harder it will become to find a specific painting.


The last thing to keep in mind is the actual storage of the pictures. Remember not all pictures qualify for a mat and a frame, but many require a mat. When I mat a picture I always secure it with a plastic sleeve. That way it is kept nice and clean. I usually include a short bio of myself, an artist statement, and a certificate of authenticity. Those are especially important if you are going to present your work in a show. The bins themselves are plastic and have a lids, I have broken down the type of art for each bin, like the albums, Seascapes, Landscapes, etc. This way I can find them easier. I also mark the outside of the bin with its contents ie: Landscapes.

Keep in mind when buying storage bins, be sure the bottom is flat, or your artwork will be curved.




I really hope this helps you and your inventory. If you have any questions you can always email me. xxxoooBobbin




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