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responding to suggested eval

  • What is the problem? (ex. my goal is 50k but I made 35k)


sparkle goal - 150k (this is at least what I am capable of and would like to be bringing in) 


PROBLEM - participated in more face to face shows this year than ever - and made less money   

2021 - 13k

2022 - 9k

2023 -5k


worried that in admitting the problem (that my work is not selling) to others Im seen as someone who’s work is not that great (no one wants my work, unprofessional) - 

collaboration with other artists - will be seen as a problem (by associating with an artist who is not that successful.


DATA for 2023

F2F 2023 shows - artist receptions, artist talks, open studios, etc. 

(list does not include many group juried show my work has been included in - I consider these nice, and I can promote them in social media, but do not really provide opportunities for sales)


Cosmopolitan Club philadelphia - 3 person show - individual shows in private club for professional women -  by invitation - reception/talk - 6 weeks (sold)


Acad of Notre Dame - large group show/ invitation - sold  work this year and in previous 3 years - one week


Spring Solo Series at Abington Art Center - chosen by submission - large solo show (3 other artists also in separate rooms) artist talk, large reception 6 weeks  sold one work


Plastic Club Philadelphia - members show award - reception and sm promotion (Raymond K. Naylor Award) - no sales


Featured artist in 2 art publications  (hardcopy and online)- artists of PXV (local), Photo Trouvee Magazine (national) no sales


September - Kensico Dreams - solo show Public Library meeting space Harrison NY   one month, reception, 2 meet the artist day, etc


5 Open Studios - April 1, Sept 23, Oct 1, Dec 1,2; Dec 23


  • What is my theory of what is causing the problem? 

  • (ex. I'm not meeting enough people)

that I have not connected with the “warm” collectors enough, 


the economy - although the stock market is good, it is not working to provide real spending money for most people - does not allow for purchases for art




what is my theory - what am I doing RIGHT? - 


I am doing what I love. 


researching for and taking advantage of opportunities presented to me  


being selective about shows I apply for - asking questions if they are serving me


improving my presentation (a constant)


moving into art studio with space and area for appointments, open studios, etc. 


Have functional, updated website with easy ecommerce ability to purchase almost any piece.   Information easily available for studio visits, appointments. Keeping it simple - paintings and limited prints.


I am a pretty DIY person and have made sacrifices and worked hard with my husband my make our and our childrens’ lives successful.  We have a lot to be grateful for - through that sacrifice we own a house (and finally paid for the whole thing this year), saw our children to being successful adults, and live a comfortable life.  Support my husband transition from active duty military to teaching career to retirement. He supports me as I have increased the time I spend painting. During this time it was difficult to feel like I had the financial resources to be a full time artist.  


Currently I cover my artist costs: studio rent, materials, etc. with income from art and ss.


Over my lifetime, in addition to being a military spouse for 24 years, and full time mom,  I had  many art-adjacent jobs —graphic designer, university art professor, public school art teacher, etc, many part time/freelance jobs before I felt I could devote full time to painting, starting in @2017 I made that switch.  Many of those acquired skills are helpful currently.


This year I have moved into a new much bigger studio space, have the time and space to make new work.  I go to my studio every day I can (3-5 days a week).  The rental cost of the studio can feel like a luxury, although I am sure I belong there every day.  


Painting and expressing ideas through my art is what makes me happy, and look forward to continuing. 



  • Write down all my thought errors. (examples…)

    • I'm bad at meeting people. 

    • People don't want to connect with me. 

    • I don't know how to reach my people. 

(error) My work appeals to a limited group of people, age group. 


 I have never been good at making money, and have been mostly reliant on others (parents until I was @ 21, then husband) for my day to day expenses throughout my life (this is a thought error)


Do I deserve success, or do I put myself in a place where I consider myself less than (impostor, not a skilled or appealing artist, unpopular !!, etc. 


My artwork needs to be less expensive for people to consider buying and think about lowering prices-  (thought error)



Not convinced that outdoor shows are for me - the physical effort - or the chance that weather takes the whole thing down.  I am good with installing/deinstalling indoors, or  If I am not getting sales through the f2f efforts I have made in the previous year, why would being at outdoor shows be different?

Resources for help - LIfting and carrying and putting up shows is not in my physical wheelhouse right now. my husband is willing, but I am concerned about his getting hurt. My son is very busy working and being a dad.  Asking for help, (I wouldnt expect this kind of help for free) or finding money for paying additional people to help - given current finances, is tough. Looking at my own needs as well as those who I live with and care for. 

(more an analysis of practical issues - I am concerned this is seen as being resistant.)   


  • What new thoughts do I need to believe?

    • Meeting people is easy.  

    • People are waiting for me to show up. 

collectors are waiting for new work.

My older work is desirable 

My work is a bargain.

My work helps people feel connected and belong

My work helps people reconnect with memories, move across time.

Being open and vulnerable is good, not something to protect myself from.


  • Write the solution...and then on a scale of 1-10, how deeply do I believe the solution? (if you don't believe it, you won't work towards it) 

Making f2f contact with more people.  10


When I have a show opportunity ask for at least one or more additional “meet the artist” dates that I can schedule and promote. 


Work can be presented in a more engaging way (telling stories based on my experiences - see below) 9


I continue to stay in subject matter/media that I am happy with.   I do experiment with new ideas within the memory/vernacular photo 


  • What would my model be if I 100% trust myself that this is the solution. Start with your Action line and write down all the things you are going to do based on your solution.


WRITE - focus on a story for each painting that is more focused on me. Be authentic and vulnerable. Since I use memory as a strong part of my work - Why did I choose this image? What did it spark in me to make this?  Put aside time every week (monday mornings from 9-12) to construct - make lists of content, write stories, schedule sm media posts and email list posts. 

Find f2f opportunities - open studio early spring. (f2f on calendar upcoming shows in may - CCST, solo show)


Currently I have 29 8x8 paintings that are sitting in my studio - and they are on a single page in my website.  - I plan to write for each one and post 3x a week as a featured work.  

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