It all started in college when I was painting big abstract paintings in my Painting class. Somehow I'd gotten hold of a ledger book and began recording the titles, sizes, and dates of all the paintings I completed (maybe 40 or so the year I graduated). For whatever reason, I hung on to that book over the years, and when I resumed painting again at age 30, I continued recording my paintings in that old grey book.
Over the years, I've filled several of these books (each book is 150 pages, so I combine 4 years into one book, separating each year with a post-it note tab). I love the feeling of writing the title of each finished painting, one by one, into a lined notebook.
Each painting is logged in order of completion; I use a red marker to record the painting number (1 is the first painting of the year, etc.), and I write the date, size, medium, and any other notes I want to make about the painting (especially if it immediately sold).
Needless to say, I take a high resolution photo (on my iphone) of every one of my paintings (sometimes while in progress, but especially when I've signed and completed the painting). I put those images into folders on my PC labeled DigitalArt/[year], and I rename each file with the title of the painting--I shun nondescript file names like DSC0700! It is much easier to search for images using words from the title. From my PC, I am able to print out images of my work, or upload an image to a website when I enter a show online, for example.
While I do have a software program (MS Access) that I enter painting titles into when I need to make labels for a show, this hard-copy book allows me to paste things into the pages--such as my favorite paintings of the year. (I print a "contact sheet" so that the images are 1 x 3"). I cut out each small image and glue stick it onto the pages of the book--I sometimes arranged images by technique or theme.
- Workshops and classes I've taken (and what I learned from each instructor)
- New methods/materials I’ve tried
- Art/artists who have influenced me or showed me how to solve a problem
- A “top ten” list of my own best works—and why they are important
- Shows I’ve entered (accepted or not) and awards received