|"Cross in the Wind" mixed media 20"x16" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
When an artist is seeking gallery representation, consistency in the pieces of art presented is crucial. A collector should be able to recognize the work as that of the same artist, Jason explains. The art should be consistent in at least four out of five of these elements: subject, theme, style, palette, and medium.
The same, or similar issues, are true for an author. During my book signing on Sunday, I was frequently asked what my books were about. Although the subjects are different, they all have a similar theme - romance with a bit of mystery and suspense mixed in. They have the same author's voice - mine. All but one of the five novels displayed featured my own cover art. However, I have two different types of settings, the exotic destinations for the "Passenger to Paradise" series of books and the small, fictitious town of Jefferson City, Virginia for two others, including my latest novel, Evening of the Dragonfly. Straying from the original series might be a mistake unless the two kinds of books were written under two different names, which mine are not. I think of Nora Roberts and how she began writing books under the name, J. D. Robb, when she wanted to pen mysteries as well as romance.
I've been watching authors and believe that those with a series, featuring the same character or characters, appear to be the most successful. The consistency of characters develops a following, and readers anticipate with great excitement the next release. Also, having an unique business or hobby for the protagonist develops interest and a following.
For me, as an artist, I am in trouble. I'm all over the place with subject matter, style, theme, medium, and even palette. I love to paint tropical plant life in acrylics. For many years, I painted figures in oil, acrylics, and pastels. Encaustics, a completely different medium, fascinate me. I adore experimental paintings that use everything from watercolor to collage materials and acrylics plastered on with heavy-bodied mediums. I also paint landscapes with pastels and am working on a National Park series using that medium.
What to do? I have a large body of art work created in a variety of styles and mediums with differing subjects and themes. With so much work, I really need to sell it. To do so, I must be consistent. What style should I choose?
|"Amy" acrylic 42" x 54" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
Realism or abstract?
This is a huge dilemma.
Especially for me.
Thank you, Jason Horejs, for making me think!