Small Works: A Great Way to Promote Yourself

Joyce Washor: Flowers - Small Work


I am proud to welcome again, Joyce Washor, as our Guest Blog Writer. Joyce Washor is author of Big Art, Small Canvas: Paint Easier, Faster and Better with Small Oil Paintings, North Light Books, 2006 and two iBooks: Watercolor Harmony, The Tao of the Complementary Palette, 2012 and Oil Painting Harmony, The Tao of the Complementary Palette, 2013.

Even if you never have painted small, it may be worth setting some time aside to amass a grouping specifically for this purpose. You may be able to increase your exposure, not only in your immediate area, but state, country and worldwide. I needed to downsize my canvas size because of a rotator-cuff injury, but you may downsize out of choice. Entering Holiday Shows led me to year-round representation in many parts of the U.S. and even in Japan! Since small paintings are so easy to ship international galleries are no longer beyond your reach. Japan and other densely populated countries are a great marker for small paintings since their living areas tend to be small.


  • Assemble a body of work no larger than 11×14 inches that are representative of your work.
  • Small doesn’t mean less; they should have the same quality of your larger pieces.
  • One way to start painting smaller is to gradually decrease the sizes of your canvas.

Lets say you usually paint 20×24 inch canvases. Try doing the same composition 12×16 then 8×10. If you want to go even smaller you can try 6×8. You can take a photo of
the regular size painting and then print it out in smaller increments to see how it will
look. Since artists are so visual, talking about it might not do it. Seeing it smaller makes
a world of difference.

Once you have a body of work the next step is to do the research!


  • Use Google to search “holiday art shows” and “small works exhibitions”.
  • Refine the search by using your state and neighboring states.
  • Remember shipping is quite inexpensive to ship small packages!
  • In the early Fall, read magazines like Southwest Art Magazine for ads for upcoming Holiday shows.
  • Read Professional Artist Magazine and the newspaper Art Times for their exhibition opportunities.

Small work shows happen all year round but are especially prevalent at holiday
time.You may need to plan ahead in order to be prepared for these shows. Magazines
will start advertising a few months ahead of the holiday season.


  • Check your local art societies and museums for holiday shows.
  • Include on-line galleries.
  • Join the daily painting movement.

Another way to promote yourself is to let your generosity shine! It’s also tax deductible
so don’t forget to get receipts!


  • Use small work for fund-raisers.
  • Use the email or address of collectors for your mailing list.

Once you’ve been accepted to either a holiday show or a small works show you can use it as a stepping stone to gain representation by the gallery. At this point you can use the same methods that you would normally use for approaching a gallery. There is much advice for this online and you now have your foot in the door because you’ve already had some personal contact. They’ve seen your work and hopefully sold some!

Joyce Washor is represented by The Gray Owl Gallery, (New Paltz, NY), The Lawrence Gallery (Scottsdale, AZ), and The Aspen Group (Tokyo, Japan).

I invite you to read Ms. Washor’s first guest blog article on New York Artists Online:
How to Publish and iBook

Joyce Washor: Artist at Work

Joyce Washor


More information is on Joyce Washor’s website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>