My first gallery affiliation was in Taos, New Mexico in 1957 and as I began adding galleries I started an inventory list and began numbering my paintings. I just hit number one thousand. I also keep separate lists for the water color, pen & ink etc… My inventory goes across the page from left to right with if the painting was sold or a gift, the number, name of painting, and finally any information about the subject matter. I also kept my slides in a book, organized by the number of the painting, until digital prints took over. I also put a photograph of the painting on a 5 x 7 index card with the painting information on the back. Those are kept in plastic index card boxes. When a painting goes out to a gallery, is entered in a competition, accepted in a competition, is sold or is taken out of inventory for any reason, I write what is happening with it on the back of the card and it is placed in the appropriate box.
I have also organized my photographs by subject matter, so I don’t waste a lot of time hunting for a photo. It also helps me narrow down the subjects I really love, because I don’t have enough time left, at 85, to paint all of the exciting subjects I have photographed. Staying organized is usually difficult for artists as most of us are right brained, so I keep my price list, inventory, client list, Gallery list, current prospectus for shows, consignment sheets, etc.., in a leather bound notebook with handles, similar to brief case. It takes a while to set all of this up, but it does save time when you are not spending hours looking for something and have more time to paint.