Debut theme question about adding products and collections

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I am in a testing phase for my store and am new at this.  I created a test product and viewed it on the product home page.  Easy.  I then created a collection and put that product in the collection.  Now it appears nowhere except in that collection, unless I also add it to a collection called "home page".    In other words, once I put it in a collection, my customers don't have the choice of browsing everything or looking for something specific, they have to look in the specific collection.  I need to add it to a second collection to achieve that.  


Additionally, if I now create a new test product I must always select a collection or it is invisible.  I didn't have to do that the first time.  Have I changed the behavior by creating collections?  Do I always need to go through the added step of putting the item in two collections?  


My expected behavior is that all products would always appear on the main product page, unless excluded.  The shopper could choose to narrow the range by artist, or type of art by looking in collections.  Is that not how it works?