Friday, September 21, 2007

Starting a Series #1

Above are three pieces from my newest series, Planting Seeds -- Planting Seeds III, VIII, and XII.

Working in a series is relatively new to me. For the first 10 years of my art making life, almost every piece was done individually. I recreated the wheel with each new piece. On occasion, scraps from a large piece might be used to create a similar smaller piece. But that was it. On to the next piece. What to do next? It could take days to come up with the next idea.
I would read about other artists working in a series and I would think, "Wow! How dull. Can they not think of new ideas? How stifling." Now I understand that it can be a freeing experience. I can still change the size, the color, or even the theme (as long as I work with the same size and color).

Since I have started working this way, I have produced much more work, had much more fun, and have been far more satisfied with the outcome of each piece.

My most recent series is called Planting Seeds; a series comprised of 12 15x15" pieces. Each piece has a hand scattering seeds. I could say that this idea came from months of brainstorming. There may have been a subconscious seed or two in my head, but those two words had been on my bulletin board for a year or two. While pacing in my studio looking for ideas, I saw those two words. I was off! I was supposed to be finishing a previous series. A series that was not my favorite and most pieces were unfinished and buried under scraps from a large commission. I knew I should finish them. How terrible to just let them be covered and discovered unloved and unfinished two years from now. After 12 pieces in my newest series were completed, the older pieces were finally done. My belief is that new ideas trump old ideas. Maybe my belief should be finish what you start. Immediately! Should my belief become "if it feels good, make it?"

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