Working in a series

The first time I applied to a gallery, I included portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, framed in a multiplicity of styles. My work was not accepted, but the gallery manager was kind enough to give me some advice: develop a cohesive body of work.

From my voracious reading of art books, I knew that one way to do this was to work in a series. But I didn't want to work in a series. In my mind, working in a series equated to backtracking and repetition. Ugh. There were so many, many things to paint, and having come to it late, I was striving to catch up. I didn't have time to waste.

Oh, how wrong I was! Working in a series is not about repetition, it's about deep-diving. Settling in and taking some time to explore the corners or your idea. Each successive piece illuminates and defines the original concept in a slightly different way.

It's not repetition, it's subtle shifts. Nuance attracts me, like a moth to a flame.

 

Here are a couple of examples of recent series, both of which happen to be groups of three... not a requirement!

 The goal for this was to push my color a bit; not to make it more saturated, or vibrant (my work is that way, already), but just be unexpected. 

The goal for this was to push my color a bit; not to make it more saturated, or vibrant (my work is that way, already), but just be unexpected. 

 This was about taking the original thought and pushing the composition.

This was about taking the original thought and pushing the composition.

 I got a little lost in the reds, here. I love it.

I got a little lost in the reds, here. I love it.

And for a totally different spin on a series:

 First "6-panel" ever, it was 36x108" long. Don't know what possessed me.

First "6-panel" ever, it was 36x108" long. Don't know what possessed me.

 It let to this 20x60" 6-panel painting. I was interested in doing a very  green  refections scene.

It let to this 20x60" 6-panel painting. I was interested in doing a very green refections scene.

 Keeping within the 6-panel format, up to my usual tricks with slanted horizons, which I think make a fascinating contrast to the vertical lines separating the panels.

Keeping within the 6-panel format, up to my usual tricks with slanted horizons, which I think make a fascinating contrast to the vertical lines separating the panels.

Hello, World

I have decided.  I shall start blogging.  Again.  (More on that, below.**)  I've always liked to write and have always hated it, too.  How is it you can have so much to say and then nothing occurs to you as soon as you're in front of a keyboard?  And isn't it a bit much, anyway, trying to be an artist and a writer?  Well.  I recently spent a month in Vermont doing an art residency and as part of my social contract with supporters, I wrote a daily update of my progress.  It was intimidating at first, but I grew to enjoy the feeling of debriefing to an interested party(ies).  I also found that writing about the art I was making helped me to clarify my own thoughts about it.  So here I go again!  

**If you are interested in reading what the previous iteration of blogger-me had to say, you can find it at http://rachelharveyartist.blogspot.com/.  I was pretty hit-and miss throughout, and I no longer maintain it, but it's out there in the ether still.  The last "real" entry was in May 2012.