Many artists work in a series, and I’m no exception. One of my art teachers in University had some interesting thoughts on the topic.
When Artists work in a series, they are trying to work through something.
The more we draw/paint/sculpt the more we come to understand it
I completely agree. Sometimes we are working through an idea, tearing away at our canvas trying to express our feelings. Other times we are trying to understand a style, working with the same medium over and over until we reach a level of mastery. Finally, our obsession may simply be an place, person or an object that has hypnotized us.
One thing that underlies it all for me, is a feeling of being COMPELLED to create. Something just drives me from within, and I feel compelled to bring a piece of art into existence. Many artists feel the same, not being able to eat or sleep until that painting/sculpture/book/song has been created.
For my latex series I was obsessed with the material. How does latex reflect light? How does it cling to the body? How does someone put it on, or get it off for that matter? I found the fabric itself fascinating.
For my Bicycle Girls series, I was obsessed with bikes! Their construction, shape, size, how we ride them, how our bodies fit on them. I am not the best bike mechanic, but I’ve taken apart my own bike to clean it and put it back together. I find the pieces fascinating. I can spend hours in a bike co-op just scrubbing grease off my chain and drive train. It’s a very meditative experience. When I came up with the idea for my bike girl series, I spent hours just looking at bicycles. They were all I could think about for those few months.
I get really excited by new ideas, and I usually have trouble sticking to one task at a time. But working in a series holds my interest because I can explore many different aspects of a single idea.
There is a real satisfaction from stepping back and seeing a pattern in a series of work. I find that a series helps drive home a story too. There are often similar elements floating through a series that hint at the story underneath.
Do you like art that’s in a series? Do you like to buy art in a series? How about a Tryptic or Diptych? Or do you prefer to have one piece that stands alone? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.