Posts Tagged ‘commonality’

Developing a Cohesive Body of Work

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

In order to create a cohesive body of work, there should be a certain commonality to all the paintings. A thread of similarity should run through them to tie them together as a group—whether through theme, subject, color palette, or some other unifying factor.

140512w A Break in the Clouds,

I find it easiest to maintain this thread if I plan a series based on the same general subject matter. That unifying factor may be as broad as a geographical region, a repeated shape, natural scenery, either specific or general subject matter, or a recognizable time of day. Or it may be as narrow as the same subject from a variety of angles, under varied lighting conditions, or at various stages of maturity. Or the thread can be less obvious than that, appearing, perhaps, as a repeated theme, such as education, relocation, relationships, or some universally recognizable human condition.

In the past, I have found that after painting only two or three pieces in what I had intended to become a series, I have become diverted from that focus and have begun working in some other realm, often on a different theme entirely. That tendency was not conducive to developing a cohesive collection. So, aside from one-shot paintings, not intended to be part of a series, I’m challenging myself to complete series of at least five paintings before changing gears to pursue a different theme.

I have begun a new gallery page called Recent Series Work. For the next few months, it will display my Irish Series, which I began this summer. The paintings, like “Break in the Clouds” (#140512w), above, are images inspired by a tour my husband and I made recently on the Emerald Isle. I expect to be adding more images to it in the coming weeks. I hope you will take time to browse through the gallery. The series page will be changed from time to time to reflect the changes in series themes. I invite your feedback, both on this series and on forthcoming ones.