Puttering around the studio

This has happened before.

I have a big, several-month expanse of time in the studio ahead of me. Time to buckle down, get productive, take my art seriously. I’ve been playing around long enough; it’s time to make a Series Of Work. Time to paint a bunch of big canvases, sticking to a similar subject, or a similar theme, or hell even similar colors might do it. All real artists work in series. Time for you to start.

Like a stubborn child I resist. I start lots of different unrelated canvases, different sizes, colors, feelings. I re-work a small self-portrait, paint some dark red cherries, and start four different-sized canvases with scenes from unrelated places. Or I don’t paint at all. But you need a series. How are you supposed to be taken seriously as an artist if you don’t produce many paintings that look eerily similar to each other?

Time and again, pressuring myself to produce a series gets me nowhere. I can’t decide if this is because A) I am being too easy on myself, undisciplined, letting my fear of failure stop me from doing what I should be, or B) I am being too hard on myself, and the way I work now is the way I work best, and it’s the way I should continue to work.

The only thing I have figured out is that this approach isn’t going to start working for me any time soon. So what’s the alternative? Spend the summer painting any and every idea that catches my fancy? Try it all and see what I end up with? I can’t decide if that’s a good idea or not.

But it sure sounds fun.


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9 Responses to “Puttering around the studio”

  1. Tracey says:

    When given the choice, I always go for fun! Besides, something fun might end up inspiring a series.
    Tracey ICLW #118

  2. Stinky says:

    If you know what woks for you, then stick with it. Personally I prefer doing series because with oil paint, there’s always something to add to one of them. I like the momentum of a series in progress, but yep, your work looks like you’re pretty established in your painting!

  3. St. Elsewhere says:

    Is this your first time with ICLW? I have never seen you around. But I love the blogs and your artwork. Very chic!

    iclw #36

  4. Suzy says:

    Love the art!

  5. Jennifer says:

    happy iclw.
    I think rather than forcing yourself to work in a series, have fun with it. find a series of things that inspires you and use them as your muse, and maybe it will inspire you to do a series

  6. Jul says:

    Thanks, all. As I was writing this I start to suspect I was doing it because I wanted permission from the internet to not do the damn series right now. My evil plan seems to be working.

  7. C says:

    I, too, think you should have fun and enjoy the project. Your work is beautiful.

    Visiting from ICLW

  8. Bobbi says:

    Permission from the internet is a wonderful thing! I have the attention span of a gnat, so working in series is really hard for me.

  9. Jul says:

    Thanks for all the permission, guys. I’m rolling in it!

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