What is a series?Simply put, it is a group of pieces based on a common element or group of elements: subject matter, technique, a particular set of materials, a group of visual elements, or a compositional format. A series can be created in an afternoon – as in a group of quick collage studies – or last a lifetime. Many artists keep several series going throughout their careers.
- Working in series allows you to explore ideas more thoroughly, give them some breathing room, and try out different solutions to visual "problems".
- Working in series gives your art practice focus and momentum. Rather than face the blank canvas with too many possibilities to choose from, the parameters of your series create clarity of intention.
- By considering the series the basic unit of art making, you lose the preciousness of the individual piece, the fear of “ruining” it, which can keep you stuck. Get un-stuck by working in multiples.
I made this piece in my Layering with Transparencies workshop at Art and Soul in Portland:
This combination of elements seemed to merit a little more exploration, so I began a series using similar elements. I haven't yet put the transparent collage pieces on, or developed them further (that is Part 2), but simply made some beginnings. Here is a little video of the process:
And here are five of the pieces of this series at their beginning stage:
My workshop theme for 2014 is "Series as Process", so any of the longer workshops you take will incorporate working in series. The longer workshops (2 - 5 days) that are not yet full include:
- True Colors: Collage Studio Adventure at The Rowe Center
- Abstract Painting: Series as Process at Pacific Northwest Art School
- Monoprint Collage at Pacific Northwest Art School
- Abstract Painting and Collage at Valdes Art Workshops in Santa Fe (NEW LISTING!!!) July 21 - 25 (will be listed on the Valdes web site in January)
- Big Fat Art at Pacific Northwest Art School
I am also teaching a one-day workshop specifically on Working In Series at Art and Soul in April.
Meanwhile, give it a try if you haven't already. Stay tuned for Part 2, where I create some transparent collage materials and develop these pieces a bit more.