What Is The Biggest Dilemma of Beginning a New Series of Works?
When beginning a new series of artworks, there are actually several different challenges that one faces. And depending on what challenges you the most, will determine which one rates has your biggest dilemma.
Here are some of the things that come up, not in any particular order.
- The most obvious one is content. The content for a series of works needs to have a broad enough range and depth to it so that you will not run out of things to paint before you’ve completed enough works. The number of works will vary, if you are working towards a solo exhibition, for example, you will need a minimum of around twenty works.
- Also related to content is the cohesiveness of that content. Are you going to base your series around subject matter or stylistic content, such as colour palette, brush strokes, your unique artistic fingerprint?
- Usually, the reliance on your fingerprint alone is not enough, particularly if you are fairly new on the art scene. People won’t yet recognise your signature brush strokes or palette, so you will need something else to hold it all together.
- You can create continuity through telling a story in some way. This is what I did in my solo exhibition last year. The story was based on the plight of refugees, a current, relevant, issue worldwide, including Australia’s shameful track record in this arena. My intention was to bring greater awareness to the subject through my exhibition and to encourage people to think about this issue in a different way.
- One of the bigger challenges is remaining fresh with the material. What do I mean by remaining fresh? Over the course of twenty art works, it is relatively easy to become stale, running out of ideas for the next painting. This is why it is important to map out at the very least a rough plan of what you intend to accomplish. If you can’t come up with ideas for at least ten to twelve paintings then it’s going to be pretty difficult to reach twenty.
- Even if you are an abstract artist, your exhibition still needs to have something that holds it together. Abstract artists often achieve this through their colour palette.
- Another thing that will come up during any extended creative project, is burnout. This often occurs about three-quarters of the way through. One begins to run out of oomph. At this point, it is often a good idea to take a break, step back and regroup.
- And the last thing, although there are probably others, is that you can run out of ideas for the later works in your series. This, in turn, leads to sometimes inferior quality work, in both concept and execution. It is important to try to maintain a constant standard throughout the whole series.
So these are just a few of the things to look out for when beginning a new series of work. As they say, forewarned is forearmed.