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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Planning a Series of Paintings

'Morning Comes'            8x10         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
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It's time for a series!  Next week my pastel classes will be starting a new session: Six Weeks to a Series. This older post is very timely. Would you like to join us?  Read on for ideas on planning a series.

It must be my organized studio. Or maybe I am still recovering from my month out west. I don't know what it is but I can't seem to get focused. I want to paint everything!  I want to work in oils and acrylic more but I also want my pastels.  I have so many ideas and subjects I want to paint that it is hard to know where to start. But I'm not really worried.

 It is liberating to paint whatever I want for no reason other than I feel like it. I think it is important do let go and just go where the muse takes you. It means that you probably need this time. Sometimes we study and push ourself so hard to get better or take our painting to the next level that we forget to paint just for the joy of it.  I think this is when we can allow the breakthroughs to happen. When we finally can relax and just paint intuitively.

But.....a little bit of focus can help guide this 'playtime'.  Today I had to find a way to give my studio time a bit of focus. I am going to play....but the paintings will all involve one subject. It will be a series of sorts. (I still can't seem to get interested in my sunflowers so that has been abandoned)  This time my paintings will be inspired by a trip to Pawleys Island South Carolina.


a pile of reference photos of Pawleys Island
Using my new way of working with photos....I printed out 24 tiny photos of Pawleys Island. I chose a wide variety of landscapes, seascapes and birds from my visit last Fall. They all excite me and I can't wait to work with them.

  • Having a single subject will help me maintain some focus and will allow me to experiment with other media and more easily apply things I discover to each new painting.  I am not putting a time limit on the series but just let it happen.  

I will be sharing the evolution of this series with you. The exciting thing is that there are so many ways to explore this subject and now at least I have some direction for my explorations!  Today's painting is a pastel on Uart paper with no underpainting. This is the view of the marsh across the street from the cottage where we were staying. This was sunrise just as the sun hit the tops of the trees. The marsh went from cool to glowing with warmth.

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That sounds like so much fun! I have a couple of projects in hand that I need to catch up on, one of them a painting that's been on the back burner for years and the other a portrait I'm doing for a friend that I'd like to do right away while I have the energy - but I am planning it much more than I've ever planned a portrait. I'm excited because it'll be the best one I've ever done.

I had the idea for a series two years ago when I first moved here. Doing portraits of my neighbors in all their beautiful diversity. It may take a long time to do it but it'll be cool getting into doing people again and all of them in pastels. Will be following your new entries with great interest, even if right now I'm focusing on a different subject. You're always full of good information!