Saturday, May 31, 2014

WORKING IN AN ART SERIES: WHERE TO START


Where do you begin when thinking about working in a series?  The first thing to do is decide on a theme.  Without one, you will end up with a group of pieces that are not cohesive. There is nothing more confusing than going to an art opening and seeing work that does not go together.  Sometimes you wonder if the same artist did all the works.  You can work on different themes, but each series consists of one theme. 

  Studies in Series Work,  Lori LaBerge  2014

A theme can be something you can physically see or be a feeling you'd like to create in your works.  Think about things you are interested in.  Do you collect anything?  Do you have a favorite place or object?  Are you interested in mystery or emotions?  Would you like to focus on colors?  Are you interested in shapes or lines?  Write down your interests then look at each of those interests carefully. Would any translate to artwork?  

Most importantly, is the theme you have chosen something you can stick with for a long period of time?  I usually create 18-20 works in each series.  I have viewed work by artists who have created 30 or more pieces on the same basic theme. Some artists spend a lifetime on one theme.

The three works above are a combination of drawing, photographs and computer sketches combined to form a possible series on architecture. When we are on the road, I love to look at all the buildings.  The shapes, the lines and the curiosity of what is inside all interest me.  I like to focus on things up close and this translates well into a series focusing on sections of buildings rather than the whole.  From just seeing these three designs, one could easily think this was a series on windows in city buildings, but other designs I'm working on would go against this thought.  Just from thinking about windows, I am getting ideas for a voyeurism series.  Now that could be interesting!


    Studies in Figurative Series,  Lori LaBerge  2013-14

Another series I've been working on developing is of abstract figures in various settings.  I want to focus on the sole figure experiencing the world around him or her.  I did not want the figure to be any specific person, but want viewers to imagine it could be them.  This came about due to my interest in a sense of place. Sometimes we are in settings of our own choosing and other times we would much rather be someplace else.  It is interesting to me how our settings affect us.

Six works from the Stripe Series, Lori LaBerge  2010-11

The works above evolved from my love of stripes.  I have just about every book on Sean Scully's work on stripes and decided to do my own interpretation.  I took photos around the local area and translated them into abstract stripe form.  I had a great time learning about the area around our new home while creating this series.

Works from the ongoing Road Series, Lori LaBerge 2014

The Road Series started as an experiment with the color gray and grew from there.  I wanted to use multiple grays in each piece but wanted them to be about more than color.  Since we travel quite a bit, I started taking notes on the roads we drove on. This led to a notebook full of road terms such as intersection, coastal route, speed bumps, etc.  I use the words I wrote down to develop the pieces.  

If you are interested in developing a series, make a list of your interests, see where it takes you and have a great day.  

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