Painting Series

Painting  series is something I started doing about 5 years ago. It took me a long time to realize the significance of doing a series instead of random subjects that appealed to me.

Before that, in my mind I was painting series because I was painting landscapes. All different kinds of landscapes with different colors, sizes and sometimes style.

I have learned that if you make art for yourself and no one else, then you can paint whatever you want. If you make art to sell or gain the attention of collectors or galleries and you’re interested in having people appreciate and understand what you are trying to convey, it is better to let others see where your attention lies.

According to Alan Bamberger at Art, “the easiest way to do that is to work in series– to create unified, cohesive, coherent, related bodies of work. Many artists aren’t fully aware of the advantages to creating multiple works of art around the same idea, theme, philosophy, concept, topic or subject matter. Instead they produce what I call “onesies.”

painting study of western Ireland

Ireland study, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches.

I have learned that painting  series is a way of exploring several different variations of an idea or theme. There are many benefits to creating a group of similar-styled artworks. Related paintings look a lot better on a website or in an exhibit rather than a mixture of different looking artworks. I did my first painting of Ireland last week and it was posted on my last post. Above is another study I just did for my second painting in the series.

However, it can also be challenging to work in a series. I started a series several months ago, sold one, painted a second and then went to Ireland which completely consumed all of my attention. I want to work on a series of Ireland. So now I have one painting that I did for a previous series that goes with nothing. I think that is the nature of creativity. Our attentions can change.

But I have made a commitment to myself to finish my Ireland series. I have never felt as strongly about a series. It will be interesting to me to see how many I will do.

10 thoughts on “Painting Series

  1. sylvia lippmann

    This is a really special painting. The juxtaposed shades of green seem to glow. I love the solidness of the foreground and the stone structures in the background, and how the structures surround the glassy water.. The surface of the water appears flat until I look more closely, and then it seems to have great depth where it meets the red-pink stones. There is a feeling of mystery that draws me into both Ireland paintings. They make me want to linger.

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you so much Sylvia. Yours was the kind of detailed response I was hoping to get. It always helps me to know the particular parts of a painting that someone likes or perhaps thinks needs to be changed. Both the painting and the study were fun to do and the study was very spontaneous.

  2. dotty seiter

    Hey, Ann, I appreciate your discussion about painting series. Informative and helpful. I like this Ireland study—its textural qualities, the colors and their interaction, your division of a plane into shapes/spaces, and the style of abstraction with its ability to suggest rather than name.

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thanks Dotty, that is what I am going for–“the style of abstraction with its ability to suggest rather than name.” I love playing with texture. I think that you have already started working in series. There are certainly shapes that you are drawn to.

  3. Linda

    Beautiful piece! So calming and soothing!
    When doing a series, do the pieces need to be similar in size as well?

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you for your comment Linda. Great question. I have been thinking about that too. I think that many painters who work in a series use the same size canvas or surface. However, I have read that using different sizes as long as they are on the same type of surface and the same depth is good if you are trying to sell work to a variety of collectors with a variety of budgets.


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