Archive for January 11th, 2011

A question asked of me this weekend inspired me to go back into my archives and pull out the images of a few pieces done several years back.  I was asked if I used this time of the year as a starting point for new work and I said that I often did,  using it as a time to begin new ideas that I want to try.  I explained that it was important for me to continue trying new things as it excited me in the studio and that this excitement was important to all of my work.  This new work provides a vibrancy that permeates all my work and helps me find the new in compositions that I have painted in the past.

I explained that I liked to try new concepts in series in most years and that some are more embraced than others and become part of my regular painting vocabulary for years.  The Red Roof series is such a series.  I have painted examples in this series for several years and it has become engrained.  The Archaeology series is another. 

Other series last but a season.  While they may be popular from a sales standpoint,  they soon exit my routine.  The In the Window series is an example of such a series.  Done in 2005, they were a series of paintings that featured simple interior scenes with large windows that were highlighted by examples of my typical landscapes.  The idea was that the interior scene acted as a setting to show the landscapes in a different manner, much like the setting for a piece of  jewelry dictates how a gem is seen.  The gem here was  my landscape.

This painting shown on the left, In the Window: Dream Away, was the first piece.  It seemed to jump off the paper on which it was painted.  Very vibrant.  The setting of the window pushed the scene of the tree atop the mound overlooking the water out of the frame and seemed to intensify it.  I was immediately taken with the concept and a number of others soon followed, including the one at the top.  These pieces sold pretty well but they eventually lost steam for me from a creative standpoint.  While I still felt that they were vibrant , I sensed that I had done as much as I could with the concept and didn’t want it to become labored and tired.  My excitement was passing and I wanted to stop near a peak rather than at a low when the work was completely played out when I was viewing it as a toil rather than a joyous activity.

I still feel excitement personally when I see these pieces from this time and I know they are of a certain time for me.  I want them to stand as they are in my body of work.   As I described this this past weekend, I explained that the interesting thing about stopping a series is that it creates a finite number of pieces within it.  They become more distinctive over time, more representative of a certain time in my own artistic continuum.  So while these series, such as the In the Window series, are short-lived they have a longer viewpoint.

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