One aspect to painting a series is to have limitations to work within. When I taught a design class, the students would complain about the project restraints limiting size, colors etc. Around the middle of the semester, I would give them a project without restraints. On the due date, they would come in perplexed with the work disjointed. It turned out that being able to do anything paralyzed them. Without guidelines, they became lost.
As an artist, I give myself guidelines. The Aspen trees series were all done in a 9" x 12" format with the same image varying only the seasons. This forced me to change my palette for each painting and figure out a way to go from emerging spring grass to grown summer grass, colorful grass and lastly to the total lack of grass. It became an engaging exercise.
Another aspect of a series is to explore a concept. Here I examined the passing of time. One painting would not address the span of a year but four allows me to show the viewer that time frame.
Finally, a series allows me to delve into a subject matter technically. I examined grass in its life cycle using a palette knife to create the impression of blades and volume. I paid great attention to detail for the types of marks for the flowers, tree bark and sky.
Exploring guidelines, concept and technique helped me create unity and cohesiveness in a related body of work. Stay tuned for more series!