Today I'm starting a new series that I'm calling "collections." See, one of my favorite things to do when I'm reflecting on my work and trying to figure out where to go next is to group them. I've always been a big fan of grouping by color and if I'm showing at an event that's usually how I arrange my pieces. I also like to group by subject/theme and style.
When I arrange and rearrange my pieces I see connections that weren't there for me before. I learn about myself and my art. It often gives me ideas for another piece and sometimes even starts a new series.
This week I picked up this piece from a group show called Through the Looking Glass. I made this one specifically for that show. Usually when I enter a group show, I'll enter a something that I've already made that happens to fit within the theme. It was unusual for me to make a painting just for the show but Through the Looking Glass really interested me. I wanted to use the little girl stencil that I'd made and experiment with stencil and spray paint to create more of a scene than I usually do. Here's a couple photos of the process:
I titled it uncommon nonsense after a line in Alice in Wonderland,
'Well, I never heard it before,' said the Mock Turtle; 'but it sounds uncommon nonsense.'
Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would ever happen in a natural way again.
'I should like to have it explained,' said the Mock Turtle.
When I got home with "uncommon sense" it felt so different than my other paintings. It's not part of any series and it was kinda of a loner. I started pulling down other paintings that might "go" with it and that's how I came up with this collection.
The first one I selected to accompany "uncommon sense" is this one. I made it last December. I had been working on a much larger piece that had similar shapes and colors. I was ready to go back to small and I wanted to incorporate some of the marbled papers that I'd made recently. I had also been painting some oil landscapes and so this one became an abstracted, geometric landscape–perhaps what the land would look like from way above, like flying over Kansas. I titled this one aerial view.
Then I selected this abstract painting to go with the group. It's a much earlier painting from back in March 2015. The first of layer of this one was just a very intuitive, palette knife painting, one of those where I'm working out my thoughts and feelings on the canvas. I then came back a few days (maybe weeks?) later and added the turquoise. I was thinking about positive and negative space and land vs. water so this one's titled "off the map."
And the last piece I chose for this collection is this very simple painting. I've always liked this one because it's not complicated and it's all about color. These are my happy colors. This little guy pairs well with all kinds of pieces and it has led me to so many other ideas and techniques. There's a special place in my heart for this one and it'll be totally ok if it never sells. It'll always have a home on my mantle. It was shortly after making this that I read Big Magic and thus this one got titled "magic."
So there's four pieces grouped together into collection 01. :) Through them I can really see my color palette and style and the way I've grown over the past year. I was at event back in June and this woman started to pull a bunch of my paintings off my shelves and arranging them on my table. I started moving things over and making more space for her. It was just the best thing ever to watch her––to see which ones she picked and which ones she put together. She'd look and think and then she'd swap one out. She ended up buying three paintings but I could tell she would've liked more. She really reminded me of myself in the way she had to move things around in order to think and decide. But the combination that she chose were three I wouldn't have thought to put together and that's what made it so fascinating. So here's to new combinations, new connections, and new ways of thinking.