A new and interesting shift is taking place in my mind. I’ve noticed there are subject matters that I’m consistently obsessed with. I’m falling in love with the idea of focusing on them, one at a time, and exploring them to their fullest extent.
I come up with ideas for paintings much faster than I can produce them, so I’ve got a massive amount of material to choose from when it comes time to begin a new piece. In the past, this has meant that I’ve flitted from one idea to the next, which is exciting and I’ve had great fun with it. The mounting downside of this has been that for every painting I produce there are at least half a dozen brother and sister paintings that are along the same theme, which are abandoned.
I’ve received many mini nudges from the universe lately, urging me to put down the shiny new toy. One of the more potent has been witnessing the unfurling of artist, Rita Maria’s Broken Wing series. She’s up to Broken Wing no. 15 and all fifteen of them are the cat’s pyjamas, although my personal favourite is no. 4.
That’s an interesting thought that — no. 4 is my favourite. That’s three whole paintings on the same theme that were created before the one that makes my heart go thump! It makes me wonder what my fourth owl would have looked like, my fourth tulip field, my fourth daydreamer?
I found myself fantasising about creating a cohesive series of paintings again when I came across a blog post by jeweller and crafter, Jess Van Den, titled “10 Steps for a Successful Handmade Product Launch”. Jess recommends releasing a coherent range rather than individual products. I’ve set opening an Etsy shop as a goal of mine for next year, so this got me fantasising about my shop launch Big Time!
My final nudge from the universe was a question posed by a fellow e-course classmate, Lynn Richards: “What’s more exhausting to you? Doing multiples of something or creating something new with each canvas?” I don’t know for sure because I’ve never created multiples of something but I absolutely know that creating a new piece takes an enormous investment of time and energy. I wouldn’t describe it as exhausting but it’s certainly a major commitment of resources.
I don’t spend the majority of my time painting and I’m a pretty slow worker so I’m sadly far from prolific. Given my limited productivity, I’m very particular about which ideas I commit to. The more I think about it, the more it seems like madness to dedicate so much energy and time to a new idea and to then only create a single piece! I think I would be much more productive and happier were I to steadily work on a single theme until I’m sated.
This has been a very long-winded way of announcing that I’ll be focusing on painting owls for a little while (can you see the owl outline in the new painting above?)! Owls have been a persistent obsession of mine and I swear there are an infinite variety of ways to depict them. Especially when you put them in all sorts of pants…