World series. Book series.
Series are all about connections. A leads to B. B leads to C. On and on to a conclusion.
As an artist, I work in series. Series and sub-series and aberrations of series.
It is the connections that fascinate my mind and entice my heart. Connections are all around us. They swarm like gnats on a summer night and can be quite annoying. Right now I can’t turn on the radio, pick up a newspaper, read an online article without the subjects circling back onto each other and forming connections in my mind. Fixed mindset. Growth mindset. Mercy. Grace. Kindness. Rising early. HOPE. Everything I am seeing and hearing weaves into these themes, which, in my mind, are woven together.
Is this really happening? Is the universes dealing with these issues right now, everywhere, with everyone, or is this just the filter of my mind and simply a collaboration between the universe and my heart? Cliché has it that artists often hear the rumblings of the universe early on. Sometimes the cliché touches on a morsel of truth.
I don’t know. What I do know is that it is important to pay attention when things circle around. If I notice a theme circling around again and again, it is time to stop and ponder. Ask questions of the world and of myself. I journal. In journaling, I often learn deeper truths. Journaling helps me see.
I work in series. Painting A leads to Painting B which leads to painting C which occasionally leads to painting R! The aberration. When painting R pops up I don’t smack it down. I embrace it. I look at it. I ponder it. I talk to it. I ask it questions. What are you saying? Are you a new direction or a happy little diversion?
Sometimes I set R to the side and wait for the series to catch up. Sometimes R marks the end of the current series and the beginning of something new. My Revelation painting (my R painting) was like that. Everything that went before was over. At least it was over for a season. A new series had begun. (I am hearing A New Day Has Begun from the Annie musical while I am typing this. Annoying!)
I am a connector. I draw lines between ideas, dreams and people. I am adding a new gallery to www.GwenMeharg.com soon. I might call it Aberrations. It will be filled with those paintings that aren’t willing to wait their turn. The ones I entertain for moment, but am not quite ready to invite home.
Artists work in series, but sometimes the muse has other ideas. There is a “rule” in the “art world” that working outside a series is amateurish. Pish posh! Yes, working in series is important. It is how we learn, all of us. Working in series is good practice, but practice is not rule. As the internet redefines the “art world” the “rules” that have held creativity hostage are falling away.
Lawyers practice law. Doctors practice medicine. Artists practice art. We practice because there is no true end. There is only stopping or quitting. Practice evolves and continues. In truth an art series may end, but seldom is it complete. It ends not because painting Z was reached and there are no more letters. A series ends because the next demands to begin.
Thank you for connecting with me. Thank you for connecting with my art. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me. They often find their way into my series and deepen my understanding of the circle of connections.
Happy Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with hope and kindness.