Working on a series of related paintings at the same time is something I like to do. It makes sense, because the colors generally work with each other, as does the theme. Usually I have 2 – 4 paintings going on my easel at one time in different states of completion. As you can see below, right now I’m working on 2 of one series and one of another series.
Before our trip to Ohio for Mat’s graduation at Kenyon College I was thinking about starting to work on several paintings of a “lake” right outside the county library in Surprise, Arizona. Early last Spring we were visiting Surprise, promoting the US Route 89 project and while waiting for Jim’s library presentation to begin, I wandered around. There was something about the view of the lake with its’ colorful playground equipment on the other side, children playing and couples strolling on the path around the lake just before dusk, that caught my eye. Luckily I had my trusty Panasonic Lumix camera with me, so I took a few snapshots.
In May, at Kenyon College, I encountered a major Nooks & Crannies distraction at the Olin Library (you can go to my gallery page to see the Nooks & Crannies series). While wandering around in the library, a mysterious space opened before me. The spiral staircase, the colors, the light and shadows stopped me in my tracks. Again, I pulled out my camera and took a series of snapshots.
Back in my studio in June, I stretched canvases for the Surprise paintings. While I was at it, I decided to treat myself to veering off into a Nooks & Crannies painting from the Olin Library.
All three of the paintings are in different states of completion. I must say, it’s been a challenge to switch gears from the water reflections to the Nooks & Crannies painting. I’m not sure I’d do it again, but it did allow me the instant gratification of starting a bunch of paintings that I was anxious to do regardless of whether it made sense to do them all at once or not. A case of ideas percolating over time and all wanting to burst forth without further delay.
The Olin library staircase painting is marvelous and captures something I’ve felt about it, though I see it and use it practically every day. There is something unique about the relationships of the curves of the staircase, the railing, and the walls that is evident in your work-in-progress. I hope to have the opportunity to see the completed work!
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