Revisiting A Past Subject With A New Perspective

10:51 AM

Farm-Fresh Onion
Watercolor and Gouache
11 x 8.5 inches
Stillman & Birn Zeta Bound Journal
Every once in a great while, I'll revisit a subject I've already painted if I can find a new "take." While I may work in a series upon occasion, it usually is more of a theme-driven series rather than the same exact material over and over.

Here in Florida we get to enjoy farm-fresh produce all year long. There are fruit and vegetable stands set up as permanent businesses and you can just about get your favorite fruit or veggie any time.
Farm-Fresh Onion
Watercolor and Gouache
11 x 8.5 inches
Stillman & Birn Zeta Bound Journal
When I brought this onion into the house the other day, I set it up on top of the dryer in the laundry room because I knew those long, crinkly stems would be irresistible to certain 4-footed members of the household.

The next day as I was tossing clothes into the dryer, I happened to glance up and see the unique perspective of the bottom part of the onion being cut off…eureka!! A new take on an old subject!

As I'd already sketched onions before, I needed something new to capture my interest and make me want to sketch another one.
Watercolor and Gouache
11 x 8.5 inches
Stillman & Birn Zeta Bound Journal
As "they" say, there's nothing new in the world, nothing that hasn't already been done millions of times before, but I disagree. A new perspective, a new palette of pigments, something even a different day of the week and the results are astoundingly different.

As for the thought that's all been done before…yeah, maybe, but not by me, or you, on this day, in this light, with these pigments, with our given life experiences, skills, and challenges that are in constant flux. 

For me, that's what keeps me coming back to the page, to the brush, to put down marks and to see where it takes me, what it reveals.
 
That's what keeps it fresh and fun, because after all, if it's not fun, why would we even bother?

Do you work in series? Are they subject matter driven or theme driven? How do you maintain your interest level?

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