Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Revisiting A Past Subject With A New Perspective

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?

7 comments:

  1. Love this, Laure! Perfect design for the page, superbly done!

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    1. Thanks, Jean! It was a short, but much needed art break.

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  2. I love this post and sketch! And I agree about new perspectives. One thing that keeps me driven is a need to make a design for a family member's birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc! I'm usually scrambling to come up with ideas! I even dream about them! But when I'm relaxed, I develop characters that I like, or settings that I like. That way I'll have them RTG for when I need them. I also keep what I call my "idea" book. It's a 5X8 sketchbook that I keep with me at all times. Everything goes in it from ideas for paintings to recipes to phone #s, etc. I have a shelf of them in my studio. So I should never run out of ideas. But you're right, if it's not fun, I wouldn't even do it! So what I sketch is usually something I love!

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    Replies
    1. I have a number of idea journals as well. I like the idea of using them to come up with ideas for cards as that seems to be when I go blank!

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  3. I enjoyed seeing your onion sketch Laure' and liked how you let it spill over into a two-page spread. I look forward to seeing what you add in the future

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  4. Laure - this is simply a wonderful post and your onion is gorgeous. I re read the link to your other onion and I think your thoughts on failure were wonderful. Always love seeing your insights - that is what makes you so gifted not only in your art but in your writing as well. Hope you have a lovely week-end.

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