In other words, working in a series allows for immersion. This doesn't entail simply making a string of related projects, but it also includes making lists, and notes, and sketches, and thinking in series format! I particularly enjoy what Joe Fusaro, senior educational advisor for Art 21 refers to as "visually wandering," comparing ideas, approaches, and processes with those of other artists. (http://blog.art21)
Part of my visual wandering yesterday included looking intently at a chronology of Picasso's paintings. It was fascinating to see in some ways his decision making process as his style evolved. It was not a clear cut picture that the sequence offered up, however. It isn't like he started painting one way and made subtle changes toward a foreseeable goal. He was all over the place!
When Picasso painted his 58 responses to Las Meninas in 1957, he deviated from painting images of the inganta, he opened the window of his workshop and painted the caged pigeons outside. After spending about a week on the bird paintings and creating five canvases, Picasso returned to the Las Meninas themed paintings. Because the pigeon paintings were created during this time, however, Picasso insisted that they were part of the project and that they be included with the others.
Indeed, one of the first paintings in the series is titled, "Transformation." Measuring 12" x 42", it features a row of seven divine oracles on a wire, only partially visible to the viewer through the symbolic veil of a chain link fence. In this instance, the birds are representative of potential. Because the gesture of each bird is different, the overall feeling of the piece is one of subtle disharmony. Only one bird is not obscured at all, and its upwardly focused body language provides a clue that meaning must be found at higher levels of consciousness.
"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?"