My latest work “River Stones, Devonport”, has reached the block-out stage.
Tomorrow I shall analyse this drawing’s composition.
Why work in themes?
I usually work in themes because I like continuity. I follow an idea or subject through a number of drawings, usually around three. I’m not sure why it’s that particular number, but it may be that I have grown tired of working on a similar subject for a month or so. Whatever the reason, I end up with a number of related works.
Working in themes is a good idea because it lets you explore a topic or idea more fully than just a one-off piece of art. You don’t necessarily get better as you produce more work, but you do get the chance to be selective on what you exhibit. This approach also encourages greater experimentation. It’s easy to work ‘comfortably’ and not step outside that zone. A thematic approach can be quite challenging at times, and so it should.
When I was teaching art in high schools I enjoyed working in themes with my classes. This often involved students working through an idea in a number of mediums.
Today I am more subject-orientated. Shells and rocks have been two of my latest themes that have realised 3 pieces each (there’s that number 3 again!) My ‘Bread’ theme saw 22 drawings produced, something of an obsession you may think!
From my ‘rock’ theme I intend to produce a fourth drawing, that being a religious/symbolist piece. I have completed the planning stage and hope to commence the block-out stage next week.