Hi, it's Kristin this time. In my previous life as a graphic designer, working in a series was something of a foreign concept. With each client came a new set of parameters and goals. When I took up quilting, a series was far from my mind as well. Unless you count baby quilts for friends as a series (which one totally could if one wanted). But as my work became less practical and more conceptual (and after many years of learning various techniques and themes), I began to work in series. Once you realize that you have ideas that can't be fully explored in one piece, it's pretty much inevitable. At first it was vague -- just a tendency towards landscapes. Then I had an idea for a war quilt (War Sucks). That quickly spawned more ideas, which then became The Army Wife series.
Some people look for strict rules about working in a series, but for me it's just about continuity. That continuity could be size, color, technique, or just a theme or story line. It's about exploring an idea. When there's no more interest in that exploration, then the artist moves on. I've been working on the Army Wife for about four years, and I have a few more pieces I'd like to make. But...
I had an idea last week. Security Blankets. I'm intrigued. I'm making lists of places to go with this. Lots of ideas to explore. This will be my new series. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't go back to a previous series if I want to. And the new series may or may not have legs. But, my brain has just jumped tracks, so off we must go.
Do you work in a series, and if so, when do you know a new line of exploration has begun?
By the way, three aprons in The Army Wife series are traveling in SAQA's Beyond Comfort show and are currently at their last stop, Texas A&M University, until August 18th, 2013. Absence II, another in the series is part of an SDA regional show at Craddock Terry Gallery in Lynchburg, VA until June 16th, 2013.