1. Seema

    How is batching different from a series. I am self made watercolour artist and don’t know much about these terms. Please help.

    • Carrie

      Hi Seema, there is overlap between the terms. Batching means using similar resources, materials, colors to get a bunch of work done at once. A series isn’t always completed in batches, doesn’t always use the same materials, colors or resources…but it can be!

      Consider a series of landscape watercolors. You may choose to do a series that talks about different seasons. That would not batch easily because you aren’t using the same color schemes. You could still batch drawing them all at once, though.

  2. Do

    Hi Carrie,

    I’m a new subscriber and never commented so far.
    My name is Dominique, and I live in Montreal, Canada, in a rather artistically challenged society.
    I want to comment on batching and series, I’m not concerned at all by my artist’s style and/or voice because that’s something that evolves naturally as you paint. And I don’t care if people criticize it. I feel as women we have a different touch that is often criticized as too soft, too this or that, by a male dominated artworld.

    In the past I tried batching but I run out of steam rather quickly, I get sick of repeating the process, it soon becomes like working in the green chain, automated, and it depresses me to have to do the same things over and over again, perhaps because it feels uncreative ? I don’t really know.

    Series: I did series in landscapes (outdoor painting) but they didn’t turn out so good, maybe 10-15 % of it was good, and I tried a series of still lives on a specific theme, and as mentioned above I grew tired of repeating. I lose interest, perhaps because my hand can’t keep up with the speed of my brain or thoughts.

    Also I noticed that the first or so paintings turn out good, and the more I repeat the worse the paintings look.
    I also prepare for one painting by doing a small pencil sketch, then a small painting (5 X 7) in 2 or 3 colours only, then a larger one (11 X 14) to develop my colour scheme further. By the time I tackle the big painting, I no longer feel like painting it, I make plenty of mistakes, I just can’t get it right. All this prep work for nothing. I think it’s because I’ve painted it in my head so many times than to my subconscious the work is done, finished. But in concrete terms it’s not because my vision is not on canvas.

    I do make a lot of art (life drawing and landscapes), yes every day even if it’s just small. I find 15 min not enough time to do anything worthwhile, I need way more time, so sometimes I work on the same little sketch for a few days until it’s complete.

    I do the morning pages (from Artist’s Way by J Cameron), not always 1rst thing when I get up, but I always get around to write.
    Sometimes I accompany the writing with a pencil sketch. My next diary will be blank pages, to incorporate both writing and sketching.

    That’s the resistance I’ve been experiencing for a few years. Now I have a group show coming up April 1rst, 2019. So I have no choice, make art, good or bad.

    Thanks for reading
    Best, Dominique
    My Instagram: #gaillardissime

    • Carrie

      Thank you Dominique for taking the time to share! Batching should be used in a way that works FOR YOU. Everyone will use batching differently. It could mean only having 3-6 pieces at a time going at the same time so you don’t get bored. It could mean batching the gesso-ing and varnishing of finished works. Generally when people find resistance to something it’s because of imagined rules they have or feel about their art. Resistance is telling us something important and we should always try to listen carefully to really hear that that resistance is about.

      Great conversation – thanks again for sharing and bonne chance avec your exhibition!

  3. Dominique

    Thanks Carrie.
    I note that phrase ”Resistance is telling us something important and we should always try to listen carefully to really hear that that resistance is about”, I’ve been trying to understand it for years but can’t figure out why I can’t just do it, I mean do the art. So i’m taking care of the emotional side of my life, past traumas, and maybe that will lead somewhere… Voices from the past telling me ”it’s not use because i’ll never be any good at it” ? Anyways I’ll keep ploughing. Thanks for your kind wishes

    • Carrie

      Too many creatives have a story of someone telling them they’ll never amount to anything in our art. I’m here to tell you when someone says that to you it’s because they are a blocked creative and they want to keep their worldview as it is. If you were to fully embrace your art, learn and grow, well then it means the fear they’ve had they can’t amount to anything is only true because they let it be. They made the choice not to grow and embrace their desire for creative expression. People are terrified to find out they have all the power and control they want over something like their art skill and if it’s not happening, it’s because they aren’t doing the work.

      Here you are being brave AND doing the work. I’m lucky to have brave people like you in this community. <3

  4. Dianne Hastie

    Hi Carrie, first let me say how much I have enjoyed the feedback from your site. Secondly you batching and series information is so very timely for me. I started a Sea Life series this week (or batch – I’m not sure of the difference). I painted three canvases to begin with, different shades of deep water that I like. I have completed the first, a Sea Turtle and today I’m going to finish up a jelly fish and an octopus. Looking forward to posting them, and asking for comments/suggestions. Thank You.

    • Carrie

      Hi Dianne! I’m so glad the resources here are helping you. 🙂

      Series is a group of artworks with some kind of connecting thread.

      Batching is an action where you group “to-dos” together. Often series are batched and that helps make sure the connecting thread is obvious when you are ready to showcase the finished artworks.

      I hope you enjoy your sea series and I look forward to seeing them inside the FB group 🙂

  5. Leo Clark

    I’ve been struggling more with finding a specific voice than anything else lately. Now that I am back to teaching High School, I’ve made more art in this past year than I have the last few years and it feels great! But I struggle with this idea of an artistic voice or saying something with my art. I want to create what I am passionate about but I have spent so many years creating what I think others want to see.

    You commented on how the importance of your voice has been blown up as the be all end all mostly because of what we see in artists series and how it looks like they are focusing on one specific style or commentary. I feel like this is something I need to focus on, just taking the time to create something, anything, regardless of its place in my “voice” or a series. I feel like this could be incredibly freeing.
    Thanks Carrie.

    • Carrie

      “I have spent so many years creating what I think others want to see.” < --- THIS. I so resonate with this Leo. I've done that for a long time too. It sounds like that's the path to follow: what excites you? What makes you curious? What feels like fun when you make it? Following that thread and making a lot of art, you will get what you seek! The more I tried specifically to find my voice, the further I've always felt from it. But creating systems of practice, showing up regularly, and having regular feedback and reflection has helped me hone in on what I want to say. (Now what scares me is when I finish this group of artworks, what do I have to say next?!)


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