Series can be useful when you have a considerable space to fill but one large piece of art feels either physically imposing or conceptually underwhelming. Technically, of course, two or more objects constitute a series, but there is something about the magic number three that is visually satisfying.
I tend to think of successful series as falling under—but not limited to—one of the following categories: a subject/object captured from multiple perspectives (example: Golden by the lake), a subject captured from the same perspective over time (example: Baby giant tortoises acting tough); different perspectives of one geographical/physical space or abstract idea (examples: Dillon bold and Telluride), tied together by complementary colors or design elements.
We have one wall in our dining room (above), which you can see at the far end of the house the moment you walk in the front door. This wall sat blank for the first three and a half years we lived here; filling such a high-profile space with just the right thing seemed impossible.
Eventually—after spending a significant amount of time seeing that boring, blank wall out of the corner of my eye—I concluded that whatever I hung on the wall had to meet the following specifications: it had to be a series of three pieces (one large piece seemed like it would overwhelm our small dining room); it had to be nature photography that appeared somewhat abstract (to complement our other wall art); and it had to include a color that tied at least one of the tones of the living room (preferably grass green) into the dining room.
When we left to spend the summer of 2010 in Colorado, I decided I wouldn’t come home until I had that series in hand. After a few false starts, I came across the flowers in the above series (Golden by the lake) near Lake Dillon and knew I had found what I’d been looking for all along. I took a lot of photos of the same flowers from different perspectives, then played around with cropping and arranging the images until I found a combination of three that balanced each other. I printed the photos on 20x30-inch canvas.
And you know what? I receive more compliments on this series than just about anything else in the house. And I love when it catches my eye.
(An aside on photo canvases: I absolutely love them and would like to offer them as a regular feature in my shop but haven’t had time to update my website. If you’re interested in canvas prints, send me a note and I’ll send you pricing information.)
Want to view the Golden by the lake photos separately? Left, center, right.
Interested in building your own series from my photos? Check out how to order it here.
And here are more posts from Around the house.