Selecting a painting to buy can be fun and it can be daunting. Finding a series of paintings where you like, say, the medium, may make that choice easier. Just select the one you like best.

But what if you find a painting you like that has no brothers or sisters? Does that make it less important, less appealing?


What is a series, anyway?

A series is a group of paintings that exhibit something in common with each painting in the series. This similarity may or may not be able to be seen, such as color, methods or a subject, compared to an emotional display of anger, fear, or joy. Many times several of these factors are exhibited in all of the paintings at different levels or colors. Let’s see some examples that should make this clearer.

Here is a series of small paintings that are all on the same surface, using the same paint colors, that have a completely different look while also belonging to the same group.

Tropical Series 1, Small Abstract by Artist SallyE

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Tropical Series 2, Small Abstract by Artist SallyE

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Tropical Series 3, Small Abstract by Artist SallyE

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What’s also part of this series are my feelings and goal of my paintings. Those are always the same:  Have fun with the work and the result is a cheerful, fun, colorful painting. This is evident in this series.


Another example would be a series of animal paintings by Andy Warhol that are all drawn with a similar technique and are the same size, but their colors are all different. They all look like they belong to the same group, too. (These three are from his 1983 series of endangered species.)

Warhol Rhino Warhol Lion Warhol Elephant






A Series is an art-finding Helper?

Let’s assume you’ve found a series of paintings you like. The advantage to this is that you have several paintings you like that you can choose from. You might even create a set of several of the paintings from the series you like assuming they will look nice together.

What about the artist who is inspired to do just one painting, then goes on to a different type or color or subject, technique, or feeling? Does that mean the single paintings are not worth looking at, or that they have less appeal or value? I think not. Some artists, are not inspired to do the same colors or style or subject or feeling over and over. Perhaps they have done their experimenting with this one painting.



Series vs Onesies

Gallery owners insist that series of paintings show that the artist can do good work repeatedly. I would also point out that good paintings, whether of a series or not, are still good paintings.

Here are a few paintings I have done that are nothing alike nor are they part of a series, but each has value of its own, don’t you think?

Amazon Green, small abstract painting by Artist SallyE Zigzag Beach square abstract painting by Artist SallyE Sheltered Moon abstract painting by Artist SallyE Red Stripes, Blue Flares - abstract painting by Artist SallyE Dancing Balls, abstract painting by Artist SallyE






Your Art Selection is Personal

A series of paintings saves you the time of finding another painting by the artist that you like, but will not net any better painting, really.

I understand that the artist who paints in a series is experimenting with the materials or the feelings that produce the painting. I personally do that in every painting I do, whether I paint an entirely different painting, or one that has similar colors and textures to the one I just finished.

Have I confused you or succeeded in showing you that a series is interesting to see, but may not help you find the painting you’re looking for? Whether it’s within a group or all by itself, your new painting still needs to call your name.


Thanks for reading my little rant. Let me know your ideas about selecting a painting and whether you think a series of paintings is important in the comments way below.