I recently got to see Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” in person. In the same room were several more paintings with the same idea, but different people that he had painted as “group vanity paintings”. You can see a small portion of one of the paintings here.
I had been thinking about how I was painting the same “things” over and over. Different animals, but in a similar fashion. I had been worried that I was in a rut. It is the age old question of whether you paint things that sell or you follow your interests.
Perhaps I was looking at the problem all wrong. Rembrandt certainly kept painting these paintings because he was making a living doing so. But, each painting is different and had different colors and different lighting. So, I guess that finding something that people like to see and buy makes it easy to stay in that area. I realized that I had not yet scratched the surface of all the ideas that I had in that area. I might paint several dogs and cats and even a horse or two. But at the same time, they do not have to be the same. You can play with the style and composition, the color and light, and find a way to keep making art.