Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finding a Style

Looking for a Personal Style

There's much gnashing of teeth about the frustration experienced while artists are trying to find their own style. 

If it's any comfort, these eight small-ish paintings from 1986-1987 demonstrate that I had it no easier than you. Not only do these paintings have quite a range of landscape subject, but they are quite different from each other in technique as well.

It seems I had to try out lots of things before my particular persona started to emerge. Your way of looking at things, and painting them, may take a while to emerge. Don't despair. I got through it, and you will, too.



  1. Excellent post! (Well, they all are, actually - enjoying these so much!) The paintings speak for themselves, some reminiscent of your eventual style, some not at all. I remember being told in art school not to concern myself with style , as it emerges naturally, eventually, after the first few thousand paintings or so......but other reliable sources report that a distinctive style does require some deliberate thought, discernment, and work, to develop. Perhaps both of these are true - what has your experience been? How did you know you had arrived?

    1. Mary, no arrival yet! But the station was announced a while ago. Here's hoping.
      At a certain stage I began to notice that I was demonstrating a certain predilection for repeated subjects and moods. So I went there. As much as I enjoyed the liveliness of the wet road in California (above), I didn't want my hand in the painting to be so manifest. Likewise, I thought hyper-realism to be a show-off dead end. So, I fell between the two stools.
      Unquestionably I was inexorably beguiled by the unremarked beauty within the ordinary landscape. It was a while before I realized that increasing the amount of acreage depicted in a painting didn't necessarily result in a greater painting, but merely in more acreage.
      This help?

    2. Yes, this helps very much. I will ponder it and hope to continue the conversation at some later date - thank you.