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Fantasia
05-07-2003, 01:30 PM
Hi there everyone, this is my first post in the Creativity forum, so, glad to meet you all :)

I started painting for the first time about a year ago, when I was given a gift of some acrylic paints, out of the blue. I have been teaching myself since then- reading books about techniques, copying paintings I like, making colour charts. I do love acrylics for their gorgeous colours and thickness and want to stick with them.

But the thing I struggle with is, and this may seem like a stupid question to you, how do I discover what my own painting style is? I have seen many paintings now, in books and in galleries and I know what excites me and what doesn't. But I don't really know how I want my own paintings to look. All I know is, I do want to express my creativity and I feel everyone has a personal, unique way of expressing themselves.

So the question is, how do you go about discovering your own unique voice?

Also, there seems to be this division between fine art and decorative art. Now, I don't mind that I am not a "true artist", but I don't know whether I should be aiming for framed paintings to put on the wall, or paintings that can be used in a decorative way, like for greetings cards, say.

Another thing I struggle with: my background is science/medical, I have been rigorously trained to be logical, left brain, perfectionistic. I wasn't allowed to make mistakes when I was growing up either. So it's difficult to break free and explore and make mistakes.

I feel fear is stopping me break out of the mould. Pathetic isn't it.

I would love to hear from you about your own voyage of creative discovery.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts :cat:

Lady Carol
05-07-2003, 02:27 PM
Hello Fantasia,

I read once that your own style is developed after 2,000 paintings. Having said that mine is definitely still in development :). I think some have it straight away, others evolve into their style. I am not sure it can be pushed either. Look at Picasso, his developed over his life and earlier painting are different from later etc. As you have been painting for such a short time, you should paint by copying others who's style you like. Good way to learn techniques and such. Eventually you will find one you will be happy with and you will evolve it to be your own.

I hear you about the left brain orientation. I am very left brained and a pergfectionist as well. I am a scientist, thoroughly logical, and I get caught up in the detail. A downfall for art, but I can make the switch when necessary. I have found the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to be very helpful. Teaches you how to make the switch and to feel when you have made the switch to the right side.:)

Rose Queen
05-07-2003, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by Fantasia How do I discover what my own painting style is?

I think Carol's advice is good: paint and paint and paint and paint; your style will emerge. Don't be in a hurry and please don't worry about it. It will inevitably show itself to you.

Also, there seems to be this division between fine art and decorative art. Now, I don't mind that I am not a "true artist..."[/B]

Oh, yes you are! You're doing the work and you're putting yourself out there, taking all manner of risks everytime you break out the brushes! Personally, I think the division you speak of is artificial; artists are just people, often very insecure people, and insecure people always have to find someway to elevate themselves buy putting other people down -- in the arts, they do it by talking about "fine art" v. any other kind of art, about "art" v. "craft," about "professional" v. "amateur." Even if you don't agree that the distinction is artificial, don't use this as a way to put yourself down. You are an artist and you will get better and better at it as you work on it.

I wasn't allowed to make mistakes when I was growing up either. So it's difficult to break free and explore and make mistakes. I feel fear is stopping me break out of the mould. Pathetic, isn't it?[/B]

I know about this phenomenon from personal experience and every time I read yet another person's story about how they weren't allowed to make mistakes, I just want to turn homicidal! Who the hell are these people (alas, they are usually our parents and other relatives who ought to be supporting us and glorying in the growth that comes from making mistakes...)?

Well, never mind...I just keep taking classes, learning something different and useful from every one of them, and I keep trying and painting and working. Being loose and free and exploratory is a habit like any other and the only way to develop the habit is to, as they say in the Nike commercial, just do it. Try not to think of experimentation as "making a mistake." Instead, consider that you are learning the tools and the materials whenever you play with something new and that the results of playing shouldn't be judged as final work-products. And, most importantly, it should be play! Make messes and notice that no one yells at you, lightning doesn't strike you dead, and people don't stop loving you -- it's amazing!

p.s. Oh, and welcome to the Creativity Forum! :)



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Cathy Morgan
05-07-2003, 10:40 PM
One way to find your own way in art is to do a little "free-working" every day, for ten minutes or so. Free-drawing is simplest. Take a very soft pencil (6B, Ebony, etc.) and a piece of paper and just let your hand move the pencil across the paper any way it wants to. Don't try to control it. Just watch it as if the hand belonged to someone else. Don't try to find "things" in it, or judge it. Just relax, watch, let go. Let your hand find its own pace, rhythm, move any way it wants to.

If you use small paper like 8.5 x 11", you can do six or more of these in a very few minutes. Number and date them for future reference.

You can do the same thing with ink, or paint (or wire, modeling clay, or in my case, by forging iron.)

It can take a while to let go. You'll notice that you get freer and more expressive over time. Accept whatever your hand does, and just take an interested, encouraging attitude.

You can use either your dominant or non-dominant hand.

For more on this (although you don't need to read more, to do it) see Peter Elbow's book Writing Without Teachers, and/or the book On Not Being Able to Paint.

OK, here's a second way to find your own way. This second method forms a kind of dialogue with the freeworking. It's called "empathic responses." Peter Elbow's book gives you a start on these. And I wrote a short .article on empathic responses (http://radio.weblogs.com/0120691/stories/2003/03/20/empathicResponses.html)

in my online journal not long ago.

If you work back and forth between free working and doing empathic responses to your free working and any other artwork you're doing, you're bound to find your own way. It may shock you a bit - not be what you expected - but it will be yours

Cathy Morgan
05-07-2003, 10:44 PM
Also, I recommend Eric Maisel's (http://www.ericmaisel.com) book, Fearless Creating (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0874778050/qid=1052361554/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-3294226-2714237?v=glance&s=books) as a good workbook for finding your own way. Eric has ways to help find the ideas most worth pursuing for yourself, then going all the way with them.

the redhead
05-08-2003, 12:49 AM
Cathy, what neat ideas. I'll have to pick up an "Elbow" book. I can sense just thinking about it what a difference it would make for me to look at my work with empathy vs judgement. It seems that would require or result in an openness toward one's work, which would allow the piece to develop it's own life and evolve. So many times in the early stages of something I have said "I hate it" and have tossed it aside. Akin to having no faith in the piece, the process, or myself. Empathy might give those unfinished pieces a chance.

I liked all of the ideas for creating empathic responses. I am at a good stage right now with the paintings I am doing, meaning I feel good about them, but because they are so different from what I have done before I'm really into the "why" of them ---some of those ideas will help me explore my work and my motives as I go along.

Ron van den Boogaard
05-08-2003, 06:54 AM
Style is one thing, the unique voice is quite another. The unique voice is not depending on any style.

I was fortunate enough to find my voice after I visited the Hole in NY two weeks after it was created. Quite a devastating experience. It did not change my style a whole lot, but looking back on it now, the pre-Hole works are emptier than the post-Hole stuff.

Style or rather much more preferable handwriting/signature you will develop over time, just paint, paint paint. The voice will come thru another way, but as the paintings you create, also (re)create you, in due time your voice will come to you.

I wouldn't worry about it, just do it. Just don't think too much. Eckhart Tolle's "the Power of Now" is a good guide to not thinking.

Cathy Morgan
05-08-2003, 03:43 PM
I looked at the excerpts from The Power of Now at the amazon website and the book looks quite interesting. I liked the feeling from reading the pages available there. Anything that leads me to automatically breathe deeper seems like a promising book.

Pilan
05-09-2003, 01:10 AM
Catherine thank you. I am printing off the article and going to read it in bed ;).

Right now, i am on the belief I need to paint 2000 pieces :eek:

but I keep telling myself its all in the journey :D.
I eat, breath, and sleep it.

Fantasia
05-09-2003, 04:20 AM
Hi there :)

How can I express my thanks to all of you who have replied. Your honesty and interest overwhelms me. Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your hearts and lives.

Isn't it human nature that we want something and we want it now. "2000 paintings" is I suppose the reality.

Lady Carol, you mention Picasso, I wonder if his style evolved without much conscious thought, or whether he planned the look of his paintings meticulously. You say some people have it (style) straight away, others evolve it.

So, it does make me think, what actually is style then, is it conscious or unconsious? Planned or just as it comes? Maybe there isn't a definitive answer. Maybe it's a silly question :)

I have found it very helpful to copy other people's paintings, I really recommend it to all beginners for understanding how to achieve different techniques and for mixing colours.

Rose Queen, thank you for your wonderful encouraging words :D I felt emotional reading them, we all need this kind of support.

Cathy, "free-working" sounds very interesting, I like the fact that you are not under pressure to perform and there's no judgment. (I am hugely self-judgmental) I am curious about your iron work :) What do you do? I will print out your article and I love books so I am very interested in your recommendations.

Redhead, you talked about letting an art work develop its own life and evolve. This idea is quite beyond my reach, I am not really sure what that means? But I am fascinated.

Ron, pleeease come back and explain what you meant, "style is one thing, the unique voice is quite another", and why your experience was such a pivotal point. What happened at the Hole in NY? What is "voice" to you?

I would love to hear from anyone who would like to share about their artistic journey.

(Sorry I didn't come back sooner, I couldn't get in yesterday for some reason.)

Take care everyone :clap:

Ron van den Boogaard
05-09-2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by Fantasia


Ron, pleeease come back and explain what you meant, "style is one thing, the unique voice is quite another", and why your experience was such a pivotal point. What happened at the Hole in NY? What is "voice" to you?



I'll give it a shot. Style to me is the outward appaerance, the strokes the colours that are uniquely yours.
The voice is the emotion it transmits, the contents. Of course the style helps the voice, but the voice doesn't determine the style. You could work in twenty different styles and still have the same voice.

Going to the Hole I was just doing basically to get the television pictures out of my head, the bad b-movie shots of the planes running into the buildings. Being Dutch, of course I am very down to earth so I really went there as a tourist attraction to put it bluntly.
But the devastation, the dust, the firemen and construction workers with the red-rimed eyes, the humongous bend steel gurter and above all the smell of death got to me.

I still kept on making the symbols as I always did, but now they seemed to come from a deeper spiritual connection and therefor provoke more emotion and I don't have to look for subjects anymore, they come by themselves.

So my voice to me is quite literally how I speak thru my paintings without the limitation of spoken language.
Often I feel my work is expressing the frustration with the limitation of that very same spoken language. (Which is one of the causes of how and why the Hole was ceated anyways)

Hope this explains it a little better.

Cathy Morgan
05-09-2003, 02:31 PM
There are lots and lots of books on finding your own way with your chosen creative medium. Be aware that many books written for writers or athletes or dancers are also helpful in creative process in general. My very favorites are:

The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri

The Inner Game of Music, by Barry Green with Tim Gallwey

Creating, by Robert Fritz

Writing without Teachers, by Peter Elbow

Fearless Creating, by Eric Maisel

On Not Being Able to Paint

On Becoming a Writer, by Brena Uland (sp?)

Life's Companion, by Christina Baldwin (on journaling)

The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

Also, it can be most helpful to read biographies, of visual artists certainly, but also of writers, dancers, singers, actors - anyone dedicated to the artist's life. Sometimes while reading how someone else found his or her own way as a creator, you'll realize that s/he has blazed a trail for you to follow - at least for a while. I can hardly recommend anything more highly than this - except of course to go on with your artmaking.

LarrySeiler
05-09-2003, 02:35 PM
I'm just repeating what amounts to an agreement.

When I was a much younger man, I spent an evening with wildlife art master Lee LeBlanc....and asked him how I might develop a style. Mr LeBlanc told me quite simply, "Paint 500 paintings, and you'll have a style"

Its like anything...

talk a lot, a great deal...and you develop a way of delivery. Write a great deal...the same.

The main thing is, develop a romance with that which you enjoy. In my case it is the outdoors and painting on location. Develop a working routine that allows you to forget eventually about the painting process to instead focus on the subject.

The fortunate side for me is that my paints chase the effects of the sun and demand a hurried spontaneous effort. A moment's time wasted and the scene changes before me. I have no time to think about the "how" but only the "what."

Style comes as you whittle away at the most efficient and complete means to get what is inside of you out.

It also comes of time...paying your dues, the default of age...and so on. What seems near impossible is "getting it" by thinking about it. Is as hard to do so as making a small divot in the sand on a beach, transfer water to it from the ocean and then proclaim you contain the sea. Style is something others will see in your work more easily than you yourself.

Larry

impressionist2
05-10-2003, 08:06 AM
Fantasia, Awhile back I posted a thread in the oil forum on tapping into the subconscious. I figured if I could just "get in touch" with my subconscious mind, "in the flow", my paintings would take on deeper meanings.

One WC artist told me quite bluntly, my search was in vain. She said, "Paint, just paint". Hundreds, thousands of paintings.

I now know her advice was very wise. You want a style of your own? Keep painting. It will emerge, even before You see it. Others will say to you, "Oh, I saw a painting the other day that reminded me of your style". You'll say to yourself, "I have a style??!!":D

You want your paintings to take on a deeper, more profound meaning? Keep painting. Want to become very proficient and capture the light? Keep painting.

Ofcourse, it doesn't hurt to read and take Workshops as well. Study and work!

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: Practice!!!

Renee

Cathy Morgan
05-10-2003, 05:16 PM
It may be true that after making enough paintings or other artwork, you will have a style. But there's a difference between having a style, and being on your true path - making the art that only you could make - taking it all the way. That does require access to levels of being that just working may not give you. It depends on your process of working.

It's a little like the old story about the man who claimed he had 20 years of work experience. Someone observed "no, he's had one year of work experience, repeated for twenty years."

That extreme of shallow practice is unlikely - but you see what I mean. It's possible to work and work, practice and practice, and not really develop along your own true line. You could be blown about by other people's opinions or theories (including mine), or stopped from going deeper by your own fears, or...any number of things. How many artists do you know who really have made great art? Practice isn't quite enough.

I do agree that working is necessary. I just don't think it's sufficient, by itself. And sometimes thinking is useful. "The mind is a tool...." (Robert Henri)

Fantasia
05-11-2003, 04:13 AM
Hi! :)

Ron- interesting, thank you.
(BTW, creative writers use "voice" to mean their personal writing style, so I just borrowed their term :) )

You really got me thinking there, what do I really want to say when I paint? I think for me colour transmits powerful emotion and I know for sure I want to use it to communicate.

But what do I really want to say to others?

And, why?

Good questions that need answers.

Cathy, I wish we could get together for a good long chat over coffee!

You made some thought provoking statements, "being on your true path- making the art that only you could make", "access to levels of being that just working may not give you". I suspect I need to read some of the books you mention to begin to understand what you're saying. But these things strike a chord within me, and I'm interested to delve deeper. You mention the "process of working" as opposed to "just working". Could you elaborate?

Larry, can I ask you, what are you trying to say to your audience? You seem a very experienced painter. And thanks for the wise words.

Renee, thanks.

See you later :D

Ron van den Boogaard
05-12-2003, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by Fantasia
Hi! :)

Ron- interesting, thank you.
(BTW, creative writers use "voice" to mean their personal writing style, so I just borrowed their term :) )

You really got me thinking there, what do I really want to say when I paint? I think for me colour transmits powerful emotion and I know for sure I want to use it to communicate.

But what do I really want to say to others?

And, why?

Good questions that need answers.

Well, yes and no. The thing is -or is in my personal case- that you can say things thru tour art and yes in due time you need the answers, but before that it is entirely possible to say things without knowing what exactly it is. Over time when a body of work emerges, slowly the answers to the questions slowly emerge.
I find that a more gratifying process, rather than intulectualizing the answers beforehand and taking them as a starting point. That way you would end up at the left side of the brain again. Where I do prefer not to be.

Just paint, answers, voice, etc. will all present themselves.

Shari
05-12-2003, 11:04 AM
Fantasia,

This is an excellent topic, and one we all want the answer to! I have one book to add to Cathy's list which has helped me "let go" and that is "Life, Paint, Passion" by Michelle Cassou. There are probably "painting from within" classes near where you live, as they have taught their method all over the world. Basically, you let your intuition paint in this process, you don't try to make a pretty picture or paint one that looks like anything, you just let your child paint. When I get stuck, I use this as a way of just loosening up. I have definitely gotten a lot out of this book. Great topic.

Shari

Nightsong
05-12-2003, 04:45 PM
I don't personally paint, I just draw, but the way I found my own style was to strike out on my own without getting references from anything. I would just try to set down on the paper what was in my mind without checking to see what so-and-so did, or what the recommended way to do this is. I just filled up a sketchpad with the things I thought of. Needless to say, it wasn't that great... ^_^ But now, several sketchpads later, I have dramatically umproved on all aspects. Don't be discouraged if your first attempts are awful, you just need to come into your own without outside influence. You'll probably look back at your early paintings one day, and say, "Oh my gosh, I did THAT!?!" But when you say that, you will have you own unique style.

DanaT
05-12-2003, 05:38 PM
The great Russian playwright, Chekhov, once wrote "If you want to work on your art, then work on your life"

In other words, in order to express ourselves, we need a self to express. Sounds simple but it isn't.

Yes, I agree, paint, paint, paint (or do whatever you do to express your creativity) But don't forget to live, live, live!

Ask yourself: What type of person am I? What things, people, places, experiences turn me on? How many can I do today, this week, this year? What turns me off? What are my dreams for the rest of my life? How do I want to make a difference in the world? How can I start doing it?

Whenever I get stuck, I ask myself, "Well, Dana, are you having an interesting life?" If the answer's no, I put down the paintbrush and go out and experience the world.

Ron van den Boogaard
05-13-2003, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by DanaT
In other words, in order to express ourselves, we need a self to express. Sounds simple but it isn't.

It is indeed that simple, it only took me 46 years to get there.

DanaT
05-13-2003, 10:09 AM
:D Ron, I'm not far behind you...

Fantasia
05-13-2003, 03:37 PM
Mmmmmm ;)

Thanks for the wise words guys

erik_satie_rolls
05-20-2003, 04:35 PM
Dear Fantasia,

In my humble opinion, if you really want your painting to say something, here is a surefire recipe:

Cut your heart out and dilute the blood with the dirt you see all around you. Then leave it in the sun as long as you can stand it, adding pure water and let it get really thick. Using your bare hands, fingernails and all of your mortal strength, laboriously scrape this mixture onto the roughest most irritating sandpaper you can find.

When dry, take it out on the nearest busy street and hold it in front of the ongoing rush hour traffic, letting human nature take its course. Most people wont see the work and sooner or later someone will carelessly destroy you, but a few sensitive souls will scoop up your remains and hang the painting in the back of a museum somewhere.

Or you could skip painting and just draw.

Good luck and welcome to Art. Good line by the way, "paints out of the blue." Cool.


dan

Shai
05-21-2003, 09:45 PM
I went through a similar "search for my own style" quest as I was just starting to paint seriously. I believe it was a psychological reaction to finding a way to affirm what I do. And that what I paint - and how I paint it - is something acceptable and worthwhile.

The strange thing is: I only had this crisis of style when I took up painting. As a writer, I just wrote as naturally as it came to me. I never worried about my "voice"... it was other people who started telling me that I had a "voice" in my poetry, stories, essays, and even articles. Maybe because I never questioned myself as a writer. I never felt the need to justify why and how I write. I just write. It came as naturally to me as breathing. Writing has always been a part of my life.

So, slowly... I let go of my pre-conceived ideas of what art is or what a true artist is supposed to be. I just painted, drew, sketched, created collages, sculpted, and did whatever I wanted with art. Just like a kid let loose with art materials.

Some people say that they can recognise my style now. But , I still don't really know what my style is. Then again, I've done only a few hundred paintings so far, so I'm still short of that couple of thousand mark. :)

The good news is: I don't really worry too much about my own style or voice in art anymore either. Just like I do with writing, I just paint and let it all come naturally like breathing.

artamust
05-22-2003, 10:02 AM
Hmm, how to say this without sounding like a complete idiot ...

Artistic passion - the hard work that a non-artist can't imagine (i.e., "do you just do it to relax?"); willingness to study and learn the craft of painting; training your eyes to see as an artist; learning to accept failure as a lesson learned and move on to the next failure until some meager satisfaction is obtained and lost and found again; the joy and triumph you might occassionally feel.

Style - that which makes it uniquely yours; something others can see so clearly but you can't; something influenced by others but hopefully not borrowed; the unique quality that develops naturally from the process of your artistic passion.

judithj
05-22-2003, 01:57 PM
HI Everyone!

What a great thread!

Thanks!

I would like to add a reference that has helped me a lot - a book by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox called: 'Visual Journaling - Going Deeper than Words'

Also - for me, separating form and content - voice and style is a hard job.

I mean how you say something totally influceces the meaning...

PS Cathy - I've been reading your journals and really find them inspiring, thanks. Thanks for all your insight.

PSS Larry - I think I may print out your comments about developing a romance with what you enjoy - what a wonderful piece of advice.

PSSS - Thanks to everyone for such a great thread.

-Judith

judithj
05-22-2003, 05:24 PM
HI Everyone!

I just thought of another reference for this thread - the book called

'Art is a Way of Knowing - A Guide to Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Fulfillment through Creativity' by Pat B. Allen

Also - check out this link: http://www.instituteforplay.com/

- Play is intrinsically motivated or process oriented. -
Play is pleasurable, freely undertaken and true to an
individuals tastes and preferences. - Play is an engaging
and whole hearted activity. - Play is spontaneous.

You cannot help but to find your own artist's voice when your art-makeing process is an act of play.

Remember playing pretend games - That is how I approach painting now - like a pretend game - say... this part is green; and say... this part is magenta; and say... here is a snake; and say... the snake is spiraling around the sun....

Just for fun - and if I decide that I do not like the snake around the sun - well I can just paint over the snake - the glory of acrylics!

Have lots of fun, Judith

Fantasia
06-10-2003, 04:25 PM
Thank you all for the things you've shared, you have really enriched my life :D

When I've done a couple of hundred paintings I promise to report back :)

Rose Queen
06-10-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Fantasia
When I've done a couple of hundred paintings I promise to report back :)

Oh, please don't wait that long! Show us your WIPs (works in progress)...



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Keith Russell
06-10-2003, 04:57 PM
I've been told that I've had my own style (my own voice) for years, perhaps decades.

While this may (or may not) be true for me, I do know numerous artists who have had their own style, almost (it seems) from the moment they began drawing and/or painting.

My artistic quest has not been to find my voice, but to better learn the language, and put that voice to the best use possible. Having a great 'voice' is worthless, if there are only phone books to read.

K

CarlyHardy
06-12-2003, 12:53 AM
I think others notice style before we do ourselves as artists. I can see it in paintings of my students...but often can't see it in my own work. And my students ask me....what style do they have!

Once when I ask...how can I find my style, a wise one here at WetCanvas told me to "stop looking for it and it will find you".

In a way, it's like our handwriting. At first we print the letters, then we copy as closely as possible someone else's cursive style...then we begin to explore on our own...and finally we forget about a style and just write! Over the years, even our handwriting changes and yet we seldom notice that....we just hope that its still deciferable if someone needs to read it!

Several hundred paintings later...I'm still not sure of a style, but I'm sure enjoying the act of painting! It's not about style anymore...it's about living!
carly

Fantasia
06-13-2003, 08:30 AM
Carly- I think you summed it up.

Shai- I've had some time to look at your website and I just had to say how much I LOVE your use of colour, very inspiring :clap:

The "play" site is great, thanks for the link Judith and the other refs. Sometimes it's easy for me to forget about the fun aspect of painting because I'm striving to get it right so much, so thanks for putting it into perspective.

Keith- what you said makes me want to start a new thread :)

When I get a scanner, I'll post some stuff!

Keith Russell
06-15-2003, 07:56 PM
Fantasia said:
Keith- what you said makes me want to start a new thread

I seem to be having that effect on quite a few people, lately.

K

DanaT
06-15-2003, 10:39 PM
:D Keith!

RobinZ
06-16-2003, 08:43 AM
Regarding the fear of making mistakes while painting...I found that if I put on the radio to a news or talk based station or an old movie on the t.v. while I painted, it distracted me just enough to forget to worry about whether I was doing it right. Otherwise, that "Am I doing this right?" kept running through my head.

Only problem, I still can't look at one of my paintings without thinking about "The Third Man"....

Cinderella
07-05-2003, 03:42 AM
Dear Everyone,
It is almost 1 am on July 5th and I am up late very frustrated artistically. I have written down EVERY book recommended. Thanks for everyone commenting and being on-line. I realize some of these posts were made a while ago. However, the timing is perfect in that I found all of you thoughts when I needed them. Thank you. Cinderella PS It is nice to know there are thoughtful people in the world! Really enjoyed reading this thread! Really identify!!!

paintergirl
07-05-2003, 10:56 AM
CHClements : In a way, it's like our handwriting. At first we print the letters, then we copy as closely as possible someone else's cursive style...then we begin to explore on our own...and finally we forget about a style and just write! Over the years, even our handwriting changes and yet we seldom notice that....we just hope that its still deciferable if someone needs to read it!

Isn't that the truth!
I don't know of an artist that paints the exact same way as he did 20 years ago anyhow. Our style seems to evolve over time but our style is also ever-changing , new things added, some things taken away. My work right now is different then even 1-2 years ago....but now, finally...I just paint. ( My paintings are the better for it ) But to look back over my pieces, you can recognize that they were done by the same artist... so I have had a style all along- even when I did not see it.( and sometimes still don't )Friends and family are good at recognizing that type of thing,they will point out things they come to recognize about you and your work that you would not likely notice... we are probably just too close to it :D

Maryj Hicks
07-05-2003, 10:00 PM
This is a great topic.
I just got home from an art show, open house event. A person I haven't seen for some time was there ( I taught her for a while several years ago ). She walked up to me and said " I knew that was your painting from across the room, I can always spot your work".
That always gets me when people do that. I can't see my style or
" hear" my voice...strange:D I don't worry about it anymore.

Mary

DanaT
07-06-2003, 12:15 AM
I just took an acting class where the teacher said that you had to be truthful to be an actor. He said, only in real life can you lie, but not on stage.

I think the same is true of an artist's style. I think you have to be truthful to yourself and to the canvas (or paper) There is no place for posturing in front of an easel. You simply are an artist who creates.

If you do it truthfully and with respect, your style is bound to come out. No one has the same eyes you do.

DanaT
07-06-2003, 12:25 AM
Hi, Cinderella,

Welcome to Wetcanvas and the Creativity Forum. I'm glad you found some help in this thread.

A group of us have found that going through the Artists Way program together for 12 weeks is a great way to move through and conquer those artists frustrations. We may be starting another group in September. In the meantime, you can check out some of the weekly threads from this spring's TAW sessions in the Artists Way forum.

Also, please join us for the Summer Creativity Book discussion on the Celestine Prophecy each Sunday night this summer. Check the sticky at the top of this forum to sign up and I'll send you the password.

Take care.

RobinZ
07-07-2003, 05:40 PM
My husband was a sign painter back in the day before it was computerized. We recently were in a kinda run down neighborhood of Philadelphia hunting down a particularly yummy ethnic food and he could identify the individual sign painters of old signs, including himself!

Back to topic. I read one of Jack White's books and he spent quite a bit of time talking about unique voice. I just kinda skipped through that then. I was trying to figure out how to make my fingers work and how to mix up paints and if I had worried about having to find a unique voice, I think I would have given up, for sure.

I understand the concept about not being all over the place for saleability, but damn, sometimes that's half the fun AND for someone self-taught, a necessary journey.