Friday, February 08, 2008

Artists and their multiple personalities

"Beyond Black & White I" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Happy Friday, dear reader!

Well, today I'm going to forego the silliness. Instead I'd like to pass along to you a few posts that were done by Maggie Stiefvater this week on the subject of style, more specifically, developing one's style. I figure that these would be relevant reading since I had touched on the subject of developing style briefly in my post this week on Van Gogh. Also, Maggie has a very dry (that's the polite alternative to saying 'sarcastic') sense of humour much like my own so you'll still be entertained. Trust me.

The relevant posts can be found here and here.

She also did a follow up to some comments/ questions that readers had asked her but if you want to read those I suggest you head to her blog yourself. I can't do all the work for you.

My own thoughts are that she's pretty much hit the nail on the head. Artists should explore, play and experiment with different mediums and styles until they find what's comfortable for them. After that, try working that style and medium to your liking in order to create art that's satisfying for you. Gently forcing the development of one's style isn't a bad thing... unless you get carried away with it in which case you're quite likely to suck the fun right out of doing art. And that should never happen.

Looking around my own studio I can see a bit of a mish-mash of styles but, happily, what I do notice is that my more recent works are more consistent. On the down-side, it makes me want to hide away those works that don't fit.
Many of the ACEO's I've done lately aren't really consistent in style. However, they're small and I do them specifically for the purpose of both experimenting with different subjects and techniques and also to supplement my income. They're not the be all and end all to who I am as an artist (or what type of an artist I want to portray myself as) because that's what the bigger pieces are for! If I start to become labourious over a piece that size then I'm going to be in a heap of trouble when I get to the bigger stuff.

There's nothing wrong with experimenting because that could be when you get your next big inspiration or revelation about what you want to tweak in your style. Artists, and their collectors, should expect change and try to harness it in the best way they can to make it work for them.

So, that's the post for today. I highly recommend trying out what Maggie suggested and putting all your work together and weed out: the pieces that almost caused you to have an aneurysm, the ones that even your Grandmother would say "Ick" to and the ones that just didn't feed your artistic soul (I know, how airy-fairy). What's left and why?

Homework? For the week-end? You betcha!


Anonymous said...

If enough people tell me to do it, I eventually will. ;)

Rita said...

Go for it Meg! :D