As a self-taught artist, there are a couple concepts I live by in order to grow as an artist. The first one is to study the work of the masters. And while you could leave it at simply exposing yourself to their artwork, I have found that I learn best by putting what I study into action. So I have created several pieces of artwork over the years in self-study of various famous artists, from Picasso to Jackson Pollack to Van Gogh, I’ve covered some of the major painting styles that influences the art we see today.
It was also during this process of self-study that I started to discover my own style. As one of my favorite art quotes by Robert Henri states:
Don’t worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.
It was during this period that I really started to focus on developing my skills with portraits, which lead up to this past year of non-stop art shows. And when it was all done, I could look back in amazement in the rapid transformation. But somewhere along the way, I forgot the basics. I became so good at creating portraits with soft pastels that I didn’t really challenge myself to take on new styles of art. And in this process, I’ve almost become lost as an artist. While I know I can create a portrait without a lot of effort, other styles and mediums outside of pastels seem daunting.
Whenever you develop your talents as an artist with one particular medium/style, it can almost feel like you’re starting over when you explore new territory. At first, it can seem overwhelming. Part of you may feel silly for acting like such a novice. But if you can get over the initial shock of starting all over again, you might surprise yourself. You might even discover a part of yourself artistically that you didn’t know existed.
So I’m at that point where I’m ready to experiment, to try different styles and mediums…to basically, allow my inner artist a chance play once more from exploring wire sculpture to watercolor. So stay tuned for new explorations in future posts.