Paintings by Dianne Mize

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Kind of Prison

I'm always interested in hearing folks talk about their style whether painting, music or writing. 

Recently, on a well-respected blog, there was an article on how to develop ones style of painting.  Okay, I thought, here we go again--and I was right.  This self-imposing sage suggested that the best way to develop a  style is to try out different existing styles by studying and imitating artists of the past who, themselves, had created a style we can unmistakeably read.  For example, I can see an Andrew Wyeth painting from a distance and recognize it as belonging to Wyeth, even before reading his signature. The assumption in the article is that should Wyeth's style fit, then I as the searching artist should adopt it. 

Here's where I part company with this attitude:  your style is like your handwriting--it either evolves or you fake it.  Like learning to form letters as a child, artists learn basic skills for creating images.  In the beginning those images look generic, but under the hand of their maker, while they are being practiced,  they take on a personality of their maker.  Over time that handwriting becomes recognizable.  (You look at the handwriting of a note and recognize who the sender is.)

To fake handwriting or a painting style or a writing style is to camouflage the communication of who I am, is to take on an identity other than my on, is to create a self-imposed prison whose walls become more secure each time they are reinforced.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

1 comment:

Mo.Mize said...

Very well said and I agree 100%! I recently experienced the same thing on I was about to practice painting when I ran upon this artist art video(who's name I can't quite remember) but I didn't like him! I tried my hardest to do what he was saying but all he did was talked and talked and talked about technique and his style that he never even went into painting at all.... I was trying my hardest to go with his flow but found it hard because he was so contained and not artistic at all.... I to believe that it is better when a Artis is free to develop, teach the basics of color and shapes and we can go from there. As I stated in the beginning this is very well said and I understand :-)