I once listed to a great painter who has since passed say to find one’s painting style one need to lock themselves in a room for a minimum of 6 months and paint unobstructed.
With a lot of family and financial responsibilities, I wasn’t quite so lucky, but I have tried limiting my exposure to other art that may influence me. If you are like me you are easily influenced by a myriad of different art styles and you seem to wonder from style to style never really knowing your true expressions. It is for this reason that I tried to limit my exposure to DVDs or workshops in an attempt to focus on my own painting voice. It is these words that I try to impart on to my advanced students: “To understand yourself and your materials; To learn and attend as many workshops as you can afford; Then paint alone as if your painting a self portrait every time and your painting style will find you.” As Sonja Donnelly said: “After years of painting, drawing, sculpting or whatever, your style becomes you. You are your style. Inseparable, one and the same, no matter what you choose to create.”
As for me I am at a happy place now. Maybe because of my family who are the source of a lot of inspiration or maybe because I find free time now that I never thought I had while painting with my own impressions. I see progress in every painting; In every brushstroke; And I’m truly blessed to be able to paint on my own terms.
As I write this more then a year and a half since my last article, I am optimistic what the future painting adventures may bring. In the short term I’m off to Cincinnati in September for the OPA Eastern regional exhibition being held at the Eisel gallery.. My painting My Flamenco dancer pictured below was chosen among select works to be showcased.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the greatest 20th century art teachers: “Your style is the way you talk in paint.” Robert Henri