Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Does an Artist Have to Commit to a Style?

I know I am not alone in questioning my dedication to painting in one voice or style. Over 20 plus years of painting I've gone down paths that came to a dead end, yet others branched out to something related, but broader and more fulfilling.

After my trip to Paris this spring, I saw the work of many famous artists whose work evolved over many years. And last week I visited the Portland Art Museum featuring the early work of Richard Diebenkorn. Best known for his Ocean Park Series and figurative work, this exhibit was titled "Beginnings."

So from these early abstracts came these later works:

I am not trying to compare my own work with this artist, but it has given me permission to let my paintings take sashays here and there. I feel relieved in a way.

I am calling my current artwork "Margaret's Careful Period." It seems that my path toward simplification has also led me to a more exact painting style. I don't feel I have to justify it in any way. I will just accept it as a part of my journey.

Both of these new pieces are simplified and carefully painted. Both are related to my recent subject matter of feminine issues (although the tree climber is a stretch.) Perhaps it relates to women being the gatherers. And the art tells a story. I guess I am still on track!

Comments are always welcome.

Women's Work
Transparent Watercolor
22" x 22"

Tree Climber (working title)
Transparent Watercolor
22" x 22"


Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Margaret,
I wish I had an answer to your question! Every time I try to commit to a style or genre, my mind immediately wants to do something else. Maybe, at this point in our artistic life, we need the search and discovery.

Excellent question!

Unknown said...

Margaret - This is an interesting topic which gets discussed often in WSO, my social media coaches and in critique. I don't like to paint just one subject but have tried in recent years to paint in series -- like you have. I do get less motivated if I stay in a series for longer than 6 months. Do I guess I don't have a niche and probably never will. We will see if that is a detriment to marketing so people look for your art. I'm thinking of having more than one Instagram page for the best of my series that I will continue to paint off and on.