We were having a discussion at a session with Bolton Art circle where I was painting the cockerel and emu. I painted both without drawing and was becoming pleased with what was happening before my eyes and 3 of us began chatting about our work, all very different. One paints dramatic landscapes of the North west and Lakes, mainly in acrylic though is very talented in other media, the other, wonderful detailed graphite portraits, and me from the "slap it on and see" school of art. We were all admiring one another's work and I voiced my observations that my own work was sort of lightweight with very little drama or intent. I tend to paint something and it really is a question of ploughing in and hoping for the best!! Those of you who read my blog regularly will realise that the best happens more often these days ( not mentioning the streetscapes I have been struggling with recently!!) but can still be a haphazard affair.
Anyway the consensus of opinion on my work was that they enjoyed the free way of painting and my use of colour, comments which have been said to me before and which also might signify my style developing.... one lady said after she had seen my painting of Holly, she recognised the emu as being one of mine and that she saw a definite style. I then asked about this feeling of it being a bit frivolous and the reply seemed to be that they would like to inject more colour into their work and that sometimes the idea of intent and drama seems to be a case of "The Emperors New Clothes." The feeling was that skill and techniques have been sidelined for ideas and possible shock factors. We came to the conclusion, that the art world today, while it may be full of creativity, intent and drama might be losing other elements like drawing and painting skills which are more fundamental to my work.
Now while this was music to my ears, as it was partly what I was wanting to hear, I wonder if I should start trying to create something a bit more meaningful. But will that stop me enjoying what I'm doing? I start each painting with renewed optimisim... buoyed on by either previous success or failure and while I have more idea as to how I might want something to look as my understanding increases, I find my brush often just does what it wants and I get carried away which sometimes works and other times doesn't. I think I am a brush stroke painter (saw this on a blog somewhere talking about brushstroke versus wash painters) and while I don't think I am an instinctive painter as a lot of wonderful artists are, I do feel my use of colour and brush sometimes take on a life of their own. So do I try and inject more intent and drama, or do I carry on simply painting just what I fancy, what inspires me in the best way I know how?
I think I am swaying to the latter... all I want to do is paint.....yes I constantly try and push myself to achieve better work, but I love the process and get excited about the magic I see happening on the page. If that means my work has little meaning other than what you see then so be it. I try to create interest with light, tone, colour and texture and maybe the intent will develop as I develop my expertise. In the meantime here is my latest effort.... no drawing, colour chosen I guess instinctively.... intent, well painted a little tongue in cheek as I wanted to portray the comical features which seem to be so characteristic of these birds.