I’ve spent a few weeks going through all of my paintings and drawings in an effort to document the early ones from as far back as gradeschool ~ obviously before I understood how important record keeping is for a working artist. It’s a miracle any of the work survived the frequent moves and mayhem. Most of the childhood pieces are on 8.5” x 11” typing paper from a manilla file folder that somehow stayed with me for five decades. As a result of traipsing down memory lane I’ve learned some things I’d like to share over the next few posts.
The question of developing a recognizable personal style keeps some of us up at night. Not me, I sleep very well, however, you know what I mean. We want to insure we come up with a technique the collectors and galleries will notice as unique to us.
Here’s a graphite drawing of a model from thirty years ago and a recent oil bar self-portrait posted late last year, reduced to black/white for comparison.
The same raw, brutally honest drawing style I seem to have hit the planet with is evident in both pieces. While my work has been informed by teachers and experiece, and there is always much more to learn, the rendering is clearly mine in both portraits. Whether anyone else thinks they are “good” drawings isn’t my concern. The issue is to keep making drawings, paintings or sculpture.
I’ve come to believe if we continue to put one foot in front of the other, do the work as frequently as we’re able and take the next intuitive step in our process, we’ll end up with our desired result ~ a personal style we can enjoy, have confidence in and share.