Nov 302009

This entry is to motivate you to always be true to yourself. Weather you are an artist or a singer don’t try to be someone else. Be You!!!

We have all seen vocalist that try to be someone else and are not original. Why would anyone want to buy their CD’s if they could buy the real thing instead? That is the same way it is with the visual arts.

Yes, just like a vocalist may be influenced by a particular artist or a particular style of music the visual artist also, can be influenced by a particular artist or style as well; both of them need to find themselves. They need to be the unique artist that they were made to be.

It may be fun to imitate someone for a time but real satisfaction can only come from being yourself and painting the type of art that is natural for you. If you have a personality that is not much for details in other areas of life you would not be happy painting detailed paintings in art as well. If you are more of a free spirit then that would show up in your art.

One example of this is, myself as an artist. When I was in the first grade I spent my whole lunch break for days drawing a copy of a picture on a children’s book cover that I liked. It was a pencil drawing with shading and everything. It was the first time that I spent hours and hours on one drawing. I felt that it was my masterpiece. When I was finished with it, I took it up to my teacher to show it to her. Her response to me, and I quote, was “why don’t you color it with crayons now.” I was so devastated that I never showed a teacher a drawing that I did in my spare time again.

From an early age I was fascinated with detail. That is who I am!

Through the years I have done every kind of art possible. I participated in art in elementary school and took art in the 9th though 12th grade. I took four years in ceramics in college as well. I, as all art students, have done everything from detailed to abstract, from sharp lines to free flowing color, from portraits to landscapes. This is all important for you as an artist to experience all of these in order to find out who you are as an artist and to find your unique style.

After all of these art classes I came right back to my roots. Right back to the detailed style that I had in the first grade. Why? Because, that is who I am.

I tried to be a different kind of artist. Let’s get real. This was the 1970’s and nobody liked realism unless it was of subjects like seeing yourself in a silver ball but certainly not landscapes. That was the old art not the new hip art of the 70’s.

For this reason I got away from the realism that makes me happy to the free flowing art that the era and the art schools dictated. This was one of the reasons that after many years wanting to go to college and major in art and not receiving any grade for art less than an A, I decided to take several years of ceramics in college just as a release and major in something else. You see art no longer made me happy because I was not doing the art that I was born to do. Because I was creating art that did not make me happy I soon lost interest in art all together.

After college I painted two paintings for our parents for Christmas one year in detail and did not paint again for twenty five years. I did however draw at Christmas time each year when work got slow because I could pick it up easily and put it back down again. I did detailed drawings.

Then one Christmas I was walking through a local gallery, I look up and on the wall in front of me was one of Fred Swan’s prints. It was detailed and that was my “aha moment”. I said to myself, “I can do that.” I purchased the print along with another of his and started painting again.

This time I was going to paint the kind of paintings that make me happy. The kind of paintings that I wanted to hang on my own walls. Not the kind of paintings that some art critic said was right or wrong. I was going to forget the art critics and just enjoy being myself, and paint.

Since I made this decision, I have been told by art critics that they love my work and that it is strong enough to stand alone. It doesn’t need to be framed. And they have given me awards and I have gottenĀ  into many juried competitions in my try state area.

The point is, just be you. Experiment with different mediums and styles in order to find out who you are, but when the day is over, so to speak, just be you. Go back to what makes you happy and unique!!! We are all individuals and all have our own stile. Just find yours and be you!!!!!!