A distinctive point of view that is recongizable and unique to yourself. We all have it, but why is it so hard to translate to our work? I am in admiration and envy of those artists who have figured out how to send their voice clearly through their work. So, that when you look at a piece, you can tell right away it is by them. Especially artists that can do this in many varied styles and mediums. I was thinking of this while listening to KCSM's special program on Nina Simone. She was able to to do this through her singing regardless if she was interpreting a classic or modern piece. Her work also reminds me of Gerhard Richter, painter, who also seem to be able to show his voice clearly in realistic as well as abstract works.
The most often piece of advice offered to artists about finding their voice is to just keep creating. Over time, it develops. I guess you have to draw a line 100 million times before you can make that line distinguishable from all the other lines out there; make it your mark, your signature.
I've started a new project to help me keep creating. I'm painting portraits from my friend's facebook pages, the ones who give me permission. Already I can feel a rythm developing in my brushstroke and choice of colors. It will be interesting to see how it develops as I do more. Here are a few things I learned in my last painting;
1. Looser is better. At least I like how it looks better. I like the expressiveness of a messy brushstroke and I'm not really trying for a realistic look.
2. Step back a lot. Up close flesh looks weird but it all comes together when you step back.
3. A small scruffy brush is really good for blending those colors together.
4. Don't obsess over likeness. It doesn't matter right now. Plus if you get one thing right it ususally will translate.
5. Paint hair in chunks and make sure your brush stroke is following the direction the hair flows.
6. Purple is a useful color.