Friday, June 1, 2012

The Girl with a Cat and the Evolution of a Face

This is my newest painting, Portrait of a Girl with a Cat. Let me explain.

Some artists have it all figured out. They've learned to paint, they've painted, and the world has chosen the pieces worth anthologizing. Those pieces tend to, in most cases, have a very distinct style. You can see a Picasso, a Dali, a da Vinci, and know the artist even if you've never seen that painting before in your life. It's the same for musicians. You can hear the Pink Floydness in a Pink Floyd song, the Led Zeppelinness in any Zeppelin song. Authors are the same. Think of Dickens and his tangled full-page sentences or the heavy curtness of Hemingway. The brilliant artists of the world become known for a certain sound, a certain look, a certain feel, many times because they invented that look, sound, or feel.

But, they didn't spring from the cradle with this style, they developed it over time. Back in the day, many early compositions that were considered unimportant or forgettable were forgotten or put aside by the world or destroyed by dissatisfied creators. Lost to time. More recently, the wonders of mass production have preserved the "early works" and errant works of artists of all types. If we dig, we know Pink Floyd can sound like this. We know Jimmy Page used to play this. And, the invention of the internet will likely give us video of our next artistic heroes as middle schoolers fumbling about with their first guitars.

Sometimes, when I make a new painting, like A Portrait of a Girl with a Cat, that's a clear departure from what I was doing previously, I'm torn between the excitement of doing something new and the embarrassment of  doing something that so clearly defines me as "still learning," which in the art world, seems to always be meant as an insult. I'd love to settle into a style and start making a portfolio of consistent works -- someday. But, I'm not there yet. I'm still evolving. And, I still love my older paintings, even if I'm headed somewhere that looks a bit different. It comforts me to remember that people still love the Beatles' Meet the Beatles! album, even after they made their Revolver album (not that I'm comparing myself to the Beatles. That's just silly. I merely speaking of the love of early works).

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As for my new painting, I think she's pretty. I love her depth and her detail and I hope to bring those bits along with me to my next painting.

Here's to evolution!


Nora CG said...

your work is absolutely AMAZING!
Have a great day!

Tammie Lee said...

i loved taking your journey through time with your art, i do see the changes you are talking about. yet each piece has it's own interest, charm or depth. The painting you made with the cat is wonderful.

Mary C. Nasser said...

Love your willingness to keep learning! Your Girl with a Cat portrait is really stunning and beautiful!!
Happy PPF!!
Mixed-Media Map Art

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I can see a consistent style throughout your work even when you approach them in a new way. Does that make sense? Anyway, I really like both your old work AND your new- it all has a great sense of soul to it. And I totally hear you on trying to find your own style- I've been doing that myself for the last year or so, not sure I'll ever get there, but the journey is totally worth it!
Happy PPF,

Netty said...

Loving your beautiful new painting and all your other ones. You have a wonderful style of painting. Happy PPF, Annette x

Michellem said...

LOVE this post - Your talent shines through with all of your work even as it evolves to your "own style".

EVA said...

I love to see versatility in an artist and am entranced by diverse ways of approaching a subject rather than overwhelming consistency of style. But I think the world expects the "style" to be what an artist always shows. hmm..

I love your girl with a cat. And all your faces - different shapes and shading but all are beautiful.

Giggles said...

Oh my Goodness....this post gave me goosebumps, my gauge for excellence!! Wow...thank you for sharing such intimate process of your development!! Sometimes it's hard to reveal those first stages!! I often wonder how to find my own style..Color is my thing...and I think that's where I start! This was so informative. Even at the beginning I see hints of who you are with snippets of your unique style!!!This has to be my favorite post ever!! I am truly grateful you posted your evolution!!

Hugs Giggles

Hugs Giggles

La Abela said...

The early works are like children, get older but we still see them as children right?. I love that gesture that you print your faces, and I'll tell you that I like both the first and the last. Saludos

Gloria said...

Lots of style going on here. It's great that you keep learning, it's something we all need to do. Love your work. All good. Thanks. Happy PPF!

Anne said...

I think that in a commercial sense it is expected and good to have a consistent style, but in a creative sense one never should stop experimenting. Picasso changed his style many times! Great post!
Love your painting, and from the 3. painting one can clearly see that they are painted by the same artist.

Tracey Fletcher KIng said...

that is a great posts and I enjoyed seeing the evolution... I can still see your essential you in all of them, but they are evolving in such an interesting way... look forward to the next one...xx

carlarey said...

I love getting to see the evolution of an artist's style. Seeing how quickly your work has grown and your style has emerged makes me determined to keep pecking away.

Rebecca D. Dillon said...

Lovely work!

Fl├╝gel said...

thank you for this entry. its so good to read that other people strugle the same thing. aldough i finally cam to the conclusion that i like being not consistend. that i like variation and that it is what fits me best.
with my artworks it might not only be the style - the way i draw - but also the motives i chose.

Anonymous said...

I really love how your artwork is evolving. From one artist to another the evolution of an artist is just as fun to look at as what an artist finally settles into :)

Margot said...

Enjoyed your post and the evolution of your art. I have just returned to painting after 30 years of avoiding it because it was attached to some painful things I did not want to remember I am enjoying exploring. It was nice to stuble upon your work on craftgawker. I will add you to the folks I am following.
Thanks for sharing.

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