I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we, as artists, accumulate information and use it in what we create. We continually think about comments we hear and think about images that we see and internalize what we admire or dislike about them. We live and work and rejoice and cry and absorb bits of everything into a fluid and cumulative story.
If we take the time to analyze even some of the barrage of input coming at us, as an artist it can’t help but influence our work. That should never be something that causes angst. It is not a frightening evolution but instead an exhilarating and stimulating one. For those who have been watching my painting progress over the last 4 years, you know that I have gone from a much more tight and illustrative style to a slightly more impressionistic and gestural one. I have always admired the impressionistic looseness and how that imbues life and vibrancy.
My personal style is admittedly not as loose as those artists found within that artistic movement. Some of my current peers that I admire greatly are also gestural and impressionistic in their medium handling. I love the look that they are achieving, and it can’t help but influence my work and change it somewhat.
We are an accumulation of what we admire and absorb. My own transition has been intentional and part of a growth process. Painting in plein aire has been a tool to help me with that process and I am seeing a positive effect. I had an opportunity to show someone unfamiliar with my work, one of my paintings on my phone. Their reaction was, “Oh, I could never paint that loosely” . I found myself slightly startled and then pleased. I couldn’t help but think of how far I have come from a very strict pre-CAD pen and ink style, to a much looser handling of oil on canvas.
All of the paintings shown here are considered oil sketches, done en plein aire if you will, and considered exercises to help me continue to evolve.