What’s My Style: an artist’s dilemma.

I have a bit of a problem. Not just as an artist but in general really. You see I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. I suppose it’s genetic to some degree, my dad was the same, he could turn his hand to anything. If the gas cooker needed servicing, out would come the spanners and the blowtorch and before you knew it the back yard would be a hive of industry. One day, out of the blue, he came home from work with loads of wood and glass and proudly announced that he was going to build a greenhouse in the back yard: in a few days we had plants growing under glass and dad had a place to display a passion for gardening that nobody, including him, had any idea was there. If something needed doing my dad could do it and I, for my sins, am somewhat similar. But when it comes to painting this presents a particular problem. When I was first painting in earnest, I experimented with all sorts of styles and media. Watercolours, oils, pastels, acrylics, I tried them all. People, landscapes, abstraction, symbolism: you name it I had a go and to some degree I became proficient in most media and made most styles work for me, with varying degrees of success. So as soon as I had accumulated a collection of works, the next thing to do was to take them to a gallery, only to be met with the obvious statement that fine as the paintings were, they were all too different from each other. It seems obvious now, but back...

Why do I bother? Defeating the green-eyed demons.

When we are small we can all paint and draw, can’t we? Everything we do is fantastic. We know that, because our mums and dads tell us so and we believe them and our creative juices keep flowing. But so many adults that have told me that they can’t paint or draw and I always say “Why can’t you: you used to be able to?” So when does the rot set in? When do we suddenly stop believing in ourselves? For me it was in the sixth form and it was nothing to do with anything that I was doing. It was encountering people who could do things that I couldn’t do. Especially one lad who was a naturally gifted figurative artist, who put beautifully drawn figures into everything he did and was rightly showered with praise by the tutors. I really admired everything that he did and hated him for it at the same time! He was brilliant and by inference anything that I could do was going to be second rate. All these years later and I still have to fight those same green eyed demons every day. It’s still that mixed emotion as well. Part of me delights in discovering a new artist who, in my eyes, is incredibly talented. It is always someone who is painting paintings that I wish I had painted. It’s never anyone, no matter how good they are, who is painting giant abstracts, or conceptual works. No, it is always someone who paints in a way that I truly admire and for a moment, every time, a little voice inside me...

Pin It on Pinterest