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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Finding Your Painting Voice

'Beautiful Blooms'           9x12      acrylic and ink on canvas         ©Karen Margulis

I remember the day I discovered my visual voice. I had been painting a little bit of everything and trying a variety of styles. Some subjects I enjoyed. Some styles were comfortable. But others were just not a good fit.  At the time it worked for me to experiment. I was learning about my medium and what I could do with it.  But I didn't feel like I had my own voice.

Then one day I painted some Queen Anne's Lace and everything clicked. I had found a subject that I was passionate about. I got totally lost in painting them.  My true voice was emerging. Now I still do continue to experiment and play with subject matter and techniques but that is to keep things fresh and fun. I know that when I return to the subjects that most inspire me I will usually do work that is mine alone.

Have you found your own Visual Voice?  Here is a book that may help you understand what it is.

'Magical Queen Annes Lace'       16x20     pastel  $175
 The book is called 'Finding Your Visual Voice A Painter's Guide to Developing Artistic Style'  by Dakota Mitchell.  It is a hard cover spiral bound book filled with insight from other artists and questions and exercises and demos. I haven't had the chance to work through the whole book but the first chapter really grabbed my attention.

The author talks about how important it is to discover your source of inspiration....in other words where you get your inspiration from about what to paint and how to paint it. Inspiration must come from your core,  from your heart, something that comes to you intuitively.  We can be inspired by another artist and try to emulate them but if their style doesn't come naturally to us,  we may end up getting frustrated. "Do Your Own Thing" is good advice.

'Blue Sky Day     16x20   oil on canvas
Here's another  great quote from the first chapter. It is from Albert Pinkham Ryder.

"Imitation is not Inspiration, and inspiration can only give birth to a work of art"

I began my journey by trying on other artist's styles and subjects but when I finally listened to my own voice and painted what really spoke to me, I began creating work that was truly my own. So as Dakota says, Never be afraid to listen to your own artistic voice!

Now I am going through a stage where I like to take my favorite subjects and see how I can interpret it with different mediums and different ways....just another leg of my journey!


Sarah S said...

I love all three, each is different but all are completely yours!

David King said...

This is timely Karen. I'm on the verge of taking my art a very different direction, I think I'm narrowing down on figuring out where I fit. I'll have to look into that book.

angela j simpson said...

Very timely for me too. I feel as though I am flitting about trying out everything, but I am about to return to my roots, or what I know I enjoy. It's through one of your posts that I bought Pastel Pointers - a great book, which led to me buying another book recommended at the back - written a century ago, which lit a spark in my brain and now I am obsessed with Notan and devoted to charcoal!

Meredith Adler said...

Thanks, Karen, I loved hearing about that moment when it all fell into place for you. Happy Mother's Day!