Posts Tagged ‘intellectual approach’

Just my style, Part 1

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Artistic “style” can be hard to pin down.  Artists are often recognized by the unique style of their work.  But what does that mean?  Can we consciously create our own style?  Can we copy someone else’s?  We will look at various components of artistic style in a three-part series.

Rosy Gerbera

Style develops partly through the artist’s unique way of approaching the subject matter.  It lies partly in the artist’s personality, point of view, and approach to problem solving.  The artist’s nature and approach to life itself, whether patient, peaceful, retiring, confident, dynamic, or spontaneous, for instance, is likely to make itself apparent throughout the entire body of work.  Yes, it can change over time as the artist learns and develops in the craft.  A wide variety of personal circumstances may also serve to alter that outlook, either temporarily or long-term.

If Artist A is inspired, by the play of light and reflections across a series of surfaces, to paint a certain subject, her depiction of the subject will reflect her fascination with the light, her observation of its effect on various surfaces, what she sees as enhancing or interfering with the phenomenon.  Artist B, looking at the same subject, might be intrigued instead by the juxtaposition of a subject’s physical solidity and emotional vulnerability and will depict that as an important element in his work.  Artist C might be intrigued by the variety of textures represented and will find satisfaction in featuring those textures within her composition.  Artist D, on the other hand, may use blocks and swaths of saturated color to express his excitement about the subject.

Each artist’s combined intellectual and emotional approach to the subject matter, therefore, becomes an integral element of his or her artistic style at any given time.

In Part 2, we’ll consider how mechanics plays a role in style.