October 5, 2008

STYLE, TECHNIQUE VS. POINT OF VIEW

Q: How did you come up with and develop your style/technique?

A: I don't believe in style, and technique is nothing more than surface treatment, if it is not paired properly with the right visual solution.

I prefer to think of this in terms of personal voice, which is actually, a personal point of view. I define this simply, as deciding what you like and dislike about your work through trial and error.
You keep what works and discard what doesn't. In short, a personal voice is something that develops over time and it is a difficult thing to think your way through. The answer is in the action of doing. It is important to focus as much attention on what you paint, as how you paint it. As much as we need to know the fundamentals of picture making, we must understand the fundamentals of visual problem solving. Picture making can be addressed through the big questions: How? (technique), What? (subject matter), and Why? (visual problem solving/personal philosophy). These are all things that are encompassed in the idea of Personal Point of View.

If you subscribe to the idea that an artist's responsibility is to record the time in which we live (and I do), then your work should be ever-evolving, as the world changes around you. My approach is grounded in philosophies that change. These grand ideas become the thread that links a body of work together. The first time that I was aware of this, I was trying to combine line and tone. It took me some time, but all of the work was created towards that common goal. That helped to make it cohesive. Recently I've been attempting to show process in the finals. Currently, I am searching for ways of combining the narrative and the conceptual in my images, as well as a more painterly approach to conceptual work.

An artist who does not change and mature throughout their career is looking inwards at themselves, and they are not looking outwardly at the world. After all, aren't artists supposed to have curious minds?

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