Saturday, July 5, 2008

Developing Your Own Style

Have you heard people say “Oh yes, I can tell that piece is by so and so.. That’s her/his signature style”?

What is style?

A particular style is not a mystery. It can be largely defined. I think it’s helpful to look at artists whom you admire and define their style. What is it about a Nancy Crow, an Emily Richardson or a Dorothy Caldwell piece that makes it so clearly their work? What is their particular way of arranging those design elements, line, shape, value, colour and texture, that is so uniquely their voice? I’ve found it helpful to look at several pieces by one person and analyse them in terms of repeated traits. How is this person drawing me in? Why does this work intrigue me – does she do the same thing in every piece? Why are these lines and shapes so pleasing, so well balanced and proportioned? In what myriad of ways is this person showing a consistent and strong voice? They are definable – if they were not, then they wouldn’t be said t o have a signature style.

How does one achieve a style?

As in every art medium it is import to peepeepee! Persistence, Practice and Patience are the keys to making better work. In this way, your own style will naturally develop.

I try not to make “one offs”; I try to commit myself to making at least 6 of any one idea – even though it may sometimes be thought I do too many!!! But I find as I keep repeating an idea then several things happen: my sense of what is important about that idea grows stronger, my knowledge of what I can leave out, what is unnecessary, becomes greater and, above all, I can allow myself to take more risks.

And if you have been………………thanks for reading!!!


P.S. I’m heading north out of the summer heat of Georgia for a few days RR and G (rest, relaxation and gossip!) with some close friends so I won’t be back on the blog till the end of the week – talk to you then!

1 comment:

Crazy for Art said...

Hello Elizabeth!

Congratulations on you're being in the Material Matters show! I hope to get there sometime this summer!
P. S.(We took Elizabeth Busch's class together) Wish I had a blog so you could critique what I have been doing.) So glad to see your new work!