Saturday, November 11, 2017
What is Style?
I was just reading about the artist's style in International Artist, in which Paul Balmer describes that for the artist finding one's individual style as "probably the most difficult task"....and his discovery of the answer.
So I was curious to see what this painter's great breakthrough discovery might be. And it's very interesting and something that I have seen in some of our famous quilt artists.
For him it was the application of power tools to the painting - drawing with a dremel and sanding layered painting to reveal layers beneath...neither of this would I think work well with a quilt!!! but nevertheless inspiring of cogitation!
Paula Kovarik discovered that she loved machine quilting...literally drawing and writing with the machine needle to create complicated doodles or diaries......
Suzie "Lucky" Shie decided to write her diary and impressions of her world ..out large on fabric rather than in a small conventional diary notebook. She used air powered pens and brushes...which hadn't been used on quilts before.
So all of these people made the leap into what became known as their particular style based on a technique, usually borrowed from outside the quilting world......
Helen Frankentaler decided to forgo the idea of pretreating her canvases with gesso, and instead worked on the floor staining them with thinned paint.
So...if you want to develop your own style and feel that you have not yet found your way... consider looking outside the quilt world - to other art media, to the real world. And when you have found a technique that you'd like to try, stick with it...the first few pieces will probably be more experimental samples than anything else...but keeping on going as all the above folk did will lead you..if not to the Holy Grail(!) at least to a recognisable style. so finding a technique that you could apply in a new and different unconventional way is the answer...or one of the answers!!
Another way to a style is to work from imagery that no one has used before...photographers are well known for this ...before Bernd and Hilla Becher no one had shown interest in the Low Graphic style they used or in the photographing of forgotten industrial buildings - factories, pit heads and the like.
Well, if you have been...thanks for reading!! And do let me have your comments...your own particular path to style discovery.......