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Thread: Thoughts on the development of style -- Part 1

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Easton, PA

    Thoughts on the development of style -- Part 1

    6:57 AM
    A lot of commentators on my gallery posts have remarked about my colorful style and it has caused me think a lot about the subject of style lately. This post is a bit long, so I will break it into 3 separate posts. I hope that some will enjoy mulling over the topic.

    When I was a bass student my teacher used to push me to find my own voice by saying: "Your want to get to the point where your mom would recognize your playing on the radio."

    Tall order.

    For me style is a combination of three factors that include; what you like, what you want to say and how you work.

    What you like

    Miles Davis once said that as a child he heard swing on the radio and knew immediately that he wanted to play in that style. (He is also a musician with an instantly recognizable sound and playing style) Pat Metheney, the Jazz guitarist, is currently using his guitar to trigger instruments to create whole band performances by himself. He says the results reflect "how he hears music." (Mind blowing video HERE)

    I believe that visual artists all have a personal way of "seeing art." Your way of seeing is a major factor in determining whose work you are drawn to.

    In my case, the artists that really wowed me as a kid were, Van Gogh, Matisse, and the Expressionists. Contemporary artists I admired were Leroy Neiman and the cosmic 1960s style of counter culture artists like Peter Max. I was also fascinated by Kirlian photography and thermal images. By the time I left high school I was creating paintings that were driven by intense colors.

    These days my favorites include John Nieto, Robert Burridge, Downe Burns, Debra Hurd, and Martina Shapiro.

    (BTW, I love work in all kinds of styles, but if I could only hang one painting in my home, I would currently choose from the above list.)

    My Art History teacher used to say "Artists are always eyes." -- that every artist is always looking around to see what others are doing. He cast the development of art from decade to decade as a progression of "artist number one saw work by artist number two and painted X, which was seen by artist number three who painted Y and caused artist number four to react by painting Z, etc."

    Who are you looking at? Which artists are influencing your work? Do you gather influences from a pool of artists with a strong common quality as I have, or are your influences from a wide range of styles? Please tell us and provide links when possible so we can all share in what's inspiring each other.

    Thanks -- Al

    (If this thread is of interest to members, I'll post the other two and complete the trio. If there is no interest, I won't clutter the message board.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Don't you dare quit, and leave me hanging!
    I need to finish the story you started.

    OK, I'll add "Please continue, Alkratzer."

    And I'm sure others will be hooked also.

    Hin's Paintings:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, please continue. While I've never formally studied art (or artists) and lack anything that could be called my own style (I dabble in whatever strikes my fancy with results that range from not bad to laughable), I enjoy hearing the path others have taken.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    West Yorkshire, England
    Quote Originally Posted by alkratzer View Post
    6:57 AM

    I was also fascinated by Kirlian photography and thermal images. By the time I left high school I was creating paintings that were driven by intense colors.
    Thats where you get your influences! I am fasinated by Kirlian photography and thermal imagery..but for a very different reasons....I am a paranormalist.
    You can view all my other artwork here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I, personally, try to not follow any style. I prefer designing my pictures in styles that fit them. That probably hurts my marketability - I am less predictable than an illustrator who produces one consistent style - but I put my wager on versatility instead.

    I have a ton of influences, from well-known artists to very obscure ones, but I cannot say I follow any one of them. Or any three. Or any ten.

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