The Thistle’s Seed overheard
A fellow artist comment recently “I just can’t seem to find my style.”
Oh, now, the Seed thinks, isn’t that a magic word, style.
Style is elusive; it’s like fairy dust. The Seed has heard that echo of words a hundred times that say “I wished I could paint like Matisse or I had those tell tale brush stokes like Harvey Dunn” in the Thistle Seed’s case.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful with a simple poof fairy dust you paint just like Matisse paints? Wow like magic too. And all the while you’ve locked your own special style in the dungeon never to see the light of day. What a loss.
First, a painter learns the basics from a teacher they admire, be one who teaches in a classroom, on a video or CD. Or that fellow painter who you find yourself drawn to in your painting world. You sit next to them; you watch them out of the corner of your eye. Then like a test taking thief you try taking their style and putting it in the answer space on you watercolor paper.
You work hard at trying to emulate their method, their mindset, but try as you might your painting is never quite as alluring as their painting. Then you move on to another learning opportunity and another, hoping for a miracle to happen.
That miracle is indeed happening in your brain. It is filing away those learning experiences into…yes…no…no…maybe files and soon the file cabinet is full of those yeses.
Each time an artist paints he must take notice of those fun little miracles that happen in even the most failing art pieces. You have to work it, baby. The brain can’t do all of the work.
Your style is lurking there in the shadows of your work. Your brain has seen to that. The more you paint the more times you suddenly notice those really dynamite moments start happening and more often. You like dynamite. You become a serial bomber.
Zap! Pow! Your style comes out to save the day.
Work it, baby and you will find your signature style. It may take time and practice, but soon Zap! Pow!