Friday 4 December 2009

Changing and developing a style

Early on in my painting career I attended a marketing seminar which was supposed to give artists good marketing advice and pointers for attracting galleries.  One of the other artists attending that seminar was a  well established professional who warned me not to exhibit too early.  I’m afraid I didn’t take too much notice at the time, but when I look back, I know she was absolutely right.

I had a lucky break then and was offered a one woman show at a venue in central London.  I exhibited around 21 canvasses – it left an impression of my work that I now regret.  So when do you know that you are ready to exhibit ? I have to say that I still find the whole process rather like dancing in public in the nude !  You are exposing your soul when you show your work and laying a very delicate part of the ego open to criticism. There are still paintings that I show that I feel doubtful about, only to find that they sell immediately and others of which I am quite confident take a while before they find a home. This one below I could have sold 4 times over.

My landscapes told stories and had a somewhat naiive quality about them that has gone now.  Work has to evolve – the more you paint the more you find out.  There is always something to learn, some happy accident that can lead you to the next stage .  Part of my recent creative block was to do with a deep seated dissatisfaction with what I was doing, that allowed the niggly little voice of self criticism to take hold.  I have experimented with various different new approaches as a result and think that I am coming back to the conclusion that it is better to continue along the familiar path and allow that to develop rather than starting all over from a completely fresh perspective.  I think there is a certain amount of commercial sense in that if you already have a following and have found a market.  

I’d be interested in hearing from other artists on the subject of their own development and career progression and whether they took a radically different path at some stage.

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