Learning technique from other artists versus copying a style


Every artist is shaped by their time, place and circumstances. Circumstances can include age, money, and disability. Most of Henri Matisse’s last works were gouache découpage because after surgery in 1941 he was confined to a wheelchair. I live in a share house. All my larger works are able roll up for storage because I’m short on space.

If you must copy the style of an artist, choose one where you will learn from their technique because you will never replicate their style exactly and that form of perfectionism will frustrate you. One of my pet peeves is abstract artists who copy Mark Rothko. His squares of colour were an artistic dead end when he created them and even more so when the style is copied. Now Pollack was a contemporary of Rothko, using his dripping methods will at least teach you about the nature of acrylic paint and the nature of the surface you are working with. I believe following your own path artistically will teach you the most. This will include periods of experimentation and changes in direction.

The design at the beginning of the post is uses the ‘S curve’ design element discussed in a Sandra Meech book*. However my theme for the piece is “the complexity of adulthood” therefore there is difference from Meech’s preference for abstract landscapes.

*Meech, Sandra “Connecting design to stitch” Batsford, London; 2012.


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