Art is a funny thing. What I find appealing to the eye is definitely not what my wife or anyone else for that matter finds appealing. What is it that captures one’s eye with an artistic display? There is no one answer. For each of us it is an emotional link. Either colour’s that make us happy, content that makes us laugh or cry. Something that can even make us stand back in awe and amazement.
My father taught me a lot in art. From the beginning it was all about light and perspective. My father was a realist and only ever painted realism by way of portraits, flora and fauna and landscapes. He taught me oil painting when I seven years old. He never encouraged anything else because he is a firm believer oil’s last life times. These days, I feel with the right equipment and care, the medium isn’t as important – the materials have come a long way. Even though I have always had a ‘passion’ for art, my father didn’t want me to catch the starving artist syndrome so he encouraged a professional career, which I followed.
Through visual arts studies in High School, I became a little frustrated by being ‘told’ which direction I need to take. I guess I’m as stubborn as my father in some respects. Art that appeals to me, is art that looks like what its suppose to look like. Having said that, I respect all artists. Anyone who can inspire through creativity is my idol. My wife loves to hang abstract and impressions around the house. Ironically, not anything I’d ever produce myself – As Austin Powers said ‘Not my bag baby!’. My biggest hurdle with art is appreciation on all levels.
What makes me stand back in awe though?
Since first picking up a brush, pencil again and a stylus for the first time (lol), I revisited my Visual art studies and again looked to what made me strive to get better. Graduating high school at 17 and then starting a career three months later, I hadn’t done anything really artistic in 17 years. Once I began sharing work in the digital art forum and started getting some much appreciated attention, I really wanted to know; How do I make someone stand back in awe?
I read about Leonardo DaVinci and Michaelangelo. Davinci taking home cadavers so he could study muscle and bone structure. Dead bodies laying around in the home study to improve ones ability to portray realistic muscle, tone and texture. This day and age, slightly morbid yes? lol. They would lock you up and throw away the key. These stories truly amazed me though. The extreme efforts to tone ones craft is quite amazing. Painting a ceiling on ones back also amazes me. Taking into consideration the eye of the beholders perspective so no matter which angle they observe a piece, they will always see something different. That is what has inspired me truly. It’s not necessarily the finished product that inspires me. It’s the fact these artists sometimes suffered to get the best out of their work. They were willing to try new things and push boundaries where many would not dare go.
I think I’m a long way from getting anyone to stand back in awe. My suffering has been immersing myself in art I didn’t always necessarily appreciate. That was initially a difficult thing to do. While doing this, I believe it has helped me become a more balanced critic so to speak. It’s difficult to make a constructive statement on an artistic style until you actually adopt it. There is such a diverse range in artistic styles and movements. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to keep immersing myself in these styles to truly find myself and the audience I wish to impress. That’s the hardest thing. I still struggle to understand what makes a piece popular. I think my safest bet is to try and not understand. I think as an artist, it is critical to be impartial and neutral to the critics. In all honesty, there’s plenty of my own work I look back on and think to myself ‘what the hell was that about?’. in my opinion, you need to respect where you’ve come from artistically and don’t get held up in anything negative. Critics can sometimes be helpful with direction. Not always, but some have valid points to consider. Either way, you can always make something better next time and shut them up 🙂
The sketchclub collage above is a collection of my impressions of artists who have in some way inspired my artistic direction. Leonid Afremov , Francois Neilly and Patrice Murciano; the way these artists can utilize colour and apply their medium truly inspired me. I had never even tried to build work with colour like these guys. Rembrandt, Pissaro, Davinci and even Bob Ross; how did these artists make such complex scenes with the detail inside the detail like they did. How did Bob Ross do it so effortlessly lol? That’s the inspiration.
I hope you guys like my work. I’ll continue to ‘mix it up’ as I say as I truly believe variety hones ones craft.
The game here at Monkeysidebars is a great example of inspiration. The weekly challenges inspire artists to think a little more about what they are going to create. Knowing they will be sharing their own depiction or meaning of a word with many other artists, inspires individuality. When the works are revealed, it’s an eye opener to see what your favourite artists have come up with.
Keep creating and please keep inspiring me !