This fall, at the Mary Allen Studio Tour I displayed six of my framed pieces together, on a grid wall. Somehow, with all the pieces in front of me, I had an “A-ha” moment! For the first time I saw my own distinct style.
Previously, I had been describing my work as “moody and etherial” but I lacked conviction. I was too close to my work and I really wasn’t able to see, let alone, describe my style. I knew I wasn’t a realist, and not quite an expressionist. So what was I? I paint flowers. But what makes my flowers different? What makes them me?
Finding one’s style is hard. I believe any artist would agree. Of course, as an outsider, it becomes easy to recognize brushwork, composition and all the elements that combine to determine an artist’s style. We learn to see artists and identify them by their style. Georgia O’Keefe’s vibrant, larger than life blooms, Renoir’s delicate, light filled paintings or Van Gogh’s bold, expressive brushwork. How did they do that? How did they find their style and embrace it?
Today I see my style as ethereal and emotional. I see glowing light and deep shadows. I see subtle, suggestive backgrounds and colourful, delicate subjects.
I’m still refining how I describe it, but now that I clearly see my style, I’m filled with inspiration to refine and pursue it. I feel like this has given me clarity to fine tune my artistic vision and start creating a larger, more substantial body of work.