Expression wasn't a planned topic for my compose series but a post on Kathy's blog created a spark that I wanted to respond to. I think it's important to remember that our knowledge of composition and design is acquired for one reason - to create strong work, work that communicates. Having a large menu of options to choose from provides an opportunity to select just what might be needed to invite your viewer to consider what you have created and why. Work by artists who slavishly follow every rules to perfection can be quite exquisite and perfectly rendered but lacking in soul . I think when we first begin in art there is so much to learn and our heads are consumed by this learning. It's a huge juggling act.
I can remember my excitement at creating my first work that was a perfect(in my eyes) rendering of a landscape in a Walter Foster book. I was 20 and interested in art. I lived in a small community. I had no formal training and owned only two art books, one of them a book on composition and the other on landscape. That was my beginning in art. I didn't paint again until I was almost 50. I had a lot to learn and designed a course of study that I pursued and am still pursuing. I feel like I have consumed art book, talked about art, created art and skyrocketed in 10 years to where I am at this point in my career. I can mark my progress by looking back through my work.
In the early stages of my new career, I was warmly welcomed by a group of artists interested in botanical work. These sessions held at Memorial University Botanical Gardens taught me how to really look at something and represent all of its parts. I appreciated belonging to a group of painters who were interested in the subject matter I was interested in and I learned a lot by watching them work and listening to their conversation. My realization that I would never be a botanical artist came quickly. I kept interpreting and exaggerating. I put too much of myself into the work. Flowers always had their own vocabulary for me and I wanted to use it to create paintings that communicated my feelings.
This work represents that moment when I knew I needed to move on and find my own voice as an artist. Can you identify when you found your artistic voice?