Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review #2

After wasting a few college years being convinced that Fine Art was not a "real" profession, I decided to get back to the roots of what I love. Seeing the work of Marvin Mattelson made me realize there is, indeed, a market for art and clients who want realism. So, I did what any rational artist would do: I rebelled against all the teachers I'd had that taught realism was baaaaaaad while abstract was gooooood--and went to super tight portrait work. At my peak, I was turning out stuff like this painting of Dr. Lew and Cheryl Roht:


Since then, I've fallen more in love with painters who magically blend realism with looser, more expressive brushwork. My biggest hero was William Whitaker, who was kind enough to let me study under him any time I was in his area. I spent weeks under his tutoring (and still do on occasion) and learned invaluable lessons I never would have learned any other way.

As I continued to develop, I studied more and more historical as well as modern realists and am starting to really filter out what I simply admire from what I want to become. I'm still not there yet, so I feel my work lacks some cohesion, but my style is definitely starting to emerge. After playing with the knife and some high-contrast lighting, this recent painting is one of my favorite Plein Air landscapes so far:

My good friend Mara Schasteen convinced me to start this blog to chart my growth from here and I invite you to join me. Hopefully, this journey will be helpful to those of you who are also finding your unique artistic voice in a sea of "anything goes."