Thursday, January 6

"Is It Really Your Art - Is It Really?"

At The Plaza
Pastel on Paper
Copyright 2008
I guess I’m starting out 2011 with a challenge to myself and to you.

I’m following up on my last blog to discuss more on why I think it’s really important for you to be true to your own style as an artist.


And, yes, I am yelling by using ALL CAPS above. I’ll calm down, but you shouldn’t. I see what has happened here.

Art is your passion, or at least it’s right up there on your list. You spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about your art, learning about your art, practicing your art, actually creating your art, telling others about your art, showing your art. If it’s not your full-time job, it might as well be.

Isn’t that nice.

The question I have for you is, “Is it really your art?”

“Is it, really?”

Or did you learn how to draw, paint, etc. at art school? Do you or did you or are you now taking art lessons? If so, then I wonder how much of what you’re producing is really your art.

Or could it be that it’s merely your rendition of: 1) some other artist’s work (style, technique), and/or 2) how you THINK your art should look or should be?

Ponder that, and I’ll get back to you to discuss this some more in the next blog.

(BTW, today's image is a pastel I did a few years ago when I didn't know how my art should look or be.)

Happy Painting.

Until next blog…


  1. I wonder how you would define fine arts. I think of it as a profession. Of course each artist must find his or her own voice and style, but there is nothing wrong with exploring and educating oneself on the path to developing a mature style.

    Although it is fashionable to privilege outsider art over trained artists, I think it will be short lived because people become drawn to the mature work of a trained artist. The additional depths of vision and emotion that an artist can learn from taking classes, practicing and figuring out how master artists solved problems is invaluable and worth achieving.

    Learning skills does not dampen creativity, it gives it a foundation to flourish.

  2. Dear Sara Star, I don't believe Mr. Smith's post sets up an either/or between untutored expression and matured vision.

    I am progressing from a strict realist to find the type of art only I can make. That would not be possible without a firm grounding in technique and years of honed skill.