You probably have heard the expression, “We are what we eat.” That may be a little simplistic, but probably more true than not.
For painters as a group, I maintain, “We are what we paint.”
Not that I nor anyone could or ever should lump painters, or any group really, into one category. That's stereotyping and narrow minded.
By their nature all painters paint differently and are different.
Sure, we admire and we study and we try to capture or mimic a style or technique of a favorite painter.
I do all of the above. I’m currently trying to paint looser and allow my paintings to look like (or more like) some contemporary award-winning watercolorists whom I admire.
Try as we may otherwise, we can only paint what we see, what we feel, and what we’re able to paint. Because our sight and emotions and natural abilities are our own, are we destined (or doomed?) to keep painting the same way no matter what?
That doesn't mean we can't improve, but, yes, I believe it does.
I’m currently reading a book with paintings and letters of Vincent Van Gogh. Because his style was and is so distinct and unique, I doubt that he could have made his paintings look or feel any different than they do even if he wanted to. But I think you'll agree, in his case that's not a bad thing.
So, I maintain when all is said and done, a painter simply paints the way he or she innately paints. No matter what.
Times change but painters and their human nature do not.
Keep On Painting.