Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I have three questions about style.

I created this video after reading an article in The Artist Magazine's March 2013 issue  by Haidee-Jo Summers called 'Find your own style' its a good read as it talks about all the processes you have to go through before you begin to develop your own style.

For the last year I have really been working on what it is I do because before I head off to any more galleries I feel I need to know for myself. By putting together this video it has highlighted the process that alot of artists go through while they are searching for that thing that sets them apart from others.

When you decide you are going to be a painter what you paint and how you put that paint down is what gives you your style. But with so many influences from other artists past and present it is so very tempting to try and be like them because if they are a success then surely it should follow that you will be too?

But it is what is in your heart , those things you are passionate about that make you eventually stand out. It is a long journey to get to that point so we find ourselves playing it safe and creating work that is not much different to anyone else.

By the end of last year I realised that I was indeed a landscape painter and changed all my profiles to say just that. Before that I was edging my bets with a flimsy semi abstract title. Because I wasn't ready to place myself in any category.

The video is exciting for me as it quickly shows me that I have come to a point now where all my abstract experiments and landscape doodles have merged. The use of tissue paper for texture and blending of colour for the under painting is a direct result of a year of playing with paint. The series of works for various exhibitions have been brilliant at exploring how to paint towns and weather effects. Now I am putting both together to create my style.

Not every painting is a good result some are awful and some have been given away! But that's another lesson for me don't expect that every time you sit down you are painting something for somebody to buy. Now every time I sit down I am painting something for me to learn by.
In Hadiee-Jo Summers article she suggests asking others what they think of you, if any of you has time I would like to hear what you think the answers to these questions are.I don't care if your feedback is good or bad as all feedback even negative is valuable.

  1. What kind of paintings do I do?
  2. How would you describe my work?
  3. What are my strengths?


  1. Hey Ruth what a great idea and how brave of you to ask. I hope me feedback will help you but firstly I will say that it will be constructive but honest.
    1) Your paintings are mostly representational of local scenes which inspire you. Almost all as far as I'm aware are in Atelier acrylic and are often painted over tissue. They are quite similar and I think until recently of similar palette.
    2) Your work is often ethereal and full of atmosphere. Your portrayal of the scene is transported through your paintings quite clearly. To be honest I think they are quite samey but that isn't a bad thing specially if you are painting around similar geography and looking to capture a series of scenes from a given area
    I was delighted to see the blue painting recently which moved away from the more purple and grey scenes of recent times.
    3) Your strengths are your ability to capture the essence of a landscape. I can really feel the emotion in them. I know the area of which you paint and your paintings describe them with passion.
    To summarise I think you should stretch yourself and if you want to do more landscapes as is your desire, scenes from other countries. I think harder, more rocky areas like cliffs and places that show a greater range of tonal values. Bright and colourful, strong hard shadows, dazzling highlights would give you an injection of inspiration. Try oils if you haven't already they give a different depth of hue than acrylics and are so much more flexible.
    You are a such a hard worker Ruth but I would advise you to take a little more time to think about what to paint and make every brush stroke count. Oh and make sure you have the best quality brushes you can afford, they make such a difference. by the way...I love your work ;-) Max

    1. Max I absolutely agree with everything you have said and this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. It is like you have given me permission to explore other options I tend to get stuck in ruts trying to improve on the same views. I have travelled the world so I shall display that in my work thankyou!

    2. Stepping outside your comfort zone is the hardest thing to do. I'm writing an article for the Artist magazine for the September issue called 'Reinventing yourself and you art' it's exactly about this breakthrough and the way artists can change and evolve. You can do it Ruth you have the ability and the strength. Go and look at other landscape artists work and see how you might get ideas for your own evolution. It's a pleasure to be able to give any support I can. You deserve it as you put in so much effort.