Saturday, May 05, 2012

Change is Good for an Artist

The Backyard, 18x24, acrylic on linen, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2012

So here we are in the spring of 2012 and I feel like my journey as an artist has twisted and turned and looped back on itself. Approximately seven years ago, I painted subject matter like this, in a similar style, but the execution was not as skilled. My frustration in depicting architecture led me to spend about a year painting a lot of buildings trying to improve. I never was satisfied with my progress, though I did pull off several really good pieces that featured buildings, I still wasn't happy overall with what I was producing.

In 2007 I re-evaluated what I was doing and decided that I would concentrate on pure landscape, eliminating buildings and most man made structures. Occasionally, a bridge or fence would sneak in but generally I went with what really inspired me and what I painted best, land, water, marsh, and sky.

Then I made the switch to part time plein air painter, full time studio painter, using acrylics, and I discovered tonalism. That exploration and mode of painting lasted a little over three years. Last summer, my trip to Maine shook things up and brought big changes. My associations with new artist friends, including Claudia Post my daughter's mentor, both inspired and challenged me.

Now I seem to be back to something closer to what I was doing back in 2005/06 but with greater proficiency, confidence and skill.

So what does it all mean? 

I believe that I'm now entering a new stage of artistic growth, a new period, like Picasso's Blue Period, if you will. I'm pushing out old subject matter, old color combinations, familiar compositional arrangements, and prior levels of what I considered "my standard". I know I can do more and do it better.

I think I was becoming bored and was in danger of falling into a creative rut.

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