I had an aha moment the other days after a written conversation on FB with a fellow artist. The topic was about method. For me method has been an issue because for a time I was trying to discover the "right way." Then, as you can read in earlier blog posts, I researched different methods for beginning a painting. I was again looking for the best method. As in life, I discovered I was asking the wrong question. What did my FB friend say when asked why he painted in the method he did? His response was, "my method supports my strengths AND my weaknesses." He didn't elaborate further but since he has many videos on line, I was able to see his strengths. I can only guess at his weaknesses. I can't detect any. So the question, in my opinion, should be. . . what method best takes advantage of my strengths and helps any weaknesses?
Now here is where a discussion, if one can be truly honest, could really be helpful. Do most artists paint in a method because of this strength/weakness issue? For example, if you love drawing and are really good at it, will you choose traditional images over painting non-representational? And the opposite . . . if you can't draw well but have a talent for color and color harmonies, will you gravitate toward strong color possibly with a more impressionistic style? There are many more examples I could come up with but you get the idea. Besides strengths and weaknesses, do we as artist gravitate toward a particular style or method based on our personality when it comes to the time it may take to complete a painting. I heard one painter say, "if I can't finish it in three hours, I'm not interested." Couple this with an artist who takes three months to finish a small painting. Maybe the statement that art is an expression of self is really about our personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
My strength is drawing. I love not just sketching in the underdrawing but bringing it to a very finished rendering. The drawing insures that my painting will be accurate (another thing I love). Here is an example.
Weigh in with your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.