Research Assessment 6
Subject: Painting in a new Style
I have a loose style when I paint. I value that almost fluid or blurry look some paintings may have. In a way, my pieces resemble expressionism, but not completely. My brush strokes are not as obvious or as varied in color as expressionist paintings tend to be. This style of painting is a sort of goal for me. That is why I have dedicated one of my most recent paintings to creating something resembling expressionism; that is not all, though, I decided to also dabble in fauvism. These kind of paintings have colors that are unrealistic and usually complementary. Most fauvist artists use bold and simple colors to create a complex image. I thought exploring both these techniques in one painting would be a great learning experience; not just because they are similar to one another, but also because they allow me to continue searching for new ways to paint.
Stepping out of my comfort zone is the best way to improve, so most of my year will be dedicated to exploring new ways to paint. I have already painted something with my hands; for that reason, I decided to try something less drastic this time. Although the way I am painting is not completely different from how I usually paint,- it feels more like an extension to how I paint- the combination of expressionism and fauvism is different enough to prompt a change in how I tackle the painting.
I painted my dog, Lucky, in a close-up photo. I changed the original brown and white fur to red and yellow, and the red bricks and blue-white floor to purple and blue. Of course, I added many different colors to create these simplified colors, but for the most part the background became a spectrum of cool colors and the foreground became one of warm colors. Painting in the fauvist style felt odd. The colors did not seem right; it was not real. Still, I felt the painting was more complex because of that. The joyous warm colors contrasted with the dreary eyes of dog in the photo. Dogs are usually synonymous with happiness, like the warm colors, but this one clearly is not. This juxtaposition of messages implied by the dog and the color adds a bit more detail and meaning behind the painting. I have always seen colors as a way to manipulate paintings; I never before thought of them as a way to create a message to the viewer.
My first layer had all the colors and values established, so in that sense, it was fauvist. However, it was not expressionist; it looked like one of my usual paintings. I needed to add the obvious and varying colorful strokes most of these paintings usually have. Not only would that create the texture of the fur, but also add the illusion of blending from far away. I adore that look: simple and bright colors brushed around one another. What looks like a black shadow from far away is actually a mixture of brown, purple, and blue brush strokes. Painting like this embraces the fact that the piece is a painting while creating something that resembles realism. Admittedly, I was not able to create that perfectly in my artwork, but it was close. The colors clearly vary and the strokes are present.
I am overjoyed with the result. It is different from what I usually do; it is much more bright and expressive. It looks more purposeful and complex. Clearly, this attempt at something different, like before, was extremely useful for my development. These new techniques have taught me that I love the fauvist look, and that I have the ability to create expressionist paintings. Once again, stepping out of my comfort zone has allowed me to take another step on my journey to find a unique style, my style and technique. Unlike before though, I have learned that I do not need to take drastic actions to find new creative ways to paint. Both the aforementioned styles look similar already to what I usually do, so this was not a stretch. Nevertheless, it was useful.
This experience has been motivating. I feel encouraged to keep trying out different and new techniques. One aspect of this exploration of art styles is that I feel more inspired to paint more often than before. In fact, I want to paint more often because of how intriguing exploration can be. Another aspect of this experience is that idea that this allows me to improve myself has been validated again. I want to keep trying new techniques in order to develop and mold myself as a painter. Continuing this will undoubtedly be useful. I believe this idea could be useful in my original work. My inclination is to report on how painting in these different ways impact the way I paint. Already I know that painting with my hands has reinforced the idea that I value detail less than value and shape, and I know that painting with a mixture of expressionism and fauvism has motivated me to focus more on how each brush stroke differs from the other. This already makes me more conscious of how I paint; if I report it, I could more effectively find new ways to develop and improve.