It’s said that an artist is his/her own worst critic. Well, that’s certainly true of me. Even though I can see that I’ve gotten better over the years, I’m not yet where I think I want to be. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that I have talent; I believe in my abilities to create fine art – but I haven’t reached that stage in my artistry where I’m completely comfortable. I generally begin a painting chanting “I THINK I can, I think I can,” and then of course I do it. But I rarely start with the thought, “This is cake, I can do this, hands down.” There’s always a little hesitation, some trepidation.
When I look back at some of my earlier paintings and compare them to recent works, I feel a real sense of accomplishment. I can definitely see the progress that I’ve made over the years, which is as it should be. Many of my first works look so amateurish to me now, yet with every new painting I complete I look and look and pick it apart and look some more, never fully satisfied. Oftentimes I am pretty reluctant to even sign my name, because signing it would mean that it’s finished.
I think that un-satiated feeling derives from not yet having developed a style I call me own. (Interestingly I’ve been told by others that I do indeed have a style, only I myself can’t see it.) Because I enjoy such an assortment of media and subject matter and technique I find it hard to lock myself into what I think is a specific style. I can’t even attempt to clump my paintings into “periods” such as Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods. Each time I pick up a brush to start a new painting the outcome is decidedly different from the last one I completed.
Then again, if I ever find myself pigeon holed into a specific style – in my art or in my life – it would mean that I’ve stopped growing, stopped evolving, and that simply will not do. Notably, all of the Greats have danced between painting and sculpture and architecture and science and invention, dallying in different genres and media – it’s part of what made them great. And because there’s still so much more that I want to try, because I haven’t learned it all, because I relish a good challenge, because I’m still not satisfied, I so look forward to 2013.