Finding my way with oils

December 23, 2011

Painting by Elizabeth Blackadder

 In August after being totally  inspired by the Elizabeth Blackadder retrospective in Edinburgh, I started painting again.

I’ve been keeping it up fairly steadily since then, and have been debating how much if any of this process I was willing to share here.

The searching process produces a lot of missers, and I didn’t see what sharing these publically would achieve. (Especially since I do profile as a professional artist in other areas like oil pastel drawing).

But there have been insights during these past 3 months of work, and since I’ve personally missed having a teacher or advisor, I thought I’d share what I’ve been learning here. Perhaps there are others also trying to find their way with oils (or other media) in comparative isolation. (Robert Genn’s list, Painters Keys is a great help).

The first thing I want to talk about it what happens when someone else’s work blasts a hole in your soul. I mean that feeling of suddenly knowing what is is to be alive and why you are here and what you want to do. All those doors opening at once. How do you ground that? What does is mean to your own path?

Most recent influences on me have been Jeroen Krabbé and Elizabeth Blackadder.

Jeroen Krabbé The Andeman Sea

Initially I copied elements of the work of both these painters. And this helped me to a certain extent to understand their approach and techniques.

But the main quest, of course, is how to find my own direction and create work that feels authentic to me.

I felt pretty good about my oil pastel drawings, but they didn’t translate easily into paint. And anyway, what touched me in the Krabbé and Blackadder work was the hint of a total new direction for my own work.

More on how to translate inspiration from other people’s work into your own, scroll down.

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