Finding My Own Personal Style

I seem to be examining my psyche in paint these days. I was feeling somewhat unsettled that I keep trying new ways of expressing myself, but continuing to feel that I had not quite found my way. I was feeling that I had not yet found my personal voice.

I was pleased to find an article in the magazine LensWork* that put my mind at ease. It was written by a very discerning photographer, Guy Tal, and it applies to all of us pursing a creative endeavor. The name of the article is “Forget Vision.” These are some of his words:

“Forget vision, forget personal style, forget unique voice; these are not goals, they are by-products. The most meaningful art you can make is not about a particular look, subject matter, or visual effect, but about the way you respond to and interpret the world.”

He goes on to say, “Searching for a vision is futile; it is a moving target. The only way to find one’s vision once and for all, is to stop evolving as a person and as an artist.”

Ann Hart Marquis-Winter in New Mexico-personal style

New Mexico, Winter #2, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 20-inches, ©2015. Ann Hart Marquis

I feel that my work is changing and evolving almost every time I pick up a paintbrush. I am relieved to hear someone say that finding one’s personal style is a somewhat frustrating goal. That is what I have been feeling for a while. Now I know why.

I would love your comments.

*Lenswork, Jan-Feb, 2015, No. 116.

11 thoughts on “Finding My Own Personal Style

  1. Sylvia

    I really like and agree with this. It seems to me that if you become attached to your personal style, you are less likely to experiment and challenge yourself. Not having a personal style gives you the freedom to take risks and to not be controlled by preconceived ideas of how or what you should create.

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thanks Sylvia. I like the idea of taking risks and painting things that I have never painted before–or perhaps in a way that I have never painted before. Then painting becomes an adventure that doesn’t end. I also like challenges. They are motivating to me even when I create a painting that I think is finished, but upon putting it aside and then looking again, I see that it needs work–all part of the journey.

  2. Brenda Chamberlain

    I love this piece you just finished, Ann. The lavender is a lovely addition to the other colors. Your work is constantly evolving in a positive way. Carry on.

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you Brenda. Yes my work is constantly evolving, a consideration that once worried me. Now I am just playing.
      For example, I don’t usually use lavender or violets, but I am giving them a try. It is all part of experimenting.

  3. Dotty Seiter

    Loved this post. Play! Have fun! Every time you paint you express yourself. When you paint, you paint with your style, your voice. Whose else could it be?!

  4. Suzanne Snadecki

    Oh, this is perfect. I’m so happy to read this as I’m all over the place with my art. I have dozens of voices and it always bothers me that I don’t seem to have a style or direction. Your painting is lovely, feels like winter

  5. Linda

    I love the way the shades of purple/lavender play off the oranges, such rich colors! I am pleased to hear a voice speaking against finding your personal style. I can appreciate the desire to find a personal style, but I also view it as restrictive in expressing yourself.

    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you Linda. I am experimenting with lavender and violet. They are colors that I don’t usually use. I think that on of the traps that artists can fall into is always thinking that they have to follow the “rules”. What fun is that?

      1. Linda Faust

        I feel in art, rules are guidelines, not absolutes. Although, I think that can be applied to many areas in life. Are you an Aquarius by any chance?


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