Let me show you my best painting secret!
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There is a unique signature style in every artist. When starting out this style is in its infancy, but it will mature and change with time. Much like us as we grow up over time our appearance changes too. Our art will develop as we take on new ideas, methods and throw off others. This is healthy. We have to keep on learning and trying new things to give ourselves a chance of fulfilling our potential.
I have said before that nobody can teach you a style of painting, but you can accept and reject as you please. If you are true to yourself your own signature will come to you. The potential that we all have to adapt and grow in our art is huge. In fact I am beginning to think that it is only by our choice that we encounter limits. Sometimes these choices are conscious and other times unconscious.
Perhaps some fear, discomfort or event steps in and we experience a detour. We can choose to get back on track or not. When I see or read about extraordinary achievements by those who have huge hurdles to overcome, whether physical or in their circumstances, then I am convinced that I am capable of so much more.
A few years ago I read a fascinating book called E=mc2 by David Bodanis. It is an explanation of Einstein's legacy (surprise) and the development of his theory of relativity written for average-joe (me) to understand. Among the mind bending facts about the abundance of energy in the universe was an example of the potential energy in any mundane item, like a sheet of paper. If this energy could be released it would flatten a city. Can there be any doubt that each tiny atom making up our very existence is part of the universe's infinite power? Within us is the power and energy of the sun! Seems the least I could do is watch a little less TV and paint something nice.
On the subject of potential it is every artist's privilege to interpret a subject according to his or her concept. If an artist likes representational art does this mean that the subject must not be changed at all? In my view every subject should be pushed a bit or as much as is necessary to convey the emotional response. Although I spend much time teaching how to mix colours and get values correct this is not to turn anyone into a boring painter.
The idea is that by knowing colour and value you will be able to ramp these up or modify them to give a painting energy and impact. You need to know the differences to make the best decision. There is so much potential energy and life to be conveyed in a painting. If a colour does not convey your feeling then give it more beans! There is nothing wrong with this if the relationships between colours, shapes and values are all in synch.
Remain true to your concept and feeling and do not to hold back.