Regarding my painting style, I am learning that you cannot choose your style, just like you cannot choose the style of your handwriting. You can force yourself to paint a certain way for a while, but eventually you will fall into something naturally. I never thought that I would be a realistic painter but the more that I paint the more that that’s what I’m leaning toward, and I’m learning to just except it and embrace it. People have suggested to me that realism is “taking the easy way out” and that it’s not an artistic expression at all, it’s simply copying. I say of course it’s an artistic expression. Something that I’ve noticed is that the people who make such comments paint very loosely and I’d like to see them try to paint realistically. It’s not easy and I enjoy the challenge to trying to paint something exactly the way I see it. How can you criticize someone for painting what they see? There are many artists whose work I don’t particularly like, but I still respect them and their passion for what they do.
Regarding my work showing no emotion, I think that has been among the most hurtful comments that I have gotten. I believe that all art is an emotional outpouring. A need to express ourselves and the way we view the world in a creative way. All art is emotional. You may not see how painting a still life of peppers, for example, is an emotional outpouring, but it is. Just because you may not have an emotional reaction to a piece or art doesn’t mean that it didn’t come from an emotional place for the artist. I paint what I love, what brings me joy and what I find unique.
Art is very personal. When you criticize someone’s work, you’re criticizing them. You don’t have to like my work, but really if you don’t have anything kind to say, please don’t say anything at all. Most of you have been so kind and supportive and I thank you very much for that.