Does your Life background Influence your Painting Syle?

Just thinking about this….Van Gogh of course…had major problems. If he didn’t, would he not have been as great as he was? I’m thinking no.

MILLIONS of people have problems and doesn’t mean people like this will produce great work automatically.

Off top of my head…John Lennon of the Beatles had big personal problems (witnessed his mother get killed by a car (off duty policeman). when he was very young.

I kow for a fact, it disturbed him emmensly throughout life….Childhood trauma, etc…wonder if it contributes to the uniqueness of a person’s painting style?

Issac Newton..major depression.

Earnest Hemingway…same.

At least it’s good know it’s a possiblity. Me? major…

And i am sure it pushes a person to be great because he or she knows she or he is different than others because of those demons. But it’s very hard to demand of yourself like that. I painted today and I’ll pay for it the next few days….always a repercussion. Have to learn to bend and back off when it’s called for.


8 thoughts on “Does your Life background Influence your Painting Syle?”

  1. Interesting, Pat. In looking at some of the Master Artists their distinctive styles, colors they often used and what they paint may clue us in on what kind of lives they experienced. Have to research them more.

  2. Hi LIz, just got out another old one from abuot 4 months back. 2 Filipina girls under an umbrella. I had bought some transparent Indian Yellow the other day and never used that before. I wanted to experiment a little and see if i could warm up the umbrella underneath it. I got carried away….that didn’t seem to do a whole lot, but i did balance things more…the right side of the painting lacked a little “weight”, so i made dark/blue cracks more distinct in these boards there…i think you understand the meaning of balancing things with “weight”, right? Even say..a green….you might want to balance it visually with the same or very simliar green somewhere else if it “leans” too much to one side or area. I’m very very keen on those type of things and getter better at it without regreting later i was so OFFF…not so much anymore. I want to wait about 4 days to let the Flounder painting dry, and then oil it out, and i’ll send you photo to you of it. Not too bad!

  3. We all are the sum totals of our experiences. Good/bad experiences does not, imo, generate/encourage anything-much less ‘Greatness’.

    ‘Demons’ and ‘yearnings’ can generate results. Whether they’re good or bad depends on the work and the viewer.

    I’ve seen ‘Modern Art’ at the Detroit Institute of Art; (Tate Gallery, British National Museum and other places) as well as online, and most I’ve seen I thought were unmitigated garbage. Others fawn over the stuff. To each their own.

    1. I am from Monroe, Michigan originally just south of Detroit. I have been to that museum too. The one just south of Monroe, in Toledo Ohio is a real good museum…great works of art there.
      I pretty much don’t care to see others work really. It’s all beautiful, but it’s all the sum of that artist’s experience..forget about going back home and thinking you’re going to get somethng out of it (that you don’t already know from you’re own experience). It’s hard enough having a teacher over your shoulder telling you it needs this or that, then 2 seconds later…wait wait..come back! Just got to believe in what you do. I was just mentally thinking on Renoir. His portraits are not at all realistic paintings. They look “real” in a certain sense, and i wondered why? IT’S because he compressed the values (left out tons of in between values). This is why. They are all tonally correct and in the right places, but very compressed. He pretty much went off on his own…not really sticking completely to the reference image. Which is a good thing in my opinion. If you stick to the reference to the “end”, it’ll become way to frustrating. The painting needs to go off on it’s own with it’s own life after a certain point. Once you got the basis down, you evaluate by comparing values and colors already established, and work up from there. NOT by the photo anymore.

  4. I like it when a painting wants to “go off on it’s own with it’s own life after a certain point.” And its great when the results are good! But what you said about weight and color will make or break a good painting.

  5. …Like the past two days..on my flounder painting. I’ve been OBSESSING on it and i thought i was over that stuff. It’s back again. I just now pretty much obliterated alot of what i though was meticulous hours of work done…i can’t wait till it’s completely dry patience….i went by what i saw in my head..not the photo..just now. I guess it’s still pretty good. But i was using thumbfulls of pure white paint on the bright highlights. I must have used a 1/4 tube on those already! I kept smearing it till the underlayer browns started coming thru again and again..and kept getting out more white with my thumb!! crazy..

    1. If memory serves, Gen. Custer was from Monroe, too.

      I haven’t been in an art museum since starting to paint. It was interesting to see what people have done, the times, and the subject matter.

      I’ve been to several art shows (annual) over the last few years, for the same reason. There have been times I’ve asked several curiosity questions.

      This last time there was a section of a landscape background I couldn’t make sense of. It didn’t read as sky or trees, so I asked. It turns out it was stuff she added to add a bit more color and such.
      No worries.

      You’ve got to compress and limit your values. There’s only so much you can do with paint.

      I’ll use a reference to a point then set it away and continue.

  6. I went to a museum about 5 years ago when i just began painting, not since. I don’t really even like to see other paintings. I don’t even like to put my OWN up in my house. It bothers me because of the frustration i put into each reminds me of it. I need to unwind for the next week…..i have been obsessing on this flounder one. I know you’re supposed to let it go, but when you change something and it bothers you that it was better before…you keep on keeping on on it..and before you know it, it’s unraveling..and that REALLY disturbs me after so much work and patience. It’s pretty good right now…but..might have been a bit better in some spots before.

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