Getting back into painting, or more specifically, looking at other people's paintings, has been a challenge for me. When I started to get interested in painters, when I was a 14 year old girl, I liked Renoir's lightness (I myself had recently discovered chalk pastels) and Escher's architectural details, and clever penmanship. At 18, during my A-levels, I liked Ingres' nudes and the pure beauty and high-mindedness of the Pre-Raphaelites. Unfortunately, during my years at Art College, my appreciation of the artworld was injured, which then caused my lack of creativity for the next ten years.
Now, aged thirty-mumble, I'm reaching out for inspiration. I've looked again at my old loves, but I find now that, for me, Renoir lacks strength. Instead I choose Monet for his deeper perception. The Pre-Raphaelites are now too 'pure' and not gritty enough. So I find beauty in Lowry's truthfulness ('honesty' sounded contrived). I'm drawn towards the tortured, raw forms created by Giacometti rather than Ingres' grace. I love Van Gogh's passion, which is so evident and whilst I still admire Escher, I find him too tight.
In addition, I'm aware that all of these are from 'art history' and I'm excited (yet nervous) to get out there and find out what people are painting at the moment.
And where does this leave me as a creator of pictures? I'm no longer content with drawing realistically, though I know that it's important for me to practice and hone my skills of observation and drawing. I want to express myself. but what do I want to express?
One of the aims of this blog was for other artists to stumble across me and to give me some feedback on what's out there and what you think may press my buttons. Mmmm. Lots to think about, but also lots to get on with.