Saturday, April 20, 2013

Painting vs. Painting

Comparing your works to an admired past master can be fun, and a learning experience. However, it is easy, in that even before you place the jpegs next to each other, you know the master has beaten you. Looking at these two paintings, it is immediately clear which work is by Tom Thomson, and which one is by me.  He was the master, and always will be.

Comparing your work to current painters can be more conflicting.  It's exciting to find living artists that you can learn from.  On the other hand, it would be nice to feel admired. Acknowledgement from within the field is also inspiring, and desired.

The real challenge comes when you compare your works against each other.  If they are too similar, you are not learning.  If they are too inconsistent, you are not in control.  Signs of improvement bring joy, failed works and clear weaknesses bring harsh realities.

As always, the best approach is whatever teaches you the most.

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