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  • Writer's pictureJules

What your painting style reveals about your personality

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

I was chatting with a friend today about painting, and why she loved painting loosely and why I enjoyed a tighter polished picture. My first instinct is to agree that a looser application of paint is definitely more desirable at this point in time/culture/history, but how in control of this are we?


I find that when I paint really loosely, or even abstractly, I struggle to know when it is finished. How can you tell if you're done if you haven't achieved a likeness to it? She, on the other hand, said she had no trouble knowing when it was done for her, but her husband would often comment: "is it finished yet?"


We then chatted some more about what excites us about projects ( it was interesting, I promise!) She said she loved the initial grand plan, big thinking, big ideas and often got bored towards the end, implementing it. Whereas, I said that I was often put off big ideas because they seemed insurmountable, and tended to really enjoy executing an idea with systems, processes and bringing it all together.


I saw that these two approaches to projects, were closely tied to how we liked to paint. I know we are often trying to reach ways of doing things that extend us, and push us to find our limits, but I also think that if you're a passionfruit vine, wishing that you would grow more like a tall palm tree is just pointless.


I heard the analogy once that we are equivalent to springs (the metal coiled ones). Each of us is a different type of spring that can stretch to different lengths before we are fully extended, and it is good for us to see where those limits are. But ultimately, each person's spring will be different to the other.


Ultimately, I believe your style is as innate to you as your sense of humour, or even your handwriting. You can tweak it a little, depending on the circumstance, but really, you need to honour what comes naturally and embrace that rather than wanting to be what you're not.

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Jules
Jules
7 days ago

I agree that doubling down on what you produce naturally, tweaking it to make it the best it can be, seems to be the most successful way to create art that is enjoyable and resonates.

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I completely agree. I've been painting for over twenty years now. I've attempted to depart from my style numerous times, whether by studying other artists or taking occasional classes. Specifically, my admiration for realists like Rockwell led me to believe I wasn't good enough unless I could paint like them. However, when I'm dreaming up a new piece or facing a blank canvas, I always default to my own style. I've stopped trying to be someone I'm not. If anything, my goal is to strengthen and evolve my own style.

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