Cheryl Kuck, correspondent for the Tampa Tribune, and a wonderful artist herself, and her husband Walter attended the event. Cheryl's success as a gallery owner and art columnist are well known in the area. Although I hadn't had an opportunity to speak to her for some time, Saturday we had a delightful conversation about art and artists in general, and, as always, I found her well informed, educated, perceptive, and enlightening. She really struck me with a comment she made concerning artistic growth. To paraphrase, she said, "Sometimes an artist has a great idea......and has the same idea for twenty years..."
That immediately brought to mind, visions of several contemporary artists, whom I greatly admire, whose bodies of work, for the last few years, all looks the same.....same figure, same model, same color palette, same textures........same, same, same... Some of these artists' work is extremely lovely, and I hadn't previously thought about "sameness" so much as "style" when viewing their work, until now. It was in the midst of that conversation, that I realized that although their artwork was beautifully and well executed, the artists themselves had ceased to grow.
Maybe they had found a safety zone from which they were not willing to venture forth. Perhaps, the monetary gain or the recognition of style was too flattering to resist. So, now, my thoughts revolve around this question: have they sacrificed a large portion of originality, creativity and artistic growth for the sake of the coveted "style" with which most artists seem to be so concerned? I don't know the answer. I am still very much in an evolution myself, when it comes to my own direction, learning and "style". I can guarantee this about myself; I will never view that often elusive and frustratingly difficult to achieve "artistic style" with the same awe and yearning as I had previously.
Anyway, wherever this process leads me, I hope to always keep Cheryl's seed planted firmly in my conscious mind as I make my artistic choices, and I hope never to cease to grow in technique, "style", and especially ideas. Thanks Cheryl!