I was a painter for many, many years before I actually began creating art. During those years, my painting was plagued by its lack of a specific style. Even though I created some decent paintings, I would enter art shows and not win. The reason was that my paintings were just that–paintings. They lacked my own personal signature. Any decent art critic can readily spot a painter who has not developed his own style.
Riding the fence with your painting is the greatest impediment to finding your own style. Because painters want others to like what they are painting, they ride the fence. They try not to be too edgy.
“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln
Although it seems risky, painters must get out of the middle of the road. Painters must approach their work in their own individual way. Rather than safely generalizing, painters must become specific. Paintings that are not specific cannot move to a higher slot in the pecking order. They cannot become art.
“Paintings that are not specific cannot become art.” – Jacki Kellum