A sample of my earlier, more realistic painting style.
A viewer said she doesn't understand abstract art. She said it just isn't her cup of tea. Fair enough. Appreciating art is a personal experience. What catches one person's eye or stirs an emotion may leave another shaking their head. Variety is one of the true blessings of life.
Different artists present different styles. And, over time, the work of any given artist can naturally evolve with their changing experience and skill. This development has often led to various art movements over the years. Following these changes can be fascinating and telling of a time and place.
On a more personal level, change is generally a sign of growth. Artists respond to all aspects of life and life changes. Part of the growth process is also setting goals and challenging the intent or purpose of their art. Most artists are their own strongest critic, constantly pushing themselves to reach for an ideal they envision for their work. Growth may come with a change in medium, or style, or subject matter.
Although I am not entirely comfortable with labels, my early painting style ranged from realism to a looser impressionism. However from the very beginning, I felt a strong desire to paint not what I saw, but what I felt. Finally there came a point when I was ready to turn inward and do just that. In what was a very challenging process, my painting became abstract and finally non-representational, losing any reference to the visual world. There were those who were scratching their head in puzzlement, but still others who welcomed my new approach. The switch in style has been my biggest and most satisfying challenge in my career.
That brings me back to appreciating art as a personal experience. She said she preferred realism. I appreciated her honesty. So I shared several photos of my earlier work to show I understood. It was also a great look back to remember where my work began and where it is now. Here's hoping I never stop growing and my artwork never stops evolving.
How has your appreciation of art changed over time?
Anna Horsnell SCA
Canadian painter of contemporary abstract art