I have been painting for a very long time! If you had seen my original work you would never in a million years put my name to it.
I learned how to paint ultra-realistically and would spend months in a studio producing carefully set up still life studies, or working from photographs. I fully appreciated that this was an important part of my learning process, however in the back of my mind I was not satisfied by anything I produced. I couldn't help thinking I was simply copying reality, I wasn't producing anything I felt was painterly or the real me!
Nor was I happy being stuck indoors painting all the time!
The point I am making is that we all find our own way of working. Growth takes a lot of experimentation, thousands of failures and tears of frustration. Not forgetting the enormous financial investment it takes when you consider all the products we use in the process, all end up burnt or thrown away.
It is hard sometimes to see the value in every failure, and we need reminding that it is all part of the process! So please know if you are struggling and feel like you are going round in circles this is normal, we all go through it! Keep going, you will get there. The truth is we become the best at what we do the most of, there is no shortcut for experience, the practicing and growth never ends....
I am not sure if it was a reaction to my initial training, however my painting style nowadays is loose. I aim to reduce everything down to its bare essentials. Because I am now of the mind that spelling everything out is not necessary, I do not feel it makes a painting better to do so.
For the style of painting I do I have learned the reverse is true, the less I spell out the more the viewer will see for themselves. I take great satisfaction in experiencing how differently the viewer sees, most of which simply isn't there at all!
'Oh I like those sheep' - (no sheep in it).
'I love the people walking through that field, it reminds me of' - (no people)
It is interesting, for we all make assumptions according to what we have learned shapes to be. By the age of 7 or 8 years we know how most things look, and our brain has developed an encyclopedia of forms. Consider how easily we read abbreviated texts made up of 2 or 3 letters. Experience shows us what is being said, we all fill in the gaps according to our own individual life experiences!
It's the same with art, for me that is now the whole point...