Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Artistic voice

Water Yoga
Original oil painting  16x20"
by Susan Roux

When art wants to pour out of you, let it.

Sometimes what feels the most natural in painting gets pushed aside by the artist and thought of as being "nothing" because of the ease with which it was created.

Please don't do this to yourself. I know too many artists that have turned away from their most exciting works because they feel it isn't worthy. How many times have I heard, "Oh that. It's nothing. I came to my studio the other night and just scribbled that out." They're almost embarrassed you saw it. They feel it doesn't compare with their other studio work and frankly at this beginning stage, maybe it doesn't. But with a little time spent developing that different look, it could be your winning ticket.

What pours out of you naturally is YOUR ARTISTIC VOICE.

Make no mistake about that.

The artist's journey can be very confusing and difficult. We spend time looking at art we admire and there's a certain trigger that drives us to try and emulate those aspects we're drawn to. It can be a very good learning tool, but when it really comes down to it, that voice inside is the one we need to listen to. There are two parts to developing as an artist. The learning part and the creative part.

These two parts are very different and shouldn't be confused, though many times they're intertwined and weave in and out of each other. We often become lost in our own webs. After all doesn't it make sense to try to paint what we love? Well, not exactly...

Your voice, like your brushstroke should be as unique to you as your signature. Nothing more exciting and invigorating will pour out of you than your own voice. It might look a bit rough at first, so don't waste time trying to paint like so and so, because what you really need to do is start working on painting like you! Do I really need to point out how many artists are trying to paint like certain leaders of our day? It takes very little time searching the internet to find dozens of painters painting in a very similar style.

You want your art to stand out. People should be able to look at your work and know instantly it's yours.

As many of you know, I'm in the process of opening an International Fine Art Gallery in Portland, Maine. I've been busy scouring the internet for artists to represent. Those artists that are painting what pours out of them without any concern to whether they have an outlet for it or not, stand out above all the rest. I know I have a good eye, but seriously, it isn't hard to spot a true artistic voice when it's floating in a sea of similarity.

So if you're caught in a flood of artists and want to be noticed, remember to shout loudly!   (in your own voice...)


  1. Very good painting, Susan! You and your "girls" have your own language. I can't agree more that there is an inordinate amount of style aping in the art world today. I could go on, but I've got to get back to my painting-- It looks just like a Richard Schmid!

  2. Kevin you never cease to make me laugh. You're someone who's voice shouts. There's no mistaking a Kevin Mizner...

  3. Fenomenal manera de enfocar al sujeto, pinceladas y transparencias llenas de genialidad, son todo un placer para la vita.
    Enhorabuena Susan.

  4. Susan, you should really write a book for artists. This post was directed right at me. I found myself sitting here nodding my head and thinking 'how did she know I did that?' and 'how does she know I feel that way?'...
    Best wishes on your new venture! That's very exciting! and I LOVE the new painting. It's so ethereal and mystical, yet very earthy and connected, if you know what I mean. Well done!

  5. Hello Susan...What exciting news to hear you are working on the international gallery! WOWSERS! That's awesome.

    Also, I love that line about what "pours out of you is your artistic voice."

    Take care. Susan p.s. The girl in the water painting is most beautiful.

  6. Dear Susan - the painting is lovely and your advice speaks to me loud and clear. Just because there are so many wonderful artists out there one tends to get caught up in their style and not their own. Thanks for sharing not only your art but your great advice as well.

  7. I think you're absolutely right.
    No matter your style.
    no matter whether you know it or not.
    The most important thing is to express your feelings, your creativity and your artwork, fill your inner need as an artist.
    Long time, I worked on art as a means of production ... and I never felt so happy, like now, that I do art for my.

  8. Interiesting topic Susan.
    When I went to art school we all had to learn to write in italics. Same disciplines were used by all, but in time the little extra flourishes or firmer strokes started to emerge and at the end, although we all used italics, the free spirit students had developed their own individual flair.
    These same students also had flair in their work which set them apart. Your post made me recall all this and
    I wonder if they are unique all these years later. Yes, an interesting topic, Susan.

  9. Notre esprit, notre cerveau est une éponge... Il voit, il emmagasine des images qui lui plaisent. Lorsqu'on crée inévitablement ces images se noient dans notre jet. Toutefois en dehors de cela qui est inévitable, il est juste qu'il faut être authentique et laisser naître notre ressenti sur la toile blanche qui est similaire au divan du psychologue. Et comme toute confidence, notre création nous semble un détail, une misère qui n'est pas digne d'être vue ou admirée... Cependant "si", si cette oeuvre sort de vos tripes !...
    Une très belle publication accompagnée d'une belle jeune femme qui en dehors de faire son yoga aquatique nous ouvre les yeux sur le "yoga artistique" !... celui de l'âme artistique.
    Un merveilleux travail comme toujours.
    Gros bisous ma chère amie et soeurette.

  10. Beautiful, I´m feeling wathing at Mediterranean sea.

  11. Such an interesting post, Susan! This is a beautiful painting and yes, your signature. The light hitting her and her dress is perfect. I visit so many blogs and see how we all have our own styles.. I have tried in the past to paint looser and yet when finished, its more realistic
    than I would have liked, but that's how I paint and "my style".. Correct?

  12. All the best to your new venture.
    That painting of yours is really beautiful. Beautiful art would always stand out, whether it is done with lot of devotion and concentration, or had just sprung up effortlessly. We should not be biased and put blockages in our own work. All it might need is a little polishing or brushing up to stand out in a crowd.
    The point made by you not only relates to art, but to life itself.

  13. The light is spectacular - I LOVE this painting, Susan. I do believe its my new favorite of yours! Wow!

  14. Funny how you rip off Don Hatfield so much, yet preach to others about originality.

  15. Wow. Thanks for the compliment. I'm not trying to copy Don Hatfield's work, but I do love his art, so if my work is reminding you of it Anonymous, it's a real boost!

  16. Interesting post Susan! Best of luck with your gallery venture!

  17. J'aime énormé lumière est resplendissante!!!

  18. Absolutely love your painting of the lady by the sea, Susan! The light is amazing.
    I sometimes think, "at last...I think I have FOUND my very own style". But hanging on to it is like grasping slippery soap in a shower. I somehow always find my way back...even though "my" style has changed...hopefully for the better.
    Good luck on your exciting international endeavor.

  19. I love this one Susan!! The pose and the diaphanous back lit skirt really make this one sing uniquely!!!

  20. the light coming through the folds of her skirt is stunning! i love the pose and the feeling of the water bubbling around her hands and feet. beautifully done my friend!

    and thank you so very much for your very kind comments on my blog. i did spend a quiet day with my love, missing him so but feeling him close as well.

  21. Susan,

    This is truly a beautiful post and great advice for all artists, especially ones trying to find their artistic voice.

    The painting is beautiful, your use of light, the sun peeking through her skirt, the wetness you can see~brilliant! xo

  22. Love this Susan, beautiful light and the capture of the emotional experience!

  23. Another amazing painting and another insightful and beautiful post thank you once again my friend.

  24. What a wonderful painting and post, Susan! Your style really shines of your kind and gentle soul. Thank you for taking the time to encourage us to be ourselves, through our art. Best wishes ~Eve

  25. What a wonderful painting! That golden light glowing through her wet skirt is simply captivating, especially amidst the blues.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here about voice and originality... good thoughts to ponder amidst our daily struggles. Your calm painting really brings the points home.

  26. Thank you for this insight post and encouraging words. They are a delight to read. Love the new painting.

  27. Thank you for this article , I followed your link from Sandy Askey -Adams post today at FASO. You are right on.Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your site. This painting above is full of light and color. Love it !

  28. Susan!
    Great article and great art!
    This painting speaks for itself! It says great things.
    Your art buddy!

  29. Susan, this is a great article and I agree completely. I spent so much of my self-guided learning, studying and copying artists I admired. It took a long time before I started painting my own ideas and developing my own style. Now, as you said, friends tell me they can spot my paintings from across the room. Truer words never spoken. Charlie

  30. Susan, the lighting here is magical. So love your post about finding "your artistic voice." I love when a painting paints itself and I simply get out of the way. I feel totally in sync with the universe. It is a spiritual process for me. So liberating. Simplifying landscapes and painting abstracts that emerge on their own is my new happy place. Your new gallery sounds ever so exciting. All the best!


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