What keeps a painting timeless, keeps it from looking, in 20 years, like it was done 20 years ago? I think we can all look to the 70’s for great examples of now bad art, but at the time, very popular art. How is it that a work can be so hot one year and so last year the next? I look for anybody jumping on anyone elses train, following some trend or style rather than developing their own. It’s the pioneers that will be remembered not the followers. I did my time in the 70’s with the airbrush, so I know what I’m talking about. I’m just waiting for chrome to come back…
I’m trying not to do anything that looks cool in someone elses work. In fact I’ve stopped looking at anyone except the masters.
No trendy graphic shapes or period colors. orange and avocado…. hello.
Shying away from trendy subject matter: this has already been the decade of the caucasian woman in the white dress, cafe’s and languid neked women just hanging about. Large horse paintings… seen it. Giant robots attacking the city… done to death. Gonna paint cowboys and indians? You better be a cowboy or an indian. Dappled cottages with smoldering fires.. mother of pearl, let it go. Hyper colored european street scenes. oy.
I know i’m not carving out new territory but I’m not walking down someone elses well worn path either.
You know a good timeless painting when you see it. It transcends its era, goes beyond whatever else had been done that year or decade and becomes good on its own merit. Uses the fundamentals of great art value, shape, color, line, rhythm, composition and edge. Paint your time without getting mired in it.
Figure it out. Do it until it becomes yours. Better to be a first rate you than a second rate somebody else.