Showing posts with label Impressionism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Impressionism. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Expressionism versus impressionism

I'm always fascinated by these two terms and the use of it and it seems I always get it wrong even though I can give their definitions.

I have done a few paintings on which many people give many different opinions and the scale weighs in equally at expressionism andt impressionism. I think there is a grey area today, boundaries overlap with marriages between all the different styles of painting. Is it a good thing or a bad thing, or nothing at all? Does it perhaps make it bad art? Or doesn't bad art exist? Is all art good? Is good painting all about a solid knowledge of technique, or can a strong ambiance and emotion save a poorly executed painting?

...la Loire scintillante...
oil on canvas, 22x33cm


For quick explanation I used wikipedia to define:

Expressionism "...It sought to express the meaning of "being alive"[2] and emotional experience rather than physical reality.[2][3] It is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subjective art form.......generally the term refers to art that expresses intense emotion. It is arguable that all artists are expressive but there is a long line of art production in which heavy emphasis is placed on communication through emotion...."

Impressionism "....Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles...... Painting realistic scenes of modern life, they emphasized vivid overall effects rather than details. They used short, "broken" brush strokes of pure and unmixed colour, not smoothly blended, as was customary, in order to achieve the effect of intense colour vibration...."

Looking on different art sites, there are categories of styles: expressionism, abstract, impressionis,, contemporary, modern.... does it give more worth to a painting if it can clearly be classified as Impressionism, or Modern contemporary, or Classical... I have also been asked before..: what style of painting do you do?" to which I start blabbering, because I have no clue. I sometimes paint something SO distorted that it can be nothing else BUT maybe surrealism and other times I'm thinking Impressionism when in fact it is plain and simple realism. It sounds confusing just writing it all down here, reading it must be even worse and as all artists will know, doing it, is the challenge.

Not that it bothers me in any way not to have a particular style. I don't search for a certain style. I dont think anyone can, really. You are what you are. And your art reflects who you are. but I certainly feel flattered when a style is recognized in my work!
I recently saw paintings from someone who attended a Charles Reid workshop and his paintings speak of CR influence. This artist's paintings project his effort and hard work at trying to incorporate this free style of CR. I somewhat feel uncomfortable looking at this work. It makes me feel fatigued, as if he had worked very hard at getting this effortless look. I feel as if there is a wordless desire behind his work, asking for the real him to be released and I wish this artist would give in to that desire. I would love to see the work of the real him.

Any opinions?