Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Some older works on larger canvases

These are some older works I found in my files. mostly large canvases and of irish theme


  • Phillip, You have some interesting things here. There are a few I would have liked to see what you would have done if taken a little farther. The last one in the second set has a very Oriental look to it even with the goat and the Fairy (?). I can almost see the Japanese style of painting mountains and birds in it instead of the subjects you have. It appears, looking at these as a group you have been doing a lot of experiementing. That's good, but once you find what comes natural to you and focus on that you will find your own self expressed in your work. Well done. :)
  • nice work and I especially like the horsies
  • Very interesting collection of different subjects and styles! Really enjoyed them. :)
  • Thanks for the responses to this work.
    See, this is what I mean about trying to pin down style,.. I like to explore, and in doing so I sometimes come up with something new to me. This si why I posed the question about how to find ones style, and also how important it is.
  • Philip maybe it's not important. Maybe being versatile is a good thing.
  • Sue, I feel the same as you that being versatile should be a plus for and artist, but not in the real world of art, sadly. Galleries, collectors, and even casual art buyers want to put artists in "boxes" they can easily identify. They don't want atypical paintings. Galleries don't want to explain or try and justify a painting that is by an known artist, but not his/her "normal" style or subject.

    Art Of The West magazine even did a editorial about this. I mentioned it in another thread, but it is applicable here. The Editorial was by Tom Tierney and Allen Duerr. It was titled "Would You Buy A Howard Terpning Seascape?" They cited several real instances that a Terpning seascape might be the best thing Howard ever did, but it would probably wind up gathering dust in Settlers West Galleries storage bins. Gallery owners agreed. Some even doubted they would put in the gallery.

    My friend, James Reynolds was known as a great cowboy artist and the first artists asked to join the Cowboy Artists of America, by the four artist founders of that organization. Jim was a true artist and wanted to do other subjects other than cowboys and Indians. He wanted to paint a few nudes and really wanted to do some landscapes.
    The group hated that idea and he went to emeritus status in the CAA and he started painting landscapes, his first gallery show was beautiful and did not sell a single piece. His "cowboy paintings" were always a sell out. The landscapes were spectacular and he even lowered his prices by about 30% from what his cowboy paintings were. It did not matter. Jim was fortunate to afford to ride out the lack of sales and he kept painting landscapes. It took 5 or 6 years before people started to buy a small one every once in awhile. About 8or 9 years he was selling larger landscapes and having sell out shows in the galleries. Few of us can afford to do what he did.

    Early in my career I did some westerns, but changed to painting landscapes before I was known. It was still hard and my sales still dropped for a couple of years even as a barely known artist. I can name half a dozen more that I know that have had this same problem. I have gradually added figurative and still lifes to my repitoire of subject matter and each time I add something knew the same question comes up, "Does this mean you won't ever paint another landscape? We only want your landscapes." So what I did is place my figurative paintings in one gallery and landscapes in another. My florals (still lifes) will go in a landscape gallery as long as it is a cactus flower! Any other still life will work in the figurative gallery. Lord help me is I mistakenly send a figurative to the landscape gallery or vice versa. This is how bad it is. Different styles is even worse and often a gallery will not take artists who do this. I began as a watercolor artist and switched to oils and watercolors. Two different mediums and naturally two different styles. After a year of painting both, I was selling more oils than watercolor, which had been an excellent seller for me. Within a couple of years I could not give away a watercolor painting. Today, I could not give one to my gallery. They would reject it. These are some of the reasons why finding your favorite medium, subject matter and style of painting is so important.
  • Those are good points, AZ. Sometimes I think you have to try to look at art as a buyer instead of an artist. I know what you are saying is true, but if I was a buyer, I would look at a piece and my sole reason for buying it would be whether or not I liked it. I just don't understand how someone can say, well that artist does great animal paintings and I really like that still life, but I won't buy it because she usually paints animals. It just doesn't make sense to me, but I know what you are saying is true.
  • Some very nice paintings Philip.
  • edited March 2013
    There is something I've thought about for a long time with regard to creative works--not just painting, but sculpture, and especially writing. What about the idea of using a different pseudonym for each style or subject matter? It could even be taken farther so that when you do a particular type of work, you adopt a different attitude or personality. One personality would be the wonderful producer of elegant, sensual nudes, another for breathtaking landscapes, still another for the stunning abstracts. Kind of like how an actor gets into the skin of the character he or she is playing. It might help avoid the idiosyncratic buying behaviors of buyers and collectors in addition to giving yourself a creative edge by "playing the role". Of course, it might be a problem for anyone who is on the border of psychopathy or multiple-personality disorder. >:) But seriously, why use just one name and allow yourself to be pigeonholed?
  • CharleyBoy, This is something a lot of artists have thought of and a few have actually done. Very few is the operative words. It happens quite often with writers. Two of my favorite writers for unwinding reading use pseudonyms in fact, and both very successful writers and well known. For sculptors it is a little tougher, since the coast of bronze casting is not cheap an the actual sculpting can take many studio hours.. Unless a sculptor has a lot of years behind him/her they may have editions of only 4 or 5 different pieces. Plus a style comes faster and is more noticeable. Now painters are more likely to be able to do this, but there are unintended consequences few think of. Like the gallery sells something and have to remember to write the check to the artist under his or her real name. Oh one could open multiple bank accounts, but at tax time they will have a complicated mess on their hands. Hell, I have one business account and tax time is a nightmare even with a pretty good accounting system in place. I don't even want to think about having three of them plus a personal account. Then there are shows with personal appearances. People who buy nudes often buy other subject matter and attend these shows. The art world is a small world and one's cover will be blown within a year to 18 months. :D That has happened to the ones I know of that tried it.

    But for me, the biggie is being myself. I have never been anyone but myself whether in private life or professional and that is in my paintings. I've tried to paint different subjects differently (ie, styles) and somehow they always wind up looking like I did it, not Joe Phoney. I may do a nude with a softer but more details touch, but amazingly it still looks like one of mine. I would make a terrible actor. I am who I am and probably always will be. Consequently, I push on and do what I do. My only concern is this economy lasting more years than I live. Be true to yourself, because it shows when you don't and it looks phoney and uninspired. Just my opinion.
  • Charley boy, look up Jenny Armitage, a watercolorist. She lives in the NE and does wonderful portraits, landscapes, seascapes. In New Orleans she sells a totally different style. New Orleans has its own style and many artists sell that style there. I doubt if it sells too well other places. I don't know anything else about her except my daughter bought her New Orleans Reeds and doesn't like her regular stuff. I'll bet New Orleans art is a world unto itself - but ask one of the experts on our forum.
  • Hey there Phillip! I really enjoyed going through your posting of some of your work. I too like the variety... I am of the mind that your style is one that you develop over time and if you set out to do it... it may never happen. I think your style is more your brush work and your blending (or lack of it)... more so than subject matter or method. Great to have you here and sending you a warm welcome. >:D<
  • Thanks Shirley,
    I was just looking at some of your glass paintings, in particular that one with the fruit in the cut glass basket,.. I was left speachless,.. stunned, amazed... absolutley incredible work :)
Sign In or Register to comment.