Watercolors by
  Bill Hudson     
Monthly Newsletter 

Style, Quality, Distinction
.... by Bill Hudson

Widely successful, recognized painters are usually distinguished by their personal style, consistent quality, and uniqueness.
Today’s painting styles typically fall into one of these general categories: Photorealism, Realism, Painterly, Representational, Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, or Abstract. Styles, or movements, of the past may also include: Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Avant-garde, Baroque, Bauhaus, Classicism, Cubism, Constructivism, Dada, Futurism, Surrealism, Pointillism, Pop Art, Precisionism, Rococo, and Symbolism among many others.
An artist’s style evolves and may pass through phases. It requires years of focused work as one’s confidence and skill mature. Most artists begin painting in realism, then head off into their own direction. All the ads for, “Learn to paint loose” will be ignored by the photorealist. A course in aerial perspective may waste the time of a Fauvist. Style is in the choice of media, composition, mood, approach, and execution.
Although I believe an artist’s style is genetically biased, quality requires skill achieved only through practice, repetition, experimentation, commitment, and aptitude. There is no shortcut. Techniques require learning and development. Accomplished painters have invested tens of thousands of hours. A combination of skill, preferred techniques, and painting biases eventually leads to artists’ personal style distinguishing them from all other artists.

So, with a personal style and consistent quality, will that artist become highly recognized? The answer, of course, is, “not likely.” That intangible, something else, must also occur. What is it? Well, that varies with each successful artist, but it involves a passion to paint. Some common examples clearly illustrate my point.

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973), a young precocious art student, began as an extraordinary painter of realism, comparable to the masters. By age 30, he had experimented with other styles including fauvism, African art, and surrealism. Picasso (together with George Braques) eventually developed cubism for which he is most famous. But it wasn’t just Picasso’s personal style and consistent quality. Picasso was prolific, creating more than 16,000 paintings and drawings in addition to thousands of sculptures and ceramics.
Bob Ross (1942 – 1995) is the only artist to rival Picasso’s painting volume. Ross rapidly painted representational art with an alla prima, or wet-on-wet technique that he learned during his 20-year Air Force career. Popular for his TV show, The Joy of Painting, Ross completed over 30,000 paintings…averaging three per day, seven days a week, for 30 consecutive years!
Thomas Kinkade (1958 – 2012) was the most commercially successful painter of the 1990s. One in every twenty American households were said to own a Kinkade copy of one form or another…giclée, puzzle, calendar, greeting card etc. He began with a French Impressionist style, painting idyllic locations with Christian themes. That evolved into his signature style of representative luminism. He became famously marketed as the “Painter of Light.” Over 350 Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries carried his printed reproductions, each hand embellished by a staff of studio assistants. However, Kinkade’s rapid commercial success began to collapse during the late-2000s’ recession. By 2010, his reproduction manufacturing plant filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Kinkade Galleries had closed amid multiple lawsuits.

Each of these acclaimed artists, while still alive, had achieved greatness with their personal style and incredible volume of work. Yet each endured public criticism. Seems the world is full of unaccomplished, jealous critics. For any artist questioning their direction, Theodore Roosevelt confirmed a life well-lived with his “Man in the Arena” speech.
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
Discovering Value and Purpose
by Bill Hudson
Released June 3, 2021

Paperback .................$ 18.99

eBook ..........................$ 9.99

Past Newsletters
Past Newsletters are listed chronologically by title in the Newsletter section of my website www.BillHudsonArt.com/newsletter/

Events & Galleries
Singulart, an online gallery selling original art from juried artists with free global shipping and returns. I recommend Singulart for any collector or contemporary artist.
Fine Art America, is an online print-on-demand gallery which sells nearly all my images. These are available in a wide range of sizes on many substrates and objects including: coffee cups, shirts, towels, greeting cards, puzzles, phone cases, and tote bags.
Art Instructor, Laguna Methodist Art Association, Mondays in January, 9:30 to 12:30