Is it important to stick to one theme and technique?

I have often been crucified by the public for not sticking to a theme over an extended period of time. I have tried to find a topic or theme to explore over and over again but I get bored with the subject matter after a while. I have attempted to paint portraits, trees, flowers, water formations, water plants, etc. I have created puppets, sculptures and masks which I have been very successful at. I have even attempted quilting and have purchased fabric and supplies to quilt for a lifetime.   But, after a while I get bored doing the same image over and over again. Is it important to stick with one theme and technique for a lifetime??  I have so many years to live and lately I have been asking myself, “What theme and technique can I stick with?”

I love Gerhard Richter’s works and he is consistent.  If you see one of his works in New York, Germany, or in London, you will always recognize Richter’s works. He has a specific technique that he uses over and over again.  He takes a squeegee in different sizes and moves the paint  across his canvases. He makes hundreds of paintings and all of them are done in the same way. He has found a technique and a procedure for applying the paint onto his canvas. He loves colour, (or the absence of colour) and plays around with one colour next to another colour and is not satisfied until he feels it is done. I love his work and would love to find a technique and painting style that becomes my identity.   It really is scary just making the same painting in variations over and over again. But, consistency is often recommended by the art world.


Author: Anna

I am a painter and sculptor and have a studio beside a beautiful lake. For the past 40 years, I designed and built puppets, masks and sculptures and had solo exhibitions of these works. In 2013, I went back to painting and started working in encaustic. I am interested in issues of identity in terms of weavings as coverings to protect or to hide. The intersecting lines that I create over landscapes create an internal conversation versus the external between nature vs. nurture. Or how actual or psychological barriers erected in an environment can disrupt a cherished place. My engagement with woven structures speak to complex dialogues between identity and psychological barriers. My second passion is teaching. I try to encompass more than teaching my students art techniques. I encourage students to, not only learn the language of art, but to also engage in critiquing art. Additionally, we continually explore ways to enhance one's voice through art in relation to contemporary and historical issues. Encaustic adventures is a blog where not only processes and techniques are taught, but hopefully this sites will engage in a dialogue about the making of art, notions of voice, identity, themes, and ways to establish a body of work within an historical contexts.

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