Do I Paint Better Now Than I Used to Ten Years Ago?

As I look at my art from the past decade I realise my paintings have evolved from quite a precise figurative style to a more Impressionistic way of looking at things. This has not been a conscious decision but one that seems to have evolved quite naturally.

Mary Kemp. Cabbage and Tulip
70 x 50 cms, oil on board.
It also seems strange to me that when I look at my sketch books there's little difference between 2004 and 2014, except the materials used have changed, but not a lot. So I still see and record things in the same way, but the resulting pictures are completely different.

I prefer my present way of working, although sometime I do go back to a more precise picture, but it leaves me unsatisfied and I feel I am definitely taking a retrograde step. All those tiny brushes and hours of eye straining back breaking work.

Mary Kemp. On the Rocks
Oil on canvas panel 30 x 30 cms.
Less is more is my mantra now. It usually  takes more thinking about and because there is less time  lovingly smoothing the paint onto the surface it's a much more intense process. You have to paint and run. I also realise that I paint less inanimate objects and more people, often figures on the beach.

But is it better? 

I don't know. But it is different.


  1. I look at it as not necessarily better but growing and developing or at least that what i tell myself about my own art work

  2. It would be awful to stay still wouldn't it?


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