Why you should forget about improving your art.

This post came about as a result of a discussion. I was trying for years to make my painting style more impressionistic. I abandoned this effort when I realised that it was never going to happen and why bother. I was asked who I was trying to make my painting more impressionistic for. Well for me of course but why. I started thinking about the definition of ‘improve’. I wanted my work to be more impressionistic but to what end. I certainly admire some impressionists. Monet and Degas for example. I decided that I admire them because their work elicits an illusion of reality and yet is still impressionistic. So it’s not the impressionistic quality so much as the realistic illusion that I admire.

I believe that I should continue to improve my work, but that really means to increase its realistic illusion. I don’t know exactly how to do that but I’m working on it. So the on-line discussion was exactly how I should try to improve my art. If ‘improve’ meant more impressionistic then I’ve abandoned that. If however ‘improve’ means more realistic then I’m still on track, even though I don’t really know the exact direction. My original title ‘Why you should try to improve your art’ got average reviews at best. ‘Why you should forget about improving your art’ is much more controversial. My style is developed enough that I’m not going to try to change it but I will continue to try to make it more realistic.