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Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was standing in line at the grocery store checkout behind  a father and his young son.  The boy pulled on the father's jacket and looked  up into his eyes and said "Can I get a new coloring book?"   In that brief second I was overcome with the memory of being that age and the excitement of choosing a new, never used coloring book.  As I walked from the checkout line I was 50 years in the past and could smell a freshly opened coloring book and its companion, the new box of crayolas standing in tiers in their cadmium yellow deep box.....I loved  the names of each color and had great  guarded respect for the beautiful points.  I remember  laying on the floor with the cousins sharing the coloring book, and negotiating on which page to start so that the colorer on the right got what she wanted and the colorer on the left was pretty happy too.    I recall  being acutely aware of each individual colorer's "style" and wished for a "style" of my own.  I have chased Style all my life.
Everyone worries about style.....but now that I've lived a while I would say that style is something best not thought about.  I might even go so far as to say it's useless to think about your own style.  It will surface and be distinct  after you've traveled your distance.   Style is not something you learn but is something that is inside and exists all the time.  Worrying about it is senseless.  Style is more about being released than about being formed or developed.  Whether you're getting your lessons from the old masters, your jr. high school art teacher, or Jackson Pollock, the messages are still being filtered through your mind and hand and manifested by you.
After you  have learned from all your teachers and copied and edited and invented, imagined, and executed hundreds of works of will be there,  and yes it was there all the time.  

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