You know that moment: Your gallery or publisher asks for 'Some more like the last...That really sells!'
Bird Wandering Off, Paul Klee, 1926
40.3 x 48.6 cm, Sprayed and brushed gouache on paper, bordered with gouache
Paul Klee's Eclectic Style
The ‘art establishment' and publishing industries have traditionally encouraged a climate of predictable outcomes. How galleries and critics love it when our art is consistent in style, genre, technique and even size; how convenient for them and how difficult for us if we happen to be in a period of exploration, rather than one of consolidation.
If this sounds like you, be reassured by Mr Paul Klee himself. In any one time frame, Klee was exploring various styles and media. Not for nothing did he title one of his paintings 'Bird Wandering Off'.
So stop trying to banish your urges towards experimentation. Even if it's only once in a while.
It's healthy to let your impulses fly. To go where your instincts propel you.
In these moments you glimpse your unique creative voice; Your potential to rise above competence. Or acclaim. To reach that ethereal, intangible place: Greatness.
Artists struggle more than you might think to attain this idealised state of unvarying continuity. It can temper our tendency to experiment; repress our natural curiosity; maybe even set us up for creative block.
And, worse, we may never make the work that could put us on the path to greatness.
Winter Journey, Paul Klee, 1921
37.3 x 27.9 cm, Watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with ink
Artists Need to Grow
Galleries, publishers and the like, know that when your work is tied together with a common thread such as:
Unfortunately artists are not brands. We're sentient beings. And often rather rebellious ones at that.