James Gurney Explores Stylistic Evolution

James Gurney's Gurney Journey is a site I visit every day. The creator of Dinotopia always has valuable advice, information and introductions to exceptional artists.

I especially liked this "Stylistic Evolution" post because it supports an argument I often make about artists.

Early Klimt.

Late Klimt (This happens to be one of my all-time favorite paintings. Ever.)

My position is that one cannot be a good abstract artist until one has learned to be a good representational artist. With all due respect, I find it impossible to respect many contemporary artist who have a specific style that shows no underlying foundation of having learned basic principles.

I also see this lack of foundational skills in many of the most popular web comics.

I understand being in a hurry to get your work out and to use shortcuts. I'm middle-aged and 20 years behind my peers skills-wise and career-wise. Technically, I don't have a lot of time to complete projects and get discovered by the world. Taking shortcuts sounds like a great idea. But I've taken those shortcuts and instead of being a help, they've hindered me significantly. So now I'm willing to take the time to learn the basics so that once I am ready to share my work with the world, it will be worthy of the world's attention.

As Steve Martin said, "Be so good that they can't ignore you."

Words for all of us, especially artists, to live by.

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