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How important are styles, trends and fashions in selling pictures?

People talk about artists having a particular style and some artists have a knack for painting saleable pictures. I have been experimenting with various mediums and styles, from photorealistic to more abstract work. I am realising that I have distinct preferences and my personal favourite works tend towards the more photorealistic style. I also prefer those pictures where colour is used sparingly or the picture is almost monochromatic. Now I ask myself, what do my readers and those people out there who might be potential customers want? Is it necessary to produce work that follows trends and fashions in order for it to sell or should artists follow their own instincts?

It is rewarding to produce paintings, which I personally like but even more exciting to find that there are others who derive pleasure from my work and may even wish to buy one or two pieces. My personal favourites are not always the pictures that appeal most to others who see my work. Their comments about paintings I don’t think are particularly good often surprise me. I question whether I have a particular style that is reflected in all my work, or should I have? Would my work not become boring if it all had a similar look and feel? It certainly would become boring to produce!

I would like you to look at and compare a few portraits; first this one, which I don’t like much. Then click “August” in the links to the archives and look at the posts, “That Look” posted on 24th August, and “The Gentleman” posted on the 25th. Then, go to the June archives and compare, “My smallest painting yet” posted on 15th June and “And Again” (Reticence) posted on 11th June. Finally go to the May archives and look at “Jeanne” posted on 18th May and, “And now for something completely different” (Himba Woman) posted on 17th May.

I really would appreciate feedback so please do post a comment!

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