Today’s art audience is a pretty savvy group. Good art is more accessible than ever. So, the question is: how does an artist today even hope to catch anyone’s attention with their painting? I have 2 suggestions.
First, good painting is often an emotional experience, for the painter and for the viewer. If your painting can bring forth an emotional response from the viewer, they are more likely to take notice. To help accomplish this, early in the painting process the painter can define a specific emotion that they hope to express – e.g. peacefulness, anger, joy, loneliness, hope – and work toward having each element of their composition – line, colour, shape, edges, etc. – support this common goal.
Another way to catch attention is with an element of surprise. Surprise can happen in a painting in many different ways. One common technique is to use a surprise colour. For example, today’s paintings often vibrate with unusual colours – purple hills, yellow skies, green skin tones – no holds barred when it comes to colour these days in painting. Surprise also comes into play when you have a dominate element in the composition, with an accent expressing the opposite – for example lots of smooth areas and one smaller area with lots of texture. Or, predominately very light colours with small area of strong dark accent. Surprise can also be in the subject matter: flying pigs, distorted features, square balloons, – just whatever tickles your creative fancy.
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to think way outside of the box with your art. If you are putting strong emotions into it, or just having a lot of fun with it, chances are that the viewer will enjoy it too!
Your ideas are welcome, both painters and non-painters. How do you think a painter can stand out today?