Greeen Nevermore by Victoria R Wolf 1-27-24 original

Same, Similar, or Different?

As a book designer, I take pride in creating covers and interiors that don’t look the same. Authors appreciate this because they want and need their books to stand out from the competition. But with my art, I am finding that may not necessarily be the case.

With each painting, I take more risks, learn new techniques, and gain confidence. When I created Green Nevermore, I was filled with pride and knew I had taken a huge step forward in my painting journey. I received many positive comments on social media and sensed that I maybe should create more paintings in this style.

That’s when it hit me: that’s not how I roll!

I avoided painting for many days after I made that realization. During my painting-avoidance period, I was deeply engaged in an internal conversation that was going back and forth in my head. The debate raged on as I was trying to determine if I could paint a similar painting on purpose, or if I should paint a similar painting.

The idea of having to paint a similar painting scared me. What if I couldn’t recreate a painting that many people like? Would that mean I would not be as successful an artist? I imagined people coming into my booth at an art show, looking for Green Nevermore or its sibling, and walking out when they did not find it. Oh, the anxiety!!

On the other side, the rebellious “I do what I want” side, I did not care for the idea that I needed to paint what people wanted. I have been trying so hard to paint what makes me happy these last few months that the thought of painting to please people seemed repellant to me.

There had to be a middle ground, right?

In my many-times black-and-white brain, finding gray takes some work. It’s always there, probably more gray than binary, but for some reason, the gray tends to bury itself deep when questions arise that could have an impact on my self-worth, as this one does.

After nearly a week of debate, we, I mean, I, came to the conclusion that maybe, possibly, conceivably, perhaps, I could create a painting that was sort of, kind of, maybe, possibly, similar to Green Nevermore.

I set out to paint Blue Tension and honestly could not remember the exact process I used to lay down the initial colors for Green Nevermore. I wanted to take a look at it to make sure I was on the right track, but purposely did not. I wanted this painting to be organic and not copied.

As I finished with the layers of blues and greens and was about to start adding the stencil and marks layers, I thought that I was nowhere close to Green. For a brief moment, this might have started to derail me, but I blew those thoughts off and continued on the Blue path.

I have many different and interesting tools I use to make marks, from stencils to acrylic markers, gutter guards to oil pastels. Choosing which method to use in a painting comes to me organically and is a result of what the painting is telling me it wants. So, no two paintings can ever be the same if I follow my inner voice(s).

And that is completely, entirely, fully, and utterly okay. It’s what makes it unique art and not a reproduction you can buy at Target.

Whew, problem solved.

I am very proud of Blue Tension for its aesthetic qualities and the lessons I learned while painting. 

I have not received any commissions yet, and when I do, this question will come up. And now I know how I will handle it. I can paint in a style but cannot promise, assure, vow, or guarantee that it will look like the painting that was the reference point.

That, my friends, is wonderful, magnificent, lovely, and amazeballs!


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