Lately I’ve noticed that my studio paintings are becoming more realistic. These results are confusing to me. I’ll be painting up close, working with patterns, colours and values and then when I stand back, those abstract elements come together in a clear and crisp realistic image. What happened there?

The Clam Digger
The Clam Digger, Studio oil, 12″ x 24″ on board

I’ve always appreciated historical works with simple gestures of paint which create a clear object and I do enjoy seeing my recent results. However my goal is a more expressive painting style. Up close it looks like just that! So… perhaps I am either moving through the skill of realism and if I keep going, with my eye on my goal, I will end up in impressionism or expressionism OR maybe I just need to paint bigger!?

Moving Through Realism?