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Breaking the 'rules' of the art world

The beauty of art is that there are no hard and fast rules, and as an artist, I believe in breaking away from conventions and creating something unique and meaningful, based on the my creative vision and the emotional impact I want to convey to the viewer.


The rules in art are meant to guide us and help us perfect our work, but they should not limit our creativity or restrict our artistic expression. They should be used as a guideline, rather than a strict set of instructions. As artists, we should embrace these rules, but also have the courage to break them if they do not align with our creative vision.



Here are my thoughts of a few of them:


In the art world, there is a 'rule' of thirds.


The rule of thirds is not a strict guideline and should not be followed blindly. It can help us to arrange our painting for a more attractive layout for the composition. While this rule can be helpful in creating balance and visual interest in a composition, ultimately, it's up to the artist to decide if and how to use it.


  • Sometimes, breaking this rule can result in a more interesting and dynamic composition.


So if you place your work in the rule of thirds grid and the overall drawing/painting looks better without using the rule, don't use it. Use your own judgement and follow your instincts.



Rules in art are meant to help us to perfect our work, they are not meant to be a restriction. Use them as necessary and discard if they aren't right for the art or your vision for the piece.


In my seascapes I do experiment with applying a grid to 'test' the rule of thirds, but to be honest it often lessens the work in my opinion.



Focal points: Your focal point is important and shouldn't really be in the centre. But what if there is no actual focal point? Seascape paintings often depict vast, open spaces and the endless horizon, making it difficult to pinpoint a single focal point.

In these instances the artist must use their skill and creativity to create a sense of balance and harmony within the painting. For example, using a brighter or more saturated colour can draw attention to a specific area, or you could use lines or shapes to create a visual path for the eye to follow.

Without a clear focal point, the artist must use their own artistic vision to create a compelling and visually appealing painting, and sometimes the absence of that focal point can, in fact, often add to the overall mood and atmosphere of the painting, allowing the viewer to explore the work in a more organic and free-flowing manner. A focal point can be an important part of the artwork but it isn't always necessary in all paintings when creating a unique and captivating piece.


When I visit the coast I am always drawn to the vastness and beauty of the ocean. I take in the whole environment, the sky, the sea and the land - I want to achieve that in my paintings - so I PAINT THE ART I WANT TO SEE.


And I paint because I have a passion for creating what I do.


I usually drop my horizon line by a few centimetres on a small piece or a few inches on a larger piece but mostly find that anything more loses the flow and rhythm of the work.


Validation is a concept that is often preached in the creative realm. We are often bombarded with messages that we need validation from others in order to feel confident. It is easy to feel as though we need validation from peers, critics, the public, galleries, competitions, etc.

It can be 'assumed' by some that approval makes one a legitimate artist. But, the reality is that whether you have been painting for a few months, years or even decades, you are all artists, whether at the starting point of your artist journey or much further on.


And so, we are told that there is a need for validation... but the fact is the only validation we need is our own. We shouldn't let the fear of not being validated stop us from pursuing our passion and expressing ourselves through our art.

It is important to ignore those that cannot see your worth and embrace your creativeness - trust yourself.


Trust yourself, create the art you want to create, it is YOUR vision.


Break the rules if you need to - your work is your own, not someone elses ideas. Do not limit yourself or let others stifle your uniqueness. Remember to love what you do and explore and express yourself in your world of art.


Pablo Picasso once said, 'Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.'




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