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  • Helen English Artist

Have you got style?

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Over the past month, I have discussed what goes into making your best art. However you put paint, or other marks, onto paper or canvas, you will have your own style which can change and definitely develops the more often you create art. It’s interesting to find out how you fit with the styles which have evolved in the world over the years and also to understand how we can define different art which is well known. I am starting with a look at the Impressionists this week before I talk about the styles which followed and how we can understand how twentieth century art created three main styles of art and then you can see how your art fits in with them.


Impressionists certainly made an impact on the world. Probably the most well-known style of artists in the world. In the late 1800s, they painted their immediate and fast impressions of the world around them, rather than the historic and mythological subjects which had gone before. Almost like taking a quick photo of a café scene or a sunrise, or the lilies in a pond which Monet, the main instigator of this art movement, is famous for painting in his last years. The Impressionists were not recognised by the conservative organisation who chose exhibitors for the Salon de Paris, and thought the Impressionistic art to be unfinished and irrelevant. They, however, were the inspiration of many of the art movements which came after and changed much of the way in which art was regarded after that time.


I remember choosing art as one of my subjects in my last years at school and being ridiculously disappointed to find that it involved learning about 20th century art and writing about it, both of which were not how I viewed art! Over the years I came to realise that I was incredibly lucky to do this, and how amazing my art teacher was. Despite my misgivings, I still remember much of the conversations which we had in class.



Twentieth century art was the tail end of Impressionism and the home of other perhaps less well-known or understood movement names such as Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and Contemporary Art. It was when the world of art was subject to a huge bolt of lightning and we know so many of the names and admire their works – Van Gogh, Picasso, Edward Munch, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Banksy. All of these artists were and are part of conversations about what art actually is, and isn’t that a great topic?

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