What is a cohesive body of work?

This is an interesting question and one I’m currently working on in terms of my own career.  I have come to understand that there are three main elements which hold an artists work together.

  1. A similarity in visual style or overall design elements
  2. Recurring themes
  3. Technical or textural elements

Lets look at these three elements separately beginning with visual style.

What I’m referring to here is the overall visual design elements or flavour of a work.  If you put all the works you have done during the course of your career next to each other, could you tell that they were all done by the same artist?

When I look back over all my works and they are seen together, you can see a distinctive progression.  However if you were to only see, the paintings I’ve shown here, then you might think they were done by different artists.


Part of the reason this happens, particularly early in an artist’s career is that they are experimenting and searching for their unique expression.  As artists this is a part of our process. The next post will discuss the dilemma this presents us with.

Can you see the elements I’ve mentioned here in your own work? In what ways have your techniques changed or developed?  And the most important question to ask yourself is, ‘how can I improve the way my style hangs together?’

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