Below, Three Cheers for 3 Chairs (Peter Fyfe, 1998 acrylic on canvas)
First, note the painterly quality of the depiction of basic chairs; loose yet economic. The use of colour within black outline. The separation of the subject matter by colour; a blue floor, a green and a red kitchen chair, a purple outdoor chair. Iconic, but quite ordinary chairs painted in rather overt colour choices. The only odd elements are a glimpse of a dark circle to the rear, and a flattened portion of a circle (a carpet ?) to the right. Also note there is spatial depth.
By contrast, the top painting is similiar in but one aspect - it's wide ratio. Otherwise, 'Celebrating the broken & decorative narrative of a canoe' seems positively chaotic and overly busy. It's a tangle of broken lines and seemingly random flat shapes. The only iconography are the maple leaves and abstracted canoes and paddles. There is only depth in the sense of overlapping layers of broken symmetry across the composition. It's all so loose, yet each curving line is crisp and seemingly purposeful.
Perhaps the answer to the question of these widely variant approaches can be reached by asking, "What is the artiste (c'est moi) trying to get across?". First, let me show you two more images to compare.
What I believe I am doing as an artist is that I am still trying to find my style. It is obvious that simple, iconic objects are my subject matter (my interest in the infinite variability of depicting a simple image). Less obvious is that they all show an interest in paint, colour and line. How to apply those, and in what order of emphasis seems to be what is at play here. The last painting, 'Shorelines with Canoe' shows a return to a degree of realism and pictorial depth not seen in just over twenty years.
By the way, for interests sake, here are two images from my student days.
Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment!