Friday, March 27, 2009
Why Don't I Choose One Medium and Stay With It?
I have been painting for over 35 years now, and I have still not settled on the medium that I love the most. I first began with oil paints, that is until I watched a watercolor demo at the local art league. I went out immediately and purchased a small set of watercolors. I think it might have even been a child's set at that time. Later of course I learned you must have good materials to paint good paintings.
For years I bounced from oil to watercolor depending on what workshop or demo I attended. I begin with dark shapes and work toward lights. This is probably most naturally suited for oil painting. I struggled for years with wet into wet watercolors. However, I never could seem to save the lights, as the traditional water colorist.
At some point in all this bouncing from oil to watercolor, I also must have seen a pastel demo. Because I found myself picking up the pastel sticks and painting portraits. I quickly found that pastel was a great medium for me. I could begin with the dark shapes and build up to the lights and push and pull the surface with a play of cool and warm colors. I like the very direct application in pastel . I paint with small pieces and broad swipes with the side of a pastel stick, almost as if drawing and painting at the same time. I like the feeling of color flowing from my fingers. A love of drawing was quickly developed as I studied contour and gesture drawings.
This brings me up to a time of my life when I suffered a serious artist block. I continued to try to paint, but the spirit wasn't with me. When I slowly began to just allow myself to play with paint and color, I picked up watercolor again. I believe this was a way to deal with my emotions and the changes in my life that had devastated me so intensely. The work I have been producing the past five or six years is the result of this spirit freeing play with colors and design. I am proud of the work and I think it shows a real metamorphosis as I re-emerged from that horrid artist block.
Here we are in the present. And I have been studying sculpting the figure and portrait in clay for a year or two now. Bringing back to the surface that love of drawing and the desire to explore again those mediums I have loved in the past.
So tell me, why don't I choose one medium and stay with it?