“At my drawing board”, art markers on marker paper by Adele Bower
There! I’ve admitted it. I’m jealous of other artists who seem to have a steadfast devotion to just ONE medium. They seem to have selected to stake their art career on one medium only: oils, OR acrylics OR watercolors OR pencil OR charcoal…..and rarely, if ever, switch from one to the other. And of course, they demonstrate their steadfast devotion by producing gorgeous, professional work. I say “Good for them.” They are doing exactly what all the “experts” recommend.
Then there’s me. I get bored easily. I’ll decide to work in oils for the day…..the week…or maybe even sign up for an online workshop lasting 1 or 2 years. I jump into it full of enthusiasm and excitement, working fast and putting out the work.
“Garden Door” oil on panel by Adele Bower
Right while I’m happily painting away with the medium du jour, a small idea begins to creep into my (lack of) concentration. I begin to think about another medium and how wonderful it is, how easy it is (compared to what I’m currently using), and how much I miss it. I begin to question why I would be using the current medium in the first place. At times I’ll stop what I’m doing in order to check my records to see if I remember correctly which medium sells best. I’ve never gotten a straight answer from my records, nothing conclusive, so back to the easel.
“Vintage Beauty”, watercolor on paper by Adele Bower
Of course, if I have paid several hundred dollars to take a workshop I’ll stick with the medium being taught. That seems wise. But by the time I’m half way through the course I’m longing for a change but I press on….end up completing each and every course, and being very proud of my work. So confusing. I have stacks of completed watercolor paintings and a growing collection of watercolor journals.
Emily taking break from the tour. Charcoal pencil sketch on paper by Adele Bower
Then of course, I must not forget my commitment to fill my sketch book….my daily sketchbook. The charcoal pencil is a lot of fun to use and so easy to access and put away when finished. My first art instructor was my Father. He stressed (insisted) that I sketch a lot and only from life. Tough teacher, but I still love doing it. Rummaging through my art closet will disclose several old sketch books I take a look at every so often to see if I’ve learned anything at all.
“Old North Fence” in Colorado, acrylic painting by Adele Bower.
If I was keeping record of how many paintings I’ve done in my art career and which medium was used the most the winner would be acrylics. They require speed but that works for me because I get bored easily and want to hurry up to see the finished painting. Acrylics allow the artist to simply swish the brush in water and it’s clean and ready for the next color. Acrylics dry very fast which makes them easier to store than an oil painting. Oil paintings languish on the shelf for over a month, sometimes longer, before dry to the touch. Even then be careful.
So there you have it….the evidence of my indecisiveness, my confusion, my personality showing themselves in my art choices.
Oh my! It has just occurred to me about the OTHER element of my indecision; what subject should I do now? Portraits, landscapes, flowers, animals, beach scenes. Good grief!
And you thought the life of an artist was easy……all fun and games.
I can so totally relate! I’m relatively new to the art world. I began learning to draw in 2015. I learned graphite drawing, charcoal, conte, then moved on to work with soft pastels, oil pastels, and colored pencils. Art was so much fun! I explored watercolor, tried acrylics, and then discovered oils. That’s “MY” medium. So, for the next few years, I did almost nothing else. Art became tedious. I wasn’t seeing a lot of improvement. Art just wasn’t as exciting as it used to be. Now, after a move to a new home and setting myself up with a real studio, I’ve once again been playing — colored pencils, charcoal, line and wash, this and that — and art is fun again. And, I’m seeing incredible improvement in all areas. My watercolors are getting better. My oils are looser, freer, and more impressionistic now, and my drawing skills are improving. A lot comes from attitude, don’t you think? If we feel we’re stagnant, of course the joy will diminish. So, no more oil painting ruts for me. While it will always be my favorite medium, it certainly won’t be my only medium.
Hi Judith. Thanks for the reply. I enjoyed hearing from another artist, especially one that understands my fickle nature. Yes, I find it refreshing to go from one medium to another. I still wonder why the “experts” insist that an artist pick one medium and stay with it. Again, thanks for the comment and for subscribing.
I love using watercolor. It’s the easiest to use and tempera is what I used as a kid. I like acrylic a little too. I think about using just one but I’m more interesting in getting my ideas right instead of using the medium right.
Hi Mireya. Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate hearing from other artists. Best wishes in your art.
You are so much fun! Happy Painting in whichever medium you choose…that day! 😉 LOL
Thanks, Melanie. I find it’s a good thing I have a sense of humor….like demands it of me.
To me, your “indecisiveness”, is a sign of your vast creative mind. All of your work is beautiful!!!
Well, Karen, that is very nice of you to say……”vast creative mind”….I like that a lot. Thank you for being my gorgeous daughter who always encourages and inspires me.