“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.