In a recent discussion on my facebook page the subject of ‘choosing one’s’ medium came up. That is to say how do we know which artistic medium (oil,acrylic, watercolour, etc) we would like to use? Well this is where I’d like to throw in my 2 cents worth.
After giving it some thought I realized that we often approach this sort of problem by looking at the symptom rather than the cause so-to-speak.
We likely ask ourselves – “well which medium would I enjoy using most?” Although the question of enjoyment does come in to it this could be a bit mis-leading. It’s sort of like the question “What is my passion?”. In fact a passion is not really an actionable word but an emotion that can be brought to any task.
So if it’s not about the fit of the suit, so much, then it’s about the look!
That may sound counter-intuitive to what we already know about wearing clothes. It has to fit and feel good-look is almost secondary. However in the case of art it is about the look. It’s the look that elicits a response. Follow me on this. I do know that creating art starts with an emotion but if you’re choosing a medium you want to deal with how you show that emotion. What is it about the art that draws you in and inspires you? How is that effect (or affect) achieved?
To say it another way:
If you want to know your favourite medium , even though *experimentation is good, then you want to take a good look at the art that already inspires you. What art do you like?
This is the fun part. Expose your experience to viewing and seeing other’s work. What do you see that you like? What medium is the artist using to express those feelings and emotions you identify with?
Won’t that make my art less original; less personal?
No. There is nothing new under the sun. There is only a different combination of using what already exits. Ever thought of painting realism over an abstract background? What about the other way around? Even this has been done but you can combine various media and styles, colours to create something that is uniquely yours.
By seeing what you like it will get you to investigate the means ( the media) used to create that effect.
Then fall in love with the one you are with.
If it takes a brush to create that art then learn the brush! If it takes photography then learn the camera techniques. If oil is what you like then explore oils!
Maybe less concern about what medium or artistic tool you want to fall in love with and more about the art you love will actually help you discover your medium.
Is there a magic medium out there just for you? Ponder more the art you love then fall in love with the tools to get the job done. Do we really build homes just because we like the feel of a hammer or saw? It’s the dream, the concept and the idea realized that inspires us to passion!
Hope this helps…that’s my two cents, now what’s yours?
*Experimentation is a great thing. It stores in our minds and physiology a feel for what we like and what we can do. Yes I do think the same emotion can be expressed in many ways and with various media. Then just look at art. what art do you like..not so much what medium. :^)