Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cheap Materials

I'm a big advocate of using good quality materials. They simply make your life easier. Nice paper, good pastels, quality paint all make the process go smoother. They are enjoyable to work with. Putting a mark down on Wallis paper with a Unison pastel; simply heaven!

But if spending a boat load of the green on stuff that you're not sure you're going to use on a consistent basis, keeps you procrastinating about DOING the art, then I'm an even bigger advocate of using cheap stuff. And I mean anything you have, be it cardboard and Yarka pastels. To heck with all the business about it being archival and blah, blah, blah....The important thing is to get moving and make some art. Look at the street artists that are making incredible art from nothing but sticks and stones? 

We all start somewhere with whatever resources are available to us. When I started doing pastels about 15 years ago, I picked up what I had, which happened to be a set of about twelve Rembrandt pastels and some black Canson paper. Yuck! At the time, I didn't know any different and I thought it was perfectly enough. It was perfectly enough. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. It got me going. The thing is you have to be satisfied that it IS enough and move forward. If you get a niggling feeling and you are in scarcity mode, then that will hold you back too.

I often think that the prevailing views about certain kinds of art can hold us back. The "rules". Rules in my case for pastelists like you have to use archival paper, you should only use pastels that have pure pigment, you can't mix soft pastel with oil pastel, you NEVER blend. Hey, we are artists! We push boundaries and challenge conventions. Yes?? That's how we develop our own voices.

I'm just suggesting that we grab what we have, and see what happens and let go of preconceived notions about what we are "supposed" to do with pastels and with paint. We have everything we need....In art and in life.

1 comment:

Kelly Marszycki said...

like your idea of "grabbing what we have" and running with it rather than what "must be!"