Sunday, 25 December 2016

Let The Materials do the Talking

Working with a new medium for the first time can be intimidating. Just as we tend to create 'comfort zones' of rendering particular types of imagery, it's very easy to fall into relying heavily on the same materials. It's certainly no bad thing to endeavour to master one medium, and many artists build successful careers on doing just that, but I think there's a definite case to be made for doing as much material experimentation as possible.

Whenever we use an art medium, we form a relationship with it. As we use a particular material, we begin to discover its potential and limitations. A teacher might show you a particular technique, or you might discover it for yourself. Either way, it's important to allow the physical properties of the medium to influence the work you create. If you can open up to the potential of your materials in this way, you'll start to find that different media will tell different stories. Knowing when to consciously guide the creative act and when to allow the characteristics of the medium to take control is key, and this is an intuitive process learnt through time and patience.

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