Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exploring A New Medium: Painting

I’ve wanted to try painting for a while. I recently read a book called Chasing Matisse, where an American writer goes to France to visit the places that Matisse lived and painted, while at the same time, the writer is learning to paint. He talks about both Matisse’s ideas on painting and his own ideas on learning to paint. I’ve always wanted to paint too, but didn’t because hadn’t taken a class. Reading about this man who didn’t think of himself as a painter, but tried anyway, inspired me to finally try it as well.

For my first painting, I didn’t paint flowers like Matisse, I painted the info graphic below. It is hard for me to go from craft (making something useful) to full art (beautiful, but not useful), so I started where I was comfortable. I also used materials I was more comfortable with and that were more easily available to me. Instead of using canvas, I used wood as a base and craft paint as the medium. Both were inexpensive, which is a plus when you’re experimenting!

In the end, I was very happy with the finished product and excited by the new medium. The act of painting, holding a brush in my hand, was meditative, like sewing or woodworking. But with painting, you have a different control and have to make different decisions. It challenged both my mind and hand. It was difficult and I made a lot of mistakes, but now when I look on my wall, I feel proud and excited because the biggest hurdle is trying the first time.  -Alice

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