Monday, September 23, 2013

Try Your Hand At Something New



BeeBalls - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Wood, Brads, Paint

This week I attended a gallery talk by Spartanburg artist, Jane Nodine.  Jane's current exhibition, Thermal Response, is being presented at Riverworks Gallery and in the campus galleries at the Greer Campus of Greenville Technical College.  

Gallery talks in educational setting are most often planned for the benefit of the students and Jane herself is an educator.  She is both an instructor and chair of the Art Department at the University of South Carolina Upstate.  With this in mind, there were many art students in attendance.  

During the talk Jane mentioned her history regarding the many mediums she has employed during her career which solicited the question from one of the students, "How do I find my medium?"  The response from Jane was, "You try everything that is offered through your school program."  

This is such good advice and you might think it's obvious but often students (of any age or situation) make a commitment to a medium before they have really explored the possibilities.

This lead me to think about the artists I know who have worked across mediums with ease.  If you spend time on the web looking at artists' sites you will often see pages dedicated work done in different mediums: painting, drawing, prints etc. all done by one artist.

I find this expansive approach to making art exciting.  If you are the viewer you are given an opportunity to see what the artist can do in different mediums and if you are the artist you have an opportunity to show different sides to your art view and express yourself in new and diverse ways.

During my adult life I have worked with weaving, sculpture and constructed textiles.  Each body of work has it's own flavor but there is a vision that runs through all of them that is my voice.

Try something new.  Buy some new materials, read about a process that is new to you, take a class or workshop.  You may find the new process isn't for you or you may open the door on a wonderful new adventure.


Thank you for spending time at Studio 24-7!
I love hearing from you and Remember,
Commenting is FREE!

10 comments:

  1. what a neat little piece! what's the scale? is it new work or from your previous life as a sculptor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy! It is about 12" x 10" x 3" (estimated). It is from "my previous life as a sculptor". It is part of a series I made responding to a book I read titled The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men by William Longgood and Pamela Johnson.

      Delete
  2. Good morning Terry,

    Another timely subject! My husband and I were just discussing this last night - I have had some ideas percolating lately about working with paint and it just won't go away. It's time to explore and move forward; I, too, believe that change is good and we learn more about ourselves as artists by seeing how to use our voice in different media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Aryana! Isn't it funny that that we have creative urges that we want to shoo away? I think we sometimes get so invested in what we are doing and in what material we are using that we forget that the idea is "the thing" and if it needs to be painted we need to paint. If we need to sew then sew. We just have to give ourselves permission to discover what's out there.

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful topic. I find that one medium feeds another -- perhaps, since as artists, we process so much visually, that immersing ourselves in one work can inspire working out aspects of that work in another medium. I know this happens to me with glass, textiles, photography and printmaking. The decisions as to which medium to pursue seem to be made by the medium itself as the inspiration works its way through my brain. The process is quite magical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pamela. Your description of how working in several mediums is precisely what I was thinking about. The different working properties of the mediums enriches and inspires us.

      Delete
  4. Well you know I've been all over the map medium-wise in the last six years or so. Spinning to knitting to weaving to surface design to art quilting to mixed media to paint. I don't think it matters where you start necessarily. If you're a creative in life, eventually you'll probably run the gamut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I applaud your search for what works for you and your ideas Connie. I also think some people have a heightened sense of curiosity which drives them to see what various mediums will do. Thanks you for your comment. I always enjoy your insights.

      Delete
  5. Even though I think of myself as a quilt artist, I have begun in the last 2 years to learn to paint in watercolor and acrylics on paper. I'm finding that I now see things differently, particularly shapes and negative space, and learning to mix colors in painting has significantly influenced my selection of fabrics. I'm also finding that there are marks and gestures I can make in painting that don't easily translate to fabric, but my attempts to translate them have sent me in some new directions, which is not a bad thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Connie. Great to hear from you. Paint and fabric are indeed different task masters but there is definitely a connection. Dealing with color as a painter and dealing with color as a quiltmaker are very different but adding to our knowledge base from one will certainly feed the other.

      Delete