Tuesday, March 11, 2008

List #3: Favorite Media

Okay it's lack of interesting things to update day, so here's LIST NUMBER THREE: MY FAVORITE MEDIA. I'm going to specify "Visual Arts" for this list.

1. Pen and paper. Yes, even more so than printmaking and photography, I love doodling with a pen and paper. I like making intricate drawings where you can't make mistakes, and if a line doesn't go where you want you have to, as Tim Gunn would say, "make it work." I've been making crazy drawings with just pen and paper since I was in high school, and before that I would do similar drawings with just pencil and paper (I stopped using pencils because I kept smudging them with my hand). When I was in elementary school I would spend hours creating very intricate mazes. Now I make intricate doodles. Good times.

2. Digital photography. I love photography in general. I got my first camera when I was 7, a 144mm hot pink camera, with which I took extremely artsy photos of my brother. Over and over. He was my only subject for a very long time - he was very compliant as well ... always posing and doing whatever I told him to do like a good little brother :) I got my first digital camera for my 18th birthday and went nuts. I love taking pictures and it's even better when you don't have to worry about wasting film and you can fix it up later.

3. Misc printmaking media. Specifically, I love linoleum cuts. They are so fun to make, very calming to sit and carve and carve. I also love that you make more than one so I can give them away and still keep one for myself. I like experimenting with different kinds of printmaking media, but often I am daunted by the toxic qualities that so many posses (although there are non-toxic ways of doing everything, I don't know them that well).

4. Acrylic paints. I love painting. I love how you can't mess up, you can just keep working on it and it will look good. And if it doesn't look good, you can just paint over it! I love acrylics because they dry quickly and mix with other things well. They're very versatile paints, I think, and can do some pretty cool things. I also like that they're relatively non-toxic, so you don't have to worry about ventilation or mineral spirits or anything like that.

5. Oil pastels. These are basically just oversized crayons. They are really fun to play with. Not only do they mix and smear like really nice quality crayons, but you can do fun things with them like in combination with water colors, or you can paint with them using paint thinner. Good times. They are also SUPER cheap - I bought a nice, large set of oil pastels for $9!

6. Markers. Markers are super fun, probably as fun as oil pastels but not as easy to smear or mix. I usually like them in conjunction with pen drawings, although not always. I really like brightly colors markers, especially pink, yellow and orange, contrasting with a bright blue. For a while I was doing a lot of marker drawings in my sketchbook as sketches for multi-color prints.

7. Magazine pictures and other collage-making materials. I love collaging. One thing I've discovered recently is collaging as a color Xerox. I cut out a bunch of interesting pictures and then color copy them in interesting positions. This way you can have the cohesiveness of a single image copied throughout a series. I did a bunch of these and framed them and now they are hanging up in our living room. When I was an undergrad I actually started a collage right on the wall of my apartment, taping pictures up there. That was fun for a few minutes.

8. Polaroid cameras. For a while I was really into Polaroids. I still like them but I am not as into it as I was last year. I learned how to do Polaroid transfers, which are neat but hard to do and somewhat toxic. (A Polaroid transfer is when you take the image from a polaroid picture and stick it onto another surface. It's pretty cool - the image really just slides off of the paper.) I've heard that Polaroid is going to stop making film after 2009, so that's sad.

9. Paper (and scissors). I first tried paper-cutting when I was at camp when I was in middle school. It's actually really hard and looks really nice. I haven't done much paper cutting since then, although I planned this really elaborate one with a pomegranate and a quote from the Song of Solomon (cheesy Judaica, ahhh), but I never just sit down and do it. However, I did do some small paper cuts when I was in college to satisfy some of my 2D Elementals projects, and I think I can safely say that it's one of my favorite media even though I don't use it much. :)

10. Chalk pastels. I do like chalk pastels a lot but when I'm going to do a project with them I really have to allot quite a bit of time to set up and clean up, as they are super, duper messy (more messy than paint, I'd say). Plus you have to fix everything you do so it won't rub off after. Even though there are a lot of negative points to using chalk pastels, they do create beautiful images and are really fun to mix together. I made a series of giant flower chalk pastel drawings which are pretty cool. If only I could find them and frame them!

OK that's my list! I finished just in time to still get the time stamp for today... I kind of worked on this post on and off for a few hours, so ... phew!

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