Thursday, November 05, 2009

Watercolor vs Pastel(or other...)

I love to create artwork using different mediums; not usually at the same time, as in mixed media pieces, although I do combine them occasionally What I mean is, I love to paint in watercolor. I also enjoy working in soft pastel*. Then there's acrylic painting on canvas. And cyanotypes. And colored pencil . . .

Which medium I use depends a lot on the current situation. For instance, if I am at home and want to work in the evening, but I also want to spend time with my family,. I have found watercolor usually works perfectly.

I have a little area set up in my living room where I can work on small-sized watercolor projects while still keeping an eye on what other family members are viewing on the tube. Watching television is a popular evening activity in our house, so watching TV with my kids is one way (granted not the most ideal way, but oh well!) that I can stay tuned into my kids' lives. Even though TV watching is considered a passive activity, my family tends to converse and interact while watching. Often someone will make a comment about a situation in a show and that spurs on a discussion.

We also often enjoy interesting educational shows like Nova, programs that show us glimpses of our  natural world that we hadn't yet had the chance to see for ourselves. This can make watching while painting a somewhat inspirational event, since much of my art revolves around my fascination with nature, using images from our natural world.
By the way,....
I recently read an interesting article about the nature-loving quality of people. You can read it by clicking here:
So, although painting while watching TV can mean a less pinpointed focus on my artwork, for me, it is the perfect solution to the problem of having so many loves (two being art and family) and not enough time. (It is certainly better than not painting at all!)

*Regarding soft pastel mentioned above:
Since I discovered the danger of breathing in pastel dust, I have stopped using them indoors when I'm near family members. More info about the dangers of pastels below.

*Click here for a link which I found with tips for pastelists to stay healthy and clean while using pastels.

~ also ~
Richard McKinley has a terrific post for fellow pastel artists called "Dealing with Dust" on his Pastel Pointers blog.

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