Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Delancy Place watercolor 12x60" '07

For 15 years my only medium was watercolor. In retrospect that was not surprising, living in Wilmington, Delaware, in the thick of the Brandywine tradition of the Wyeths where watercolorists greatly outnumbered the oil and acrylic painters. That was in the ‘70s and ‘80s. For the past several years I have been working in no less than 5 different mediums plus mixed media, two of these occasionally, and the rest on an ongoing basis.

I sometimes have misgivings about this practice, thinking that I’m spreading myself too thin and that galleries and dealers want to see more consistency in an artist. But I’ve come to realize that the only consistency that matters to me is the quality of the work, not the medium or the “style”.

My choice of a medium is determined by the subject and purpose of the painting, watercolor for urban landscapes and architectural portraits, acrylic for large, colorful, imaginative landscapes, pastels for tonal, moody rural landscapes, oil for more traditional landscapes, and clay mono types for abstract and otherwise nonrepresentational work. Oil pastels fall somewhere in between all of this, and the mixed media-collage-constructions are in a class my themselves.

Because of this approach visitors to my gallery will comment on my differen” styles”, but it is not a matter of my consciously choosing a style. It is the choice of the medium that dictates the resulting image. I cannot do with one medium what I do with the others. Does that make any sense?!

Hill Top series II clay mono type 15x32".

There is no guarantee that this will be the case 6 months from now, but hey, that’s what is so great about making art!


Ester said...

i definitely know what you mean about using multiple mediums. I think it's great that you follow what feels right for you, and not get caught up worrying about what a gallery owner wants you to do.

Villager said...

I agree...I have been too chicken to venture away from watercolor and try other media. Your creativity and skill come through to the viewer regardless of the medium you are using.