Friday, March 14, 2008


A while back I wrote about my struggle with working in multiple mediums and my concern that it was keeping me from developing maximally in any one medium (which I saw as an impediment to obtaining gallery recognition). I proudly proclaimed I had come to terms with this issue, but sadly that has proven to be temporary, and for the umpteenth time the question has returned to haunt me.

This time, with some timely help from my artist daughter Sara Jo, who knew immediately what my problem was, I looked at the problem from a different perspective. One of my goals has been to compile a body of work, in one medium, that is consistent in style and high quality. I’ve never accomplished this to my satisfaction and found it easy to blame this on my working in too many different mediums and styles. But always, in the back of my mind, there has been the nagging notion that the “blame” lie elsewhere, with my impatience and willingness to take the easiest path in my work. I have been guilty of taking comfort in the work that comes easiest to me, and avoiding some of the really hard work needed to reach my desired goal.

The issue is not the time I spend on different mediums, but the time and the quality of the effort I expend on each painting. If my goal is to compile a body of work in a particular medium then obviously I need to spend more time working in that medium. This doesn’t mean I can’t work in other mediums, in fact I need to do so, but most of my efforts will be with works on canvas, both acrylic and oil.

I will be a generalist specializing in acrylic on canvas. (Until I change my mind!)

See Generalist or Specialist on Tom Riley’s blog


Aynex Mercado said...

The same thing happens to me. Not about different mediums but about everything in life. Oh well...

Linda said...

Um, I thought that changing your mind and getting all muddled up about mediums and subject matter was SUPPOSED to happen. Oh dear. I like how you've got it figured out, though -- a generalist who specializes. That so totally works!
:-D I also loved visiting Tom Riley's blog (what a fun read!) and your daughter's sight. She is a wonderfully talented artist!