My thoughts on Crayola Watercolors: Going back to my roots. My first official art lessons, at age twelve, were watercolor lessons. My teacher had me pick up some how-to books; the type that you can find at any book or craft store; some crayola watercolors, and a good brush– a number twelve, if I remember correctly. (I would look, because I still have that brush and still use it, but the size is long worn off. Another argument for buying quality brushes Because They Last. Also, for you budding watercolorists, I will tell you all about my brushes and brush care in a post solely dedicated to such– so if you are interested, stay tuned.)
So here it is: The coming series of watercolor sketches is all about one of My Little Soapboxes: Making Fun And Cool Sh** (Stuff) out Of Cheap Art Supplies . Sorry, Windsor and Newton– You know I love your product– but painting with supplies that cost nearly the same as 24 carot gold is not what I want to teach people that you have to do to have a little joy in painting– or to make a statement through your art… and that’s just it. I volunteer and teach children about making art and I want to demonstrate to them that you can make something interesting out of something ordinary. There are no excuses for not making art because of “lack” of supplies… heck, go get a lonely ballpoint pen and freakin’ make something happen! Some of my most interesting work (at least to me!) is made out of ordinary ballpoint pen. I’m talking the type that Bic makes; the type that people give out free in order to promote their businesses. I’m certain that I’ve done several sketches out of pens with prescription drug ads that most doctors will let you have (if you ask them) from the doctor’s office. (Other good solids for free pens: the bank, or a copy shop.)
Now you might say: But Rachel, what about acid-free and archival blah-blah-blah? …And I will say to you back, Yes, those have a place– so do luscious high-quality pigments of the M. Graham & Co. variety, but that is what a scanner is for– or a camera; to preserve your work. Photograph/ scan everything that you do and you will always have it to treasure no matter what Time and Seasons do to your work. (Photographing and documenting what you do is so critical, either way. I will dedicate a whole post to convincing you of this– if you are not already sold. Again, stay tuned.)
So, I say, lighten up and just put your brush or ball point pen to paper/ cardboard/ canvas and express your thoughts and make some work.
(PS If you are interested in exploring a tangential discussion to this project, on LinkedIn, I asked a group of artists what makes a “high quality” or “low quality” peice of art… some interesting points about choosing materials… http://lnkd.in/rGtBAS Feel free to pipe in either in the comment section or on LinkedIn. Thanks for reading!)