Being a late-blooming and unschooled artist, I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with new techniques lately. Browsing through Jerry’s Artorama catalogue spurs some experimentation. Who can resist the rich colors and intriguing possibilities presented there? The talents and techniques of all the fabulous Melange Team Etsy artists spur experimentation, too. I want to try everything.
But, like all experiments, some of mine haven’t turned out so well. For instance, I’ve experimented with encaustic techniques, without investing serious money for the necessary tools. There is no way I can get a nice, smooth encaustic surface with a little heat gun and a soldering tool.
I experimented with representational drawing and painting and managed to work out a watercolor of a barn that I have to my father-in-law. He loved it. But, he’s my father-in-law. I tried a second piece – a trite and hackneyed landscape scene in a truly freaky pink/green color scheme. (I tried diffusing it with wax, but couldn’t get it smooth — see above).
I’ve experimented with a high-gloss, thick resin finish on a couple of collages on wood panels. The look is stunning – it looks almost like a ceramic tile. But, it was difficult to get a flawless finish. I sanded and added coats until my husband finally told me that he had given me “old” resin and that’s why the piece had flecks in them that I couldn’t sand out. Thanks, dear! There goes three pieces right there.
For the past few years, learning new things has been my mission in life. I’ve learned I’m capable of doing things at which I thought I stank. Exposing your brain with new experiences keeps your brain in top working order; it really does keep you young. At the same time, one struggles to find one’s voice. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. The struggle is to listen for your own voice amidst the clamor of everything else.