Breaking an art-making stalemate can be difficult. Oil pastels are a great trick to have up your sleeve.
Stalemates can be lethal for any artist. It’s imperative to have a few experimental tricks up your sleeve. Oil pastels are one of the many fun things you can play with to smash the stalemate hold. Because of the physical nature of painting with oil pastels, they have a tendency to break brain blocks.
With the vibrant colors and malleable textures of oil pastels, you can get creative with your painting and explore new techniques. The character of oil pastels forces you to use your hands in place of the usual brushes. Cast aside any needs for fine detail with oil pastels and go for the painterly look which can be freeing in itself. Not only will the adventure be fun, but it can also pull you out of a rut when art making becomes stale.
Oil pastels are a must have for any painter. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, oil pastels can be used to create vibrant and unique looks. They may break some barriers in your art-making. The vibrancy of the colors is amazing, and the feel of the oil pastel in your hand is addicting. That’s an addiction I can live with!
Pental makes a good starting set of oil pastels. Check it out here
Mixing it up with painting can be a great way to express your creativity. It can be like foraging in the woods. Keep looking under trees, limbs, rocks and sooner or later you’ll discover something you didn’t know before. Art is like that. If one way of doing things isn’t working, find a new way. Mix it up. Blaze a new trail.
Whether you are an experienced painter exploring new techniques or a beginner looking to explore the world of art and painting, mixing it up can be a great way to take your artistic expression to the next level. Through mixing it up, you can combine different techniques, media, and textures to create something unique. This could include mixing traditional watercolor techniques with gauche, or combining different paints with colored pencil to create a work of art that’s unlike anything that already exists. Mixing it up can also help to remove any creative or technical blocks that may arise when working in one specific medium or technique. Furthermore, this creative process can help to create an environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and allows for the exploration of new and exciting ideas. So next time you’re feeling stuck or uninspired with your art, try mixing it up. You may be surprised at the results.
Artist/author Lisa L. Cyr, in an article for Visual Arts Passage, says “The mixed media painting speaks to an artist’s ability to see beyond limits and boundaries.” Format.com says, “When starting your first mixed media creation, feel free to be playful-and get messy!” Yes! Jump the boundaries and get messy!
The fun of creativity is unleashing it. In this painting, I decided to mix it up. It was a pale yellow waterlily. I needed some drama so I threw some in! I love drama! This painting started with graphite pencil, continued to watercolor. From there it went to colored pencil. And finally to gauche. Mixing it up sure feels good! I did jump the boundaries but I didn’t get messy. That’s next!
Mix it up! Push the boundaries! Get messy! Sounds like a plan!
What is the essence of serenity in art and why do we seek it? There is no doubt some art can bring about a sense of peace, whether by making it or observing it. One of the arguments against the “shock art” that has been prominent in the last few decades, is the sense of unrest it causes in both viewer and art maker. While “shock art” can upend the art market for a bit, it does not translate to popularity with the vast art making and buying public. Shock artists may make a pile of money in the short term but have no lasting appeal. And only a minuscule number of artists can make it in the extremely narrow market for shock. So what about the greater makers and consumers of art out there? Is it serenity we are seeking or something more?
Artists and art consumers could be:
seeking serenity in the “vastness of scenery”
being transported to another world where only paint, brush strokes and color exist
using our imaginations for survival
staying healthy by using our creativity to remain connected
David Chang, renowned artist and Chair of the Department of Art + Art History, at Florida International University, on an exhibit at FIU called, “The Art of Serenity” says, “Human beings are naturally drawn to vastness in scenery.” While Alice Sun, responding in Quora.com on “Why is painting a relaxing activity?” says “To me, painting is relaxing because it transports me to another world, where only paint, brush strokes and color exist.”
While we think we are seeking peace and serenity, we may in fact be seeking something much bigger. Kaimal Girija, of Drexel University, says in an article for NPR, “This act of imagination is actually an act of survival.” “It is preparing us to imagine possibilities and hopefully survive those possibilities.” The writer of the article for NPR, Malaka Gharab is an artist herself and believes there are benefits to both making and viewing art. In her article, “Feeling Artsy, Here’s How Art Helps Your brain she talks with experts like Girija and another, Christianne Strang, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and past president of the American Art Therapy Association. Professor Strang says, “”Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and connected to the world.”
As for me, I’ll say art and art making is all of those things and more! The only thing I can add is, I must make art. It is a drive from inside that I have very little control over. Is seeking serenity through art and art making a means of survival and connectedness? Must be!
Hope! New Life! Survival! Beauty! Signs are pointing toward spring popping out all over. The Anticipation is overwhelming!
Hope! New life! Winter is passing. Survival. Spring is on the way. We made it past that week of horrible cold. And here is the proof. Life goes on. We do what we have to do and we go on. As do all living things. And we look for signs than we have survived another harsh and gloomy winter. Here’s my sign.
As I was planting my iris bed last fall, this little guy must have fallen out of the bag. He popped up just off the patio so I know I didn’t put him there. I don’t even know which variety he is. I won’t find out until May. Anticipation. In the meantime, I am doing my best to guard him from the extremely large paws of my 5 month old puppy. He has survived the odds so far. I’ll do my best to keep that going. He’s my joyful sign of hope!
In her blog, “Filling the Jars” Julie Hage gives 21 beautiful quotes about Spring. By far, my favorite is from Henry David Thoreau, ““One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in.” Not all of us can take time out from life like Thoreau did so we find our opportunities to see spring where ever we can.
What does that have to do with art? Art is what we do to express the wonder of life. If we can’t take off to the woods, we paint it. And we share it. Thoreau couldn’t take his woods to people so he wrote about it. The woods came alive through his words. That’s what we do with paint.
As I wait for May to arrive, I will anticipate how I will paint this little iris guy. I’ll imagine what color the petals will be and how tall he’ll grow. How many blooms will he put out? Will I paint in oil or watercolor? Maybe some more silverpoint iris.
Spring is an amazing time of expectation. New life is arriving. The signs are popping out all around. Spring is a wonderful time for artists. Anticipating so much inspiration surrounding everything, every day. How joyful is spring!