Recently someone asked me what my favorite medium was, what I liked to work with the most in creating art. The pause was long, the answer not coming quickly. My thoughts traveled over the four, sometimes more, mediums that engage me in the studio.
Photography has been my faithful companion for many years, a camera always by my side. Oils, pastels, egg tempera, these three I definitely love, all of them, each having their own unique qualities that make them wonderfully what they are. Which do I love more?
Reflecting back, photography has always captured my attention, from the pictures in Life Magazine to the story I read of a young girl taking pictures saying, “I want to be her”. The fact that a “box” with light sensitive material can “draw” a picture is fascinating and even more so that the simple elements of paper and ink can invoke such emotion in people. Then there are the oils, rich and deep in color, smooth in their application. The roots of wanting to paint started long ago, but as so often happens with misjudged words I became discouraged with my attempts. What the classical masters achieved again drew my fascination and with it the urge to paint like them. It was the same with the oldest medium ever used, Egg Tempura. The occasions when I came face to face with ancient icons that were made with the unusual elements of egg yolk and natural pigment were moments of pure wonderment. How did the artists achieve such a incandescent glow? Again I said to myself “I want to do that”!
Now I work in all four mediums. Whether using a camera, a brush or a pastel, all are a tools to create what I need to create. When inspiration comes it seems to always tells me what to use. The joy of using them varies from moment to moment. All present a challenge that I gladly accept. All forge a continuity with artists past and present and all of them take me to my “happy place”. So what is my favorite medium? The answer finally came.