Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I have noticed in some artists a tendency to glorify the media they are comfortable with, to the exclusion of all others. This is not bad at all. But when they condescendingly talk about other media (often indirectly or as a slip of tongue) it sounds irritating. Recently I heard a remark by an artist on television saying that watercolor is 'the' medium for artists and acrylic is a medium for all and sundry. A practicing artist knows that each medium has its own possibilities, peculiarities and challenges. Perhaps his contention is that acrylic is a new medium compared to watercolors. But a little bit of history will teach you that watercolor was a new medium during 1500s whereas oil paints were used from ancient Roman times. Until 1800s watercolors did not enjoy much of a consensus as a serious medium. There is no meaning in upholding or deriding a particular medium. Undoubtedly the medium of the present times of polymers is acrylics. It has the advantages of lightfastness and durability.
The above painting is not mine. It is a historical watercolor by Albrecht Dürer titled, "A Young Hare" done in 1502.