I like to draw with a Sanguine oil pencil. A lot. Sometimes I’ll cut in with a blue ZEBRA F-301 pen once the preliminary sketch is done. Warm and cool, pencil and pen. I love the balance this creates of softness and precision. If you asked me to draw with a Micron pen or a Sharpie I know I’d have some resistance. Maybe I’m not as fluid with these mediums, maybe they won’t give me the effects I PREFER.
When are we sticking with something for safety and when is it useful to switch mediums? Perhaps it would be fruitful to change it up from time to time and work with something you haven’t tried before. Or better yet, something you don’t prefer. Notice how it might rub you the wrong way, maybe its scary…maybe it’s liberating. You might make a mess of what you are doing but at least you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone.
It was once proposed to me that I could just change my mind about not liking something, like cold winter weather. As soon as the cold settles in, I feel great habitual resistance to being outside. I just really don’t like being cold. At all. Last week, however, I made myself get out and take a brisk, 4-mile walk in the winter air. The air was so sweet and the late afternoon sunlight cast long, beautiful shadows. I am finding myself yearning for my next winter walk. Interesting.
In the studio, I am working on a project called “Beds”. I documented my bed, unmade, for an entire month, taking 31 photos from the same angle each morning. It slowly became a diaristic project about relationship and sleep. It took me many months of experimentation to know how these images would manifest beyond photographic data. I tried my beloved Sanguine oil pencil. It didn’t feel right. Now, I am combining three new materials for the first time. I am drawing the beds on frosted mylar with my new blue fountain pen. Then I dissolve the pen lines with iridescent ink, which has subtle hints of pink from different angles.
These new materials are coalescing in such a way that they themselves are transforming the images in ways I never expected and telling a story that expands beyond what I set out to say. The beds are somewhat ambiguous and feel like glaciers melting into the sea. Cool.
Notice how strong your preferences are. Ask yourself, are they preferences or crutches? Until next week…try something new and see what happens. CREATE.