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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Artists Must Play - by Artist Rosie Hartman (Guest Writer)

“All real works of art look as though they were created in joy” 
~Robert Henri~

Experimenting when I create brings me joy. I like to think of it as playing rather than experimenting. I like to play with colors, mediums and styles. My best art comes from techniques I found while playing around. The challenge for many artists is getting out of their box. 

I know your first thought might be, but I am an artist and I have no box. We all have a box. I just tend to lean towards the biggest sandbox I can find. When that sandbox becomes too small I add on to it. This is what it means to explore styles and mediums.

To experience more is to have a bigger box. To play around makes your box a sandbox. This is one very basic part of my creative process. I started out as a photographer. I am no so deep into mixed media there are times I am not even sure where the camera fits in at times. I got this way by trial and error.

Recently, my sandbox expanded with watercolors. Once I got the hang of watercolors, I began to wonder how they would react with acrylic paints. The picture you see above is one of my final results. It was not enough that I mix the two types of paints. I mixed in several different styles of painting as well. I had a layer of minimalist, a layer of cubist, a layer of pure abstract and finally a few layers of water color. During each phase I painted color on and then peeled it off again with different materials. These materials included paper towel, newspaper, towels and wet brushes. I played with layer upon layer upon layer. This single painting of playing around taught me more than any book I have read and more than any technique I have been shown. 

It is in the experiences of doing and playing that artists can learn so much. I am not even about to say let your inner child play. In all reality, the adult me gets how to play much better than the child me ever did. Go out today and add to your sandbox for no other reason than to let your adult self play.

Please let me know how you play around @RosieHartmann on twitter!  You can find my website at 

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