Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drawing vs. Painting

Mostly, I am a draw-er. A color-er. I use oil pastels like crayons--no brushes, no solvents. But, sometimes I draw on paper and sometimes I draw on gessoed panels. Rarely do I draw on canvas--too much give. Those drawings done on paper I frame behind glass with a mat. Those drawings I do on panel either remain unframed or receive a simple frame to finish them off. All of my pieces start with a colored background. And all are finished with spray fixative. The only difference between the panels and the paper is that I use a brush-on acrylic resin "varnish" to protect the works on panel. But, my works on panel look a bit like paintings. And, I am pleased that I have found a combination of fixatives and varnishes that protect my drawings yet allow them to be displayed without glass. But, with my oil pastels, I am in the drawing category. I draw. I do not paint with oil pastels.

And, sometimes this poses a problem at juried art shows. Sometimes my collectors can't find me because they are looking at the show brochure in the painting category. And sometimes the judges refuse to look at my work on panel (this happened recently)--only the works on paper. This I would not mind if the show prospectus stated that the "drawings" must be works on paper. Other times judges at the shows tell me they think I am in the wrong category. And, frankly, I don't know what to do. I draw.

I could add a tad of oil stick and graphite and apply in the mixed media category--but really they are still drawings. Or, I could continue to apply in the drawing category and continue to educate the judges and the collectors. Or, perhaps, over time, I'll do more real painting and just apply in that category. It is a bit arbitrary. Isn't it?

By the way, the top piece is an oil pastel. The bottom an oil. Both definitely my work.

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