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Art can be compared to writing a story. Mittler and Raggans agree that an artist, similar to a writer, “starts out with an interesting idea, event, or thought. He or she then captures this idea and expresses it in a way that often communicates strong feelings or emotions as a visual statement that communicates an idea, expresses a feeling, or presents an interesting design” (4). Consequently, art media are like words and sentences in literature. They are diverse and serve to express ideas or feelings. Common or unusual art media make people look at the same piece of art differently. Thus, there exists a trend to recreate famous paintings applying non-traditional art materials. For example, The Scream of Munch was recreated with the help of thousands of colored pencils, and the famous Marilyn Monroe’s portrait was made of gummy bears candies (Nyberg par. 2, 8). Thus, an artist does not have limits in his or her creativity and freedom to choose the media, which helps transfer ideas, feelings, and emotions.
Expressing the Idea
When I was thinking of an idea for my art pieces, I decided to depict something that many people lack in modern life. They hurry to work and back, are in chase of success, but they forget to stop and dream. Thus, the presented pieces illustrate dreams and freedom. The balloon depicted on them is a symbol of secret wishes which can come true. A balloon in the blue sky flying to the sun, as high as only birds can reach, embodies a free person’s way to something good. Bright colors symbolize light, joy, and happiness, which accompany a person who follows the dream.
The Choice of the Art Media
The choice of art media determines its final look. The art media is a tool which allows the artist to express the idea of the piece of art, and disclose its content. I support Lazzari and Schlesier, who state that “It is easy to think that the idea is all that matters in a work of art, but in fact, the physical embodiment of the idea is important as well. When artists choose the best medium to support their ideas, their art is stronger” (56). I also like the idea expressed by a social commentator Marshall McLuhan (qt. Mittler and Raggans 67), that “the medium is the message.” I had used those principles when I was thinking of the media to express my idea.
The first sketch is a drawing, which is a two-dimensional piece of art. I have used an ordinary pencil to make it. Thus, it combines two traditional media, a pencil, and paper. I believe it symbolizes that a dream can be freely modified the same way as this drawing of a balloon can be changed or just erased. I think I could have used a pen or ink for the sketch. However, I prefer pencils due to the opportunity to make a quick drawing or change something in case of necessity.
The second piece is using traditional media and is two-dimensional as well. This time, it is a painting on the same piece of paper. I have chosen a watercolor technique because of the opportunity to use transparent colors. I think transparency is significant for the expression of the idea of dreams and freedom. Gouache or oil paint, which is also used in the painting, would have made it too solid, which does not suit my intention. The choice of colors is no accident as well. A bright balloon in the sun’s colors in the light blue sky perfectly represents my initial idea.
Finally, a piece using non-traditional media is my experiment. It is a kind of modeling. The experiment’s essence is that not a single piece used for this work was bought, especially for the project. It is a balloon model made of waste or materials found in a closet. The model consists of a small balloon, some threads, scotch tape, and a shaving foam cap. I have tried to follow the selected concept of bright colors here too. I wanted to use a light bulb for the balloon first, but it was white and did not suit my idea. Unlike two previous pieces of art, this one is three-dimensional. It is presented outdoors in the bright sun, which supports my idea of following a dream.
Overall, I suppose I managed to express the idea of a dream and the feeling of freedom in these pieces of art. This project is one more proof that an artist can convey the idea and send a message to spectators using different art media. The choice of the art media is only limited by the desire and the opportunities of an artist. Although art media have a significant role in the creation process, they are only tools that can become something meaningful in the hands of an artist.
Lazzari, Margaret, and Dona Schlesier. Exploring Art: A Global, Thematic Approach. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2012.
Mittler, Gene, and Rosalind Raggans. Exploring Art. Glencoe, McGaw-Hill, 2005.
Nyberg, Jeanette. “Famous Paintings Recreated Using Non-Traditional Art Material.” Craft Whack, Web.