The Message in the Materials

Hi Everyone!

If you’ve taken a look at our Instagram recently, you’ll see that we’ve featured a whole host of different media, everything from gouache to ink to oils. Materials and medium not only effect the process of making a painting, but also what message an artist tries to convey with their work.

When most of us think of “fine art” we immediately visualize grandiose oil paintings with elaborate colors- while oil paintings do dominate a majority of frequently studied art periods, like the Renaissance and Impressionism, it allows for other media to be overlooked and undermined. Think of your favorite oil painting- how did it get to that point? No artist goes freestyle on a canvas, hoping that whatever they create is just right without any forethought. No, an artist first creates a sketch, often in pencil or charcoal. While these may not leave the same impression on the viewer, they still are just as important and often quite valuable. Every medium plays a role and leaves a different impact on the viewer.

In this Itzhack Holtz piece in ink and watercolor, Holtz uses his medium to create an aura of simplicity, perhaps to contrast with the magnitude of one of his subjects: a bust of the great composer Beethoven.

In contrast, Hannah Foxman uses thick layers of oil paint and heavy brush strokes in her painting of the Kotel. One of many wonderful features of oil paint is its versatility- depending on how the artist uses the paint, attention can be drawn or diverted around the piece. Here, Foxman uses deliberate stokes to emphasize the massive stones that make up the Kotel as well as its many grooves and niches.