Should you specialise?

Works in progress.

Have you ever wondered if you should focus on one area of art rather than doing too many things? I have.

I love trying new techniques and learning new skills and I usually find that each new skill improves what I do in the other areas of art that I enjoy.

Some schools of thought say you should work on one thing and become a ‘master’ of that. Others suggest do what you enjoy. Take Da Vinci, he seemed to enjoy having a go at a variety of projects, although perhaps you could call him a master of all of them! What about David Hockney, not only does he paint but he also uses the iPad very skilfully to create fantastic artworks and surely his skills and knowledge in painting carry over to this other medium. A very clever Scottish based artist, Hilke MacIntyre creates beautiful ceramics, Lino prints and paintings. One of my other favourite artists, Bryan Angus is a painter and linocut artist.

Matisse was not only a painter but collage artist and printmaker. Picasso created prints, sculptures, paintings and ceramics.  There are so many artists practising a variety of mediums, why not enjoy them too.

So I have decided that if it is good enough for all these wonderful artists then it is definitely ok for me to continue dabbling in Lino printmaking, painting, collage and collagraph work. I certainly have found that each area has improved my other artworks.

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Emerging Artists

Getting started as an artist can be hard work and getting your work out there and noticed can be just as hard as creating the art works!

A great way to get support for you and your work is to join a studio or art society where you are able to participate in group exhibitions with other artists.

One of the best things I have done for my art was to join Firestation Print Studio. The people have been wonderfully supportive and generous with their time and knowledge. I have learnt so many new techniques and participated in exhibitions both here and overseas, ( Japan, Atlanta, London, Ireland, Townsville) which has only been possible by being part of the studio.

Bronwyn Rees, an amazing print artist, is always willing to share her skills, advice and experiences. At our most recent exhibition ‘By the Book’ I was chatting with Karen Neal about her work and she generously shared the techniques she used to create her beautiful book, seen displayed on the wall in the above picture. Also John Hinds, who always has something positive to say about my work, thank you John. His amazing book, ‘This Ferral Australis’ can been seen on the table just behind a couple of my books.

I have also been encouraged to start using Instagram so I have and it is also under the name theartfields.

Thanks to Vivian from VBI fabrics for encouraging me with this and to Brad for setting it all up.