Surprising Tools These 10 Artists Can't Work WithoutByJenevieve Kok
This week, The Artling shares the surprising tools that these 10 artists can't work without. During an artist's career or practice, they will often develop an inclination to a particular tool or set of tools. These tools often extend far beyond their utilitarian function, becoming an extension of their artistic expression. From traditional paints to 3D printing software, these artists utilise their tools in a way that is unique to each of them. Scroll down to learn more about these 10 artists and their tools that they can't work without!
Irina Vladau is an Italian artist who lives and works in Milan. Her works are inspired by the nature, the mystery of life, and dreams and reality. To the artist, these fuse into one emotion, which she translates into her vibrant artworks. As a versatile artist, she had to find and develop her own artistic style that expresses herself better. She constantly plays with textures and colours, transforming and mixing them to give a new shape - a new abstract context that creates new realities.
"There is no must have tools. The important thing is being creative. I'm versatile so I paint when I have prepared canvases, but I also create them digitally on a computer, transforming old photos from archive or simply drawing on paper. It's easy to say that making art needs a big studio and many canvases, lots of colours products, and all the artists need this. But if you are creative, you can do it with everything you have around, a wire, a flower, a single colour, a gesture on a piece of paper, keeping all for later and put all together after. The important thing is to use creativity."
Born in the Netherlands, Kees Barten completed his Master's degree in Art and Art history in 1979. Growing up on the outskirts of a small town in the Netherlands, he was always intrigued by the opposition between a city and a rural area. Since then, the intertwining of a constructed and an organic environment has continued to fascinate him. In his artworks, he searches for the symbiosis between the two.
"In creating my paintings, I use traditional tools and materials most of the time. I like to produce my own paint from the basic and traditional materials such as organic and animal glue, linseed oil, linseed oil-based lacquer, and pigment. This gives me the possibility of manipulating the material to a big extent."
Portuguese artist Susana Cereja studied architecture in Lisbon. During this time, she studied Illustration and Drawing at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon and started working as an architect in the studio of a Portuguese artist, where she worked for five years.
"In the case of a tapestry, I cannot miss wool, needle, scissors and burlap. In the case of an engraving, I will need a good paper, paints, brushes, and rollers. In the case of plaster, it will be fundamental that I have plaster, plaster moulds (which can be made of wood, paper, plastic, etc. I have many techniques in my work and all of them with many specificities."
Russian artist Marina Astakhova is deeply inspired by nature and its bold contrasting colours and shapes. Her works act as a colourful kaleidoscope, reflecting the versatility and harmony of the world around us. A distinctive feature of her creative method is incorporating shimmering and vibrating geometric elements based on the traditions of Op Art, Orphism, and Post-Painterly Abstraction.
"My tools are acrylic paints and pastes, good quality canvas and brushes, which are created by my colleagues - a Russian artist."
"I mainly work with paint, especially acrylic and oil paint. The preparation consists of making simple small sketches in pencil in matchbox format. With this starting point, I look for the right format and elaborate the idea further."
S U G O was founded in 2018 by Kevin Chu with the sole mission of creating groundbreaking contemporary Biophilic furniture designs, fusing advanced sustainable technologies with nature-inspired creations.
"I use many medium or tools to create my work, and I embrace technology fully. My tools range from sketching with ink and paint, using Tablet technology, 3D computer software, or 3D printing. I also love working with scientists on some of my work as well as engineers, as they can teach me so much on pushing boundaries on art being further then what it can be."
Colin McCallum is a London-based artist born in Scotland who studied at the famous Camberwell School of Art London. Colin's practise extends across painting, printmaking, and video-mapped painting installation, through which he evokes the hidden rhythms and patterns of the urban landscape. The Scottish artist makes vibrant, multi-layered abstractions that respond to the visual experience of contemporary urban life and the influence of an "always on" digital culture. His work draws from the vast amount of visual information, which informs the sensory experience of urban living, including the pace and speed of the city, its architecture, neon signage, monitor screens, and airport and station displays.
"I started my art career using the classic tools of oil paints and brushes. When I moved to Barcelona in 2002, I moved into acrylics and using paint from the tube rather than with a brush. There is a big graffiti scene in Barcelona, so I began using spray paints and really enjoyed developing my own technique. I also bought my materials from local DIY stores rather than art shops as I found interesting items such as metal stencils and masking tape that were stimulating to use.
I have continued to use acrylics and spray paints in the last 15 or so years. As a colourist, I am always searching for paints with specific colours or effects and use fluorescent and metallic paints regularly. Fairly recently I have found some pens that work really well in my work, I am always excited to try new materials!"
Fabienne Monestier is a French artist born and based in Vouvray. The artist paints from imagination and draws upon the freedom of evocation. Highly inspired by the world around her, she visually translates this into abstractions of nature and landscapes.
"I use classic tools: brushes, spatulas, and my fingers! I like the velvety feel of oil but I work a lot with acrylic because I like to paint quickly, not waiting for it to dry. I paint urgently. I have to follow the thread of my mind and not lose it with useless time. I like to use wax pastels, water-soluble or not. They allow me to add graphics and writing to my painting. In this way, I specify details, sharp, spontaneous, nervous, very "written" areas. When I work with oil, I use oil pastels or solid oil sticks to trace my pictorial writings."
Danny Joe Rose III holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Dallas. Based in Oklahoma City, Danny's paintings explore forms found in nature as seen through the lens of abstraction.
"It's important to have brushes that you can connect with. I've tried many brushes over the years and recently discovered my love for hog hairbrushes. For the last six years, I have used a heavyweight cotton canvas. I have found that this type of surface holds up to the paint I use and allows for mixed media if the mood strikes. I prefer to stretch and gesso all of my paintings myself. Being involved with the process from start to finish helps me connect with the work in a deeper way. So much of my practice is about building relationships like this. I also must have hot coffee or tea when I start working, it calms the mind and sets the mood."
Laura Porcelli is known for her abstract acrylic paintings that use colour, texture, and layers to explore the themes of movement and light in nature. Born and raised in Argentina, Laura draws inspiration from her Latin American roots, creating vivid, powerful, and dynamic works.
"My must-have tools are: Time for completion, peace of mind, and quality of materials."
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