Sunday, September 1, 2013

Colored Pencil - a medium to be taken seriously

When it comes to colored pencil, some artists refer to their work as drawings others call them colored pencil paintings. Many techniques make up the range of colored pencil work, some do look more like  drawings, while others resemble oil or water color paintings. Then there is the question of light fastness. If you are serious about your colored pencil art, you pay attention to that too. But as with any other medium, you wouldn't want to hang your oil or watercolor by a famous painter in direct sunlight now, would you? So why would you do it with colored pencil? The question is how serious do we take colored pencil work.  If you go to the website of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), you will see that CP work is something to be taken very seriously.

It is a shame though that when it comes to general art exhibits or juried shows, the category of "Graphics" is a collection of anything that's not oil, water media (watercolor and/or acrylics), pastels or photography. Yes, there are others but those are the main ones. Colored pencil work always falls into the graphics category since it is considered a drawing, no matter how much your work looks like a painting. And that's were the problem lies. Most artists, at least in this area of the country were I live, work in oil, water color, acrylics or pastels (considered the "serious" media in the art world). In most shows you have to have a certain number of works for the category to be considered, judged and hung in the show. Just recently I submitted a work and because there were not enough entries in the "Graphics" category, the work would not have been considered for judging and possibly winning a prize. So I pulled my entry out of the show.

I am not saying that I believe my work is so excellent it would have one a prize, that's not the point.  I am wondering why there are not more artists working in pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, in other words, media that could fall into the graphics category???

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