I Heart Contemporary Painters Who Use Classical Methods

5 Feb 2012

Artists working today that I admire most all usually have one thing in common—they have developed their own unique contemporary practice while still utilizing classical methods. I've come to realize that I have a bias for artwork that has a well-thought-out narrative, but I'm also drawn to work that is carefully crafted and made sensitively and with care.

A mixed media painting by Marshall Arisman from his Ayahuasca Series.
A mixed media painting by Marshall Arisman from his Ayahuasca Series.

Marshall Arisman is one such artist. Working with historic and traditional methods, he builds a bridge between contemporary themes and the exacting practices of the artistic greats of the past, and yet he isn't content to be a copyist with his work. Instead he chooses to mix media and create art that is layered in different drawing, painting, and sculpting techniques that combine old and new methods.

For example, in his latest instructional DVD, Modern Mixed Media, Arisman takes viewers into his studio space and shows how his creative mixed media process flows, starting with him creating visual references out of paper mache to demonstrating a wide variety of drawing techniques that include using a comb and roller. He explains how alternative methods of drawing open up creative doorways for him, and that a vast variety of textures are available to you if you work outside the box.

A drawing from Arisman's Ayahuasca Series.
Marshall Arisman using a comb to create marks on his drawing surface.
A drawing from Arisman's Ayahuasca Series (top)
and the artist using a comb to create marks on
his drawing surface (bottom).
Arisman deeply loves his mixed media painting process; that much is obvious. He often starts with a sculptural reference, creates a charcoal drawing sketch from it, and then uses the drawing as a catalyst for an oil painting. As I watched the artist work, I intuited that Arisman is so committed to his mixed media art process because it allows many avenues of artistic exploration to open up before him.

By the end of Modern Mixed Media, I was energized and entranced. Arisman took traditional oil painting in a totally different direction for me, and I loved it. Mostly because the idea of using many media to create a final work really appeals to my own artistic sensibilities, and because of the skill and passion that Arisman obviously has. I hope you find that Modern Mixed Media with Marshall Arisman switches on the light bulb for you in the same way it did for me. And the first 500 buyers get a limited edition version of the DVD that includes signed and numbered print from Arisman. Enjoy!

 

 


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