"It may seem
controversial, but I really think artists are born, not made," says Meagan
Shein. Definitely bold words, especially coming
from someone who has advanced degrees in fine art and art history. "It doesn't
mean that the innate skill is there," the artist quickly adds, "but the
compulsion to create art and continue to hone your craft is innate. You did it
because you have to in order to feel fulfilled. After all, an art career isn't the
easiest road to go down."
Shein may have a point there. I mean, if you could
find happiness and total fulfillment work in a steady, well-defined career
wouldn't you invest in that
instead of the fickle and fearful world of fine
Station II by Meagan Shein, mixed media artwork
on paper with beeswax, encaustic, and ink, 25.75 x
the desire to grow and challenge herself in mixed media art
hasn't waned in more than 20 years.
After years of working in oil, acrylic, and pastel, she has switched her focus
to drawings that are minimalist in content and rich with meaning. Combining pen and ink on paper painted
with beeswax and encaustic, her approach is largely experimental, with the
materials playing as important a role as her formal concepts. "Really, I set up
a frustration for myself," she says with a laugh. "I work through the tension
of wanting to draw a beautiful line, and it's very satisfying and powerful when
the flowing line appears because it's like I've earned it."
a beautiful line--one of the many goals of a born artist. Do you think it was
nature or nurture that fueled and sustained your interest in art? Do you mix media in ways that yielded unexpected
results? Let me know by leaving a comment.
If you'd like to learn more about working with mixed media, check out Modern Mixed Media With Marshall
Arisman. The two-hour DVD is jam-packed with
tips and techniques to help you discover the hidden talents you may have been
born with, but haven't yet unlocked.
Naomi Ekperigin is an associate editor of American Artist magazine.