Art mediums come and go with time. What's popular today may not be tomorrow. I thought it would be fun to look at some of the art mediums that aren’t so well known, or at least not seen in mainstream art.
The first and more than likely my most favorite is block printing. It has been in America since the late 1800's and was made popular by such artists as Arthur Wesley Dow, M.C. Escher, and even Picasso. Dow was the most influential of the three when it comes to printing and cutting blocks. Teaching and writing as much as he could in his free time, he inspired many other artists to learn the medium. Some of his most famous works include "The Long Road" and "The Clam House"
The second, and perhaps most well known for wooden block prints, is M.C. Escher. His knowledge of symmetry is envied by many. He's my personal favorite because Escher shows how people can learn so, much if taught the right way. He was kicked out of school for failing math, only to become renown as one of the best math mathematicians of his day! He learned it all from doing art!
Picasso is the most famous of the 3 by far. But few are aware that he even did anything other than sculptures and painting. He helped move the style of block printing from wood to linoleum blocks by using a "re-cut" style, in which he would make the initial carved linoleum block, print with it, then add more cuts to the block and layer the print of said block on top of the other print. He would continue to do this until nearly all of the block was carved away. Resulting in a really cool, pre-electric printer, style of making colored prints!
360 include such things as blown eggs and drawn on styrofoam. Blown eggs are the process of tapping a small hole on the top and bottom of an egg, using something like a paperclip. Then scrambling the egg inside the shell and blowing out its contents. The end result is a very fragile eggshell surface you can intricately paint all the way around with fine tip brushes. The pieces come out in amazing detail, that can be viewed from all sides.
Styrofoam Art has the same viewing concept, but the process involves using a fine tip sharpie or pen to draw a seamless piece of work that continues on all sides. While doing so you have to be very careful, as the medium dents and marks very easily. Making every line completely undoable, and is most commonly done on cups.
Assemblage is the art form very similar to a collage, the primary difference being, the assemblage is closer to a "flat sculpture" of sorts, whereas a collage is entirely flat. Assemblage is accomplished by assembling seemingly random objects to create a flat, 3-dimensional work of art. The most interesting of these artists to me is Kirkland Smith. His color choice when choosing which objects to incorporate into his work is spot on. Often times adding so much detail to his work that it has to be seen in person to fully be appreciated.
3D pens have been slowly moving their way into the mainstream art mediums. Most artists of this new and growing medium can be found on sites such as Deviantart, Pinterest, and Instagram. The process is much like drawing in 3D, in which a framework must be first drawn out flat and assembled, the result is something akin to the initial line work made when figure drawing. The end result is something closer to a sculpture though. Often times finished off with a fine file to give it a smooth appearance.
Trash art has been around for quite some time now. Though it isn't seen as much as it was 10 years ago. As you guessed by the name, "trash art" is the assembling of trash into sculptures. Often times an artist will only use the trash they cleaned up from one specific area and the resulting piece would often time be displayed in the, now, cleaned up location. One of the pluses of this medium is the end result can be vastly different from piece to piece. Some use the shadow cast from the resulting sculpture, to make a recognizable silhouette while other artists prefer to make animal sculptures. The possibilities of this medium are endless! Though I recommend washing your hands after and wearing gloves while picking your tools.