When the Materials You Work With Choose YOU – Day 25

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 25 of the 365 Days Project is by Jan Hopkins.]

Sculpture of a female torso by Jan Hopkins
“Forbidden” by Jan Hopkins. Photo courtesy ©Jan Hopkins.

Artists often work in a variety of mediums, choosing the materials that best suit the artwork being created. But sometimes, the materials you work with choose YOU.

#25 – When the materials resonate with the Artist, they can also inform and strengthen the artistic intent.

I would never have logically chosen to create sculptural work with gourds. In the beginning of my career I experimented with numerous sculptural mediums – wood, cast plaster, ceramics – but it was a friend’s collection of lacquered gourd art from Olina, Mexico that forever changed the focus of my work. Holding one of the gourds in my hands, I immediately felt a connection that traveled up my arms and exploded in my heart. I had no clue what a gourd was nor how to work with it, but I was completely and inexplicably smitten. I have been using gourds in my work ever since, creating from a deep, rich place that I never found in any other medium.

As I learned the importance of choosing the materials I create with, I also honor my relationship with them so that they continue allowing me to speak through them in my work.

“To work with threads seemed sissy to me. I wanted something to be conquered. But circumstances held me to threads and they won me over.”
Anni Albers

“Understanding the materials I work with… gives me a deeper understanding of my place. And it’s helped me make sense of the changes that are happening to me as I grow older.”
Andy Goldsworthy

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Sculpture of a female form by Jan Hopkins
“Contemplation” by Jan Hopkins. Photo courtesy ©Jan Hopkins

Jan Hopkins’ artwork can be viewed at: Jan Hopkins

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The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

Descriptions of the images included in this post:

Jan Hopkins, Washington, USA
Grapefruit peel, cantaloupe peel, yellow cedar bark, ostrich shell beads, waxed linen
(Photo credit: Ken Rowe)

Jan Hopkins, Washington, USA
Agave leaves, yellow cedar bark, waxed linen

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