Zebralang, approx 3 x 4’ / .91 x 1.2m, Acrylic on Canvas, 2011
Acrylic, to me is kind of like, if you like birds and you like horses, chances are, you’d like a pegasus. Or, if you like a good-looking guy who can dance, you’d like Gene Kelly. Or, if you like Oreos and vanilla ice cream…you get the idea.
What attracts me most about acrylic, I guess, is its versatility. I always said that if, one day, I had absolutely no more money to buy paint (and that day, I’m afraid is all but upon me), I would just sink what little I had left into acrylic. (Then live on crackers and water, lol.) I can use it like oil, and I can paint with it like watercolour.
Come to think of it, I didn’t learn to use acrylic at art school—everything I know about it, I learned in art classes at the museum, and my fantastic teacher there taught me how to use it both ways. (We did use acrylic at art school, but more like a support medium / like for ground or underpainting and not as a medium in itself.)
I remember she said acrylic, basically, was a lot like liquid plastic, and it had only been in use really for art in the past 50 years. (That was some 20 years ago, so I guess I should say 70 years, now.) That said, people won’t really be sure of the archival value of works in acrylic until a few hundred years or so have passed.
Then again, given how people keep going on and on about how plastic isn’t biodegradable, I guess it’s fairly safe to say works in acrylic on canvas, at least, ought to be a good enough investment down the road. (That is, if you’re buying art for that purpose.)