Technological Change is Accelerating

When I first started painting there was very little choice of media. Watercolours were common along with pen and ink but if you wanted to paint seriously then the choice was oils. So when I started taking classes Oils were the only medium being used professionally.

In the 1960’s acrylics were all the rage, and obvious because many artists used paint squeezed directly from the tube but there was no one that I was aware of that used acrylics seriously. I remember seeing a couple of paintings on one of my teacher’s walls that were obviously acrylics but she taught classes using oils.

Today most or at least many artists use oils but more and more are using acrylics. I believe that acrylics are better than oils and eventually most artists will be using them. Recently wood panels have become popular again. I like them and I notice that there are more of them in the art supply store I frequent. I’m anticipating plastic and foam to replace wood in these panels.

Certainly artists are slow to adopt new technology but they are also quick to use something new that works and perhaps saves them money. So technology is certainly changing quickly but the pace of change is accelerating. This can’t go on forever but at the moment I see more changes quicker at my local art store. Twenty years ago Web sites were a new thing, people are starting to look at me funny if I say Facebook and Fax is now a thing of the past (almost). I think art painting will be around a little longer. If I see something new I try it because it might be better.

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