Alan Bohms – 3 Reasons You Don’t Need Expensive Equipment to Start Creating Art

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DIY inspires creativity

Consider the cliché art studio. A garret with sun spilling through large floor to ceiling windows. In the room stands an artist inside overalls and wearing soft cloth cap, balanced between a palette in his left hand and a paint brush in his right, poised in front of a canvas, pertly perched on a wooden easel. The smell of oil paint and turps on stained rags completes the scene. “Twee!Alan Bohms reaction says it all.
For contemporary artist, Bohms, the nature of making art lies in the restriction of material forcing one to consider the material possibilities inherent in a material and how this may inform the creative process.
Regarding costly art materials as off putting to the process of creativity and urging a DIY approach to the making, Bohms sets out 3 reasons you don’t need expensive equipment to make art.


Any mark making on a surface encounters the consideration of paint. Typically oil and acrylics are noted to be highly expensive across art supplies stores.
Bohms urges artists on shoestrings to consider household paints lurking in the shed and adapt to their viscous high sheen in the process of painting.
However, if its required to hall a full spectrum of mixable colours, using child’s poster paints mixed with a little PVA glue can make a range of colours for less than £5. Watercolours are often found in discount stores in outer shopping areas and even the use of natural dyes from foods can produce pigment that will make a mark.


Finding the brushes to apply these paints can be costly. Use of specific horse hair for sable brushes for example can make a brief material shop into an expensive treat for oneself.
Again, Bohms turns to the multiuse of household materials in the form of flat heeded brushes. Observing the mark one makes and how you want to manipulate that forms the relationship between the will of the artist and the material possibilities in literal hand. This is what incites the creative conversation in the process.
Old credit cards can operate as squeegee blades to drag paint across canvas that are ideal in making flat forms of paint. Using old dish sponges are fantastic for bleeding colour into a painting, ideal for capturing textures across wide spaces like sky scapes.


Printmaking lends itself to multiple measures of image creation.
Bohms describes the use of nail polish remover and printed magazines as a way of Utilising old lino into workable formats means that blades and spoons can gauge out areas of material to make a plate worth of a print. This is more sophisticated approach but technically the same principle behind potato prints- which you could also do. Making use of the cheap poster paints will make for comfortable experiments without hurting the wallet.
Mono Prints also can be made by simply spreading ink across a glass surface and dropping a sheet of paper on top and with a biro, drawing on top of the up facing surface. A haunting distressed version of that drawing lurks from the under peel.

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