I’d like to inspire people to do more art. Everything that is initially created starts out utilitarian. Why not add some artistry? A painting has very little utility except as a mural. Many things have very little artistry. It’s difficult for some people to imagine a chair having any artistry. It could be artistically embellished but can the design itself be artistic. Engineers talk about some design being elegant. Search ‘elegant design’ in Google and what you get is 19th century floral designs. If the design is simple but does its job exceedingly well then I think it can be characterised as elegant. Given this definition then even a well-designed hammer can be elegant. I have a couple of hammers that I would describe as elegant. And I think elegant design is artistic.
I believe everyone is capable of art. It might be painting, woodwork or paper lamp shades but it is art. Some like to differentiate between fine art, like painting, and artisan work like building books and wooden furniture. I believe it’s all the same, however I’ll grant you that some of it is more useful than others. Everyone needs a chair but fewer can see the benefits of a painting. Everything can benefit from some modicum of art and design.
This book is about how I paint and what materials I use. It’s more important that you do it than what materials you do it with. There is very little that I use today that I used 50 years ago, of course things wear out and need to be replaced but I often replace them with different things. The moral of this story is to buy cheap until you know what you want. The best thing I can say about a hammer is that it takes a very long time to wear out.