The “tradition” of using non-traditional materials and found materials in art goes back awhile – from Braques and Picasso’s collages to Duchamp’s urinal.  By now we are accustomed to seeing everyday things in the museums or galleries  For me, the use of non traditional or found materials has to transform that material so that it becomes something else than the novelty of the material itself.  A couple of artists came to mind when thinking about this today.  I recently discovered and artist named Il Lee. 


BL-069, 2006, Ballpoint pen on canvas, 48 x 42 inches


BL-070, 2006, Ballpoint pen on canvas, 45 x 60 inches


Someone living near NYC should  go see them in person at Art Projects International for me and test out whether they are as beautiful as they appear to be on the web.  I have seen a lot of ballpoint pen drawings, especially from my students.  I have seen some great stuff, but Il Lee’s work takes ballpoint to a spiritual realm (dare I say).

Do you admire any artists who use nontraditional materials?  Have you tried them yourself?  How does it affect your artmaking process?