One of the first
lures loves in the art world for me was art supplies. Could there be anything better than walking into the art supply store (it closed in the ’90s in my area but I can still see it in my mind!). I admit to some pretty massive hoarding (to the point I am almost chagrinned to have anyone visit my studio—I do have *ahem* a pretty massive stash…who can resist a sale?!) but there are always the tried and true in my stash. I thought today I would show my favorites of my favs for my current studio time.
// Brushes //
This may sound odd, but I really, really hate expensive brushes. I’m sure they’re wonderful. They were wonderful (I used to use them)…but it turns out I am rather forgetful. And *sometimes* I forget to wash my brushes out properly. I like the cheap ones. I typically buy whatever is on sale at my nearby Michaels (I do miss our local art supplier!!). And if they come in a bulk pack, even better! I’ve been using this (now disintegrating) Royal Gold #8 for so long I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen apart sooner. It just makes the perfect marks for me. Finer details are done in this bizarre neon yellow Loew Cornell #5 and some of my blocking/bigger details are with the 1″ Loew-Cornell (flat). That last one was my splurge one day. Totally not on sale. And it’s for watercolor, I know…but I love how it works with my acrylic (#rebel!)
// Blocking //
I use a variety of methods for blocking (like the 1″ flat above) but I also *LOVE!* squeegees and old gift cards. The bulk of my current series have backgrounds blocked in with the gift cards. (side note, I also use the used up gift cards for my ceramics as well…more on that later!). So, if you’re in the mood to experiment, may I recommend some acrylic paint (even the cheapie craft bottles work great with this!) and an old plastic (make sure it’s the plastic kind…that way you can keep reusing it!) gift card. You can get some really amazing layering with them!
// Supports //
I have been in love with Dick Blick’s wooden supports for eons now (and they said some will be discontinued….nOoooOooooo!) and when I don’t have time to go to my dad’s workshop to craft my own, these have been amazing. I love the unfinished, cradled supports. If I need to gesso them I do, but typically with these latest pieces, my blocking with the old gift cards work great (plus some of the wooden texture can sneak through, which I like). Plus, they’re affordable. If they stop making these, I may cry. Big, gloopy, sad tears.
// Paints //
Ok. Here’s where I’m not cheap. I love Golden and as well I find Grumbacher’s Academy works wonders for me. Grumbacher’s Academy line won’t break the bank and I love how their Payne’s Grey works (ditto the pthalo blue and yellow green, which I use *ALL!* the time). I am….obsessed!!…with the teal from Golden and the reds are just divine. I’ve been experimenting with their tubes and their liquid bottled acrylics and have found each have a home in my work. The pigmentation of the Golden’s is outstanding and a little paint goes a long way. I use the Academy ones when I want a heavier body, more textural piece. And unbleached titanium has been an obsession of mine since 11th grade. I can’t shake it. Nor will I 😉
So there you have it. My current favorites of the studio season so far. Part of my M.O. in art is to explore and experiment…to test and try new things. But, really, at the end of the day, just like we have our favorite pair of jeans, we all have our favorite art supplies that we always reach for. So, tell me…what are your all time favorites? Leave a comment below or on my fb post and let’s find out more new, amazing supplies to try out!