art supplies

Inktober 2017

For the forth year in a row I am participating in Inktober over on Instagram. I didn't buy any special supplies for this just pulled out a few tools that I would like to work with for the month. I am using  Hahnemuhle Nostalgie Sketchbook for all of my daily #inktober drawings, but also using ink as my main tool of the month outside of that sketchbook. To get really comfortable using ink I think using it as often as possible is key. I started with the official prompt list, a first for me, but am jumping around with whatever moves me to create day to day. It is nice to have those prompts as a creative backup and as an extra challenge. Who else is joining the Inktober party this year? I would love to hear your plans for it as well as your experience so far. 

My tools for Inktober 2017

My tools for Inktober 2017

Art supply junkie

It's a sickness I allow as long as it doesn't get in the way of creativity. Now that I have a better idea what I like I have put some severe limits on what I add and am starting to put away, sell and gift what I am not using. Mostly I just focus on drawing and painting every day. As much as I strive for minimalism I often fall short, especially when it comes to art and stationary supplies. This little box I got in London when I first moved to the UK and was waiting for my supplies to arrive from Boston via boat shipment. Now it is a contained collection of everything I need to get to art making. Usually in the living room while I watch TV with my husband in the evening. What is your shopping weakness if you have one? 

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Art Tourism

Not just the fabulous museums and galleries in Paris but the legendary art supply stores as well. Sennelier across from the Louvre has been in business since 1887 and is where Degas, Picasso and other famous Parisian artists got their supplies. The shop even developed oil pastels for Picasso! Now I have a few small goodies to take back to England with me.  

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I'm ready for my boat...

The boat shipment filled with the bulk of my art supplies that is taking it's sweet time getting to the UK. It didn't even leave Boston until two weeks after we left the country and isn't due until later this week, then it needs to clear customs. I am regretting some of my air shipment decisions. I wish I had included more art supplies. Especially watercolor sketchbooks and tubes of paint.  I'm comepletly out of thick tough watercolor sketchbook pages and have been on a roll with the watercolor sketching. Today I went looking for an affordable option to tide me over while I wait and I found nothing but an old stock Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. Of course I bought it immediately since the old paper is supposed to be a lot better. But this is a very nice book and not inexpensive. No doodles for it! It might come with me to Paris or Rome though! 

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Hoarder

My name is Marissa and I am an art supply hoarder. Often hoarding my best supplies because I don't feel good enough to use it. This problem is especially strong when it comes to paper. As a printmaker and now a watercolor painter paper is my canvas and my most expensive single supply. And unlike canvas I can't simply gesso over failures and try again. With prints and with watercolor I am stuck with whatever I make the first time. No more hoarding my good paper. I will use my watercolor paper blocks every day and break myself out of my sketchbooks and out of my rut. My first block or a Arches is on its way but I need to use up this before I'm allowed to use it. 

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Collector

My paint pallet, brushes, ink and pen collection has exploded recently. They bring me joy to use and I do indeed use them. Experimenting with a new color or brush is always fun, but can I master them if I am constantly trying something new? Paint more. 

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Tired. Keep going.

I was tired and wanted to go to bed as soon as the kids went to bed. I wanted them to go to bed early so I could go to bed early. Then they ended staying up drawing together in their room so I wandered back to my studio to tinker with some paintings. I am glad I kept going. Once I get through my to do list I will start putting watercolors up on my Etsy shop. I am nervous about listing these new creation as I still very much consider myself a student when it comes to watercolor. But I was a student with printmaking too not all that long ago.

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Why do I sketch?

I fill about a sketchbook a month these days. When I am done they go on a shelf in my studio and I look back on them often. My children look through them and I show them off to friends and other curious people. This number doesn't include the "extra" books I keep around. Why do I do it? Why do I use precious paper and other materials for plenty of less than perfect pages? Because if I don't I grow stagnant and miserable. Because the process is how I grow as an artist and as a person. Because my sketchbooks are important. I admire other artists that keep active, consistent yet varied and adventurous sketchbooks. It is a tricky balance for sure to develop and maintain a style while continuing to push yourself as an artist and experiment. As I try to break out of my sketchbooks a bit more and feel comfortable doing pieces for the public rather than for myself I know that making time for my sketchbooks is something that needs to come first in my art life. No matter where I am at in life I will always sketch.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you  Liz Steel  for helping me get over first page jitters.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you Liz Steel for helping me get over first page jitters.

No Spend 30 Days

Thirty days of no more art supplies. Can I resist the call of Dick Blick and their coupons and use what I have? When I fill up my last Visual Journal can I move on to one of the other sketchbooks I have in a drawer? Even the fancy ones? Can I use the fabulous pens, watercolors, pencils and inks that I already have? I think I can. Who is with me with this challenge? For the rest of June and half of July I am putting myself on a spending freeze. Save money and force me to use the materials that I already have. 

My second mandala design. I will be doing these during my thirty days. 

My second mandala design. I will be doing these during my thirty days. 

Friday Favorite - Solvent Transfer

This morning I feature my favorite drawing, painting or print from my week. As always you can find more from my week on my Daily Drawing Tumblr. I spent the afternoon with the windows open breathing in fumes as I added transfer images to a bunch of cards that had either hand printed or painted designs. This one surprised me. I did it enough that my Blender Pen ran out of solvent and i had to stop for the night. But then my Inktense colored pencils arrived and I had time to experiment with those.

Taming Chaos

Creativity is chaotic. That's a fact. Another fact is that for me it is impossible to work in a chaotic environment. Especially a small one. So I need to spend a fair amount of time making sure that my space stays organized and I know where everything I need is and periodically sort and purge my supplies. 

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Adapting and Happiness

I am starting to suspect that happiness is tied to the ability to adapt and roll with the punches of life. Sadly, that is not my natural way of being. My nature is to freak out when something doesn't go as planned. Then get mentally stuck in the problem and the perceived loss. But I am learning bit by bit how to roll with the changeability of life more these days. 

The other week I got an extended lesson on being adaptable after dropping the kids off at school when I learned that I had dropped my keys. It was one of the coldest days of the year. Thankfully I found out because the person that had picked them up had called one of the businesses that I have a keychain card for and identified me. Bad news was I had to get myself to the Longwood area to pick up my keys from her. It was a freezing walk carrying my child's mini kick scooter and at times I thought my body parts were going to start falling off. Despite the cold I decided to make the best of being in that area and go a little farther to the Museum of Fine Arts and buy some printmaking paper at the school supply store. They have the best paper selection in the area. By the time I got home it was time to pick up the little one. Oh well. I needed paper and there is never really a convenient time to get it. The next day when I unrolled my paper I learned that I had been given the wrong paper and had to go back and exchange it. Oh well again. I did that last weekend. It was no longer freezing but mild and rather sunny. I walked around Fenway and got lunch at my favorite Thai Restaurant. And they gave me an extra sheet of paper for my trouble. Not so bad at all. The journey took longer than planned but the ending was a lot sweeter. 

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