How Much Is Too Much? An art supply dilemma…

Is having a studio filled with hundreds of art supplies a good or bad thing? I sometimes look around my art space and think I will never use all this stuff in my lifetime. Other times I think I am fortunate to have been working in the arts for the better part of four decades because I have pretty much everything I could ever need right here. It’s a dilemma. And, it doesn’t stop me from buying more new supplies either.

I began my art journey as an acrylic painter. I loved learning and I jumped in with all I had, buying paint like it was going out of style. I added mediums and substrates and painted for hours at a time. After a few years, I opened a teaching studio stocked with brushes, paints, stencils, mediums, and everything a painter would want to create with acrylics. I taught classes for several years, and when I closed the shop after my son came along, I brought all the left over stock home with me. That was in 1987, and I still have some of those paints in my studio. It’s a pleasant reminder of my beginnings when I pull one of those bottles of paint off the shelf. Sometimes it’s usable, and sometimes it’s dried up and goes in the trash. I’ve switched to other brands and types of acrylics since then…tubes, and Arteza heavy body pouches, fluid acrylics, and some Distress paints. So my shelves are full of acrylics, yet I still buy more!

Sunflowers…acrylic painting with palette knife

I designed fiber art for traditional rug hookers for about 20 years, and my painting kind of took a back seat to that for a while. My business was called Folk’n’Fiber, and you’ll find me listed with several publishers and magazines. I did quite well with it, but as with all good things, it came to an end.

Design published in Create and Decorate magazine.

Now, I am back in the art studio with renewed fervor, creating mixed media art, cold wax oil paintings, collage and assembly work. I love it all, but boy have my supplies expanded through all of these art niches. I can barely turn around in there these days. Most days, I work in my art journals (I have several going at one time) but usually about once a week, I work on something else that calls to me. Lately, watercolors have taken a front seat and I am practicing a lot. I love my Daniel Smith and 31 Purple Fish paints on cold press paper and also in my watercolor journals. So my shelves and cupboards have quite a stock of watercolor supplies. I had to buy more brushes, of course.

Acrylic cover art for a large Dylusions art journal. You Tube Process video available for this one.
Watercolor and ink on cold press paper

Now, one of my latest obsessions in the studio is working in cold wax and oil paint. Yes, more art supplies! Bowl scrapers, and art boards, and Oiler boilers, and Gamsol, and oil paint of course. But, oh what fun! So freeing and abstract and intuitive, all of which I love!!

Cold wax painting on Arches oil paper

So, I ask you…how much is too much? I also added supplies for collage and assemblage work. My studio is full, my heart is happy, so I guess it’s not too much…maybe. It makes if difficult at times to choose which way to go, but having options is a good thing, too. Right? That’s what I tell myself anyway. It makes my YouTube channel interesting, I think. Always something new and fresh to watch.

Is your studio or art space filled to the rafters like mine? Is it a good thing for you? Tell me!

Links are affiliate Amazon links. I do receive a small compensation if you order using those, but it costs nothing additional for you. So if you use them, I thank you! It will help, in a small way, for me to replenish my art supplies!

In the Meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Are You a Planner? Yeah, Me Neither!

I don’t plan anything – almost nothing. I have had this Day Runner planner sitting around for about 10 years. I used it very little – I never remembered to write in it, and when I did write in it, I forgot to look at it. Yeah, like I said, not a planner. I very seldom ever plan my art either. I work very intuitively almost all of the time. So, it just made sense to me to upcycle this old planner into an art journal!

I made it up as I went along (no plan.) I just did what came to me as I approached each step. I think it turned out great, and now instead of planning, I can just pull this little journal out of my bag while I am on the go or waiting around for something or someone and journal away.

Here is the YouTube video of the upcycling process. I hope enjoy watching.

Upcycle an old planner – you need an art journal more!

So there ya go – if you aren’t a planner either, but you tried and have an old planner laying around, make a journal! I am going to get a heck of a lot more use out of this now! Upcycling makes so much sense to me!

Leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve upcycling lately.

And in the Meantime, Go Make Some Art . . . Bye!

What to Do When You Can’t Sleep? Art!

So yesterday, I woke up at 5 am. Tossed and turned but couldn’t fall back asleep. I lay there wondering if I should really get up at 5 am?? Nothing else to do – I could NOT sleep. So I got up, made my coffee and headed down to the studio. I looked around and decided to create a small abstract in a handmade journal. I figured I may as well turn on the camera and film as I went — then I would have a video for my YouTube channel. It was just a little piece to get me warmed up. I loved the way it turned out! Here’s that one – but there is more! It’s only 5am after all – lots of day left to play in the studio!

A quick abstract in my small handmade journal
Close-up

That felt good! So I decided to create a new cold wax oil painting. My last ones (a series of 4) are still waiting for additional layers, but I wanted something new. I grabbed a piece of Arches oil paper and mixed up a limited palette of orange, Prussian blue, green gold and some white. I love the cold wax process! I just work intuitively, knowing it will become an abstract, so I am not looking for any reality whatsoever. Just playing with color and texture. This one took a little over an hour, and I am keeping it just the way it is. I seldom like a cold wax painting in one session, but this one just spoke to me and said, “I’m done!” And so it is. I also filmed during this creating time, so here is the new cold wax painting video.

Cold Wax and Oil Painting on Arches Oil Paper

Since I was filming, I decided to get ahead on my Fast, Fun Friday videos and I filmed next week’s episode of that, as well. Here’s a sneak peek:

Create custom background stamps – tune in next Friday for the video details!

So it was a super productive morning – I got all this done by noon! So what did I do then? I played some more! I am taking a great, online class with Renee Mueller called Les Femmes. It’s available over at jeanneoliver.com. I have really been enjoying this class, working with charcoals and pastels, which are fairly new in my arsenal of art supplies. I decided to challenge myself and create a portrait on black card stock paper. I haven’t worked on black before, so I thought it would be fun to apply Renee’s techniques with it. Yes, another video — why not? I love to share my processes (and sometimes failures) with all of you! So here she is in all her majesty – not! It’s not terrible – I had issues along the way, but I learned a lot about working on black!

Portrait on Black

So, my arting for the day was done at that point. I had a blast in the studio, jumping from one medium to another. I don’t want to wake up at 5 am every day, but once in a while is okay with me. More hours to make art!

What would you do if you woke up at 5 am? Tell me!

In the Meantime . . . Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Adding More Layers to Cold Wax Series

Last week, I started a series of four cold wax paintings using cold wax and alcohol inks. It was such a fun process. They have sat and dried in the studio for several days now and it’s time to add more layers to create added depth and color dimension. So here is the video so you can see the progression of this series. I don’t think they are finished…they just aren’t speaking to me, saying “yes, we’re done” yet. So, I will give them a few days and revisit them to see what they have to say then. In the meantime, here’s where they are now…enjoy.

You Tube Process video https://youtu.be/lLBiHmX-BQo

I hope you enjoy watching my process, and

In the Meantime, Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Find the Art Supplies You Really Need!

You know how, as you watch a You Tube video, someone uses a cool new art supply that you don’t have, and you jump on those in-video description box links to take you to Amazon or wherever so you can buy some for yourself? Yeah, me too! I have made some phenomenal purchases that I am so happy about, and also some spur-of-the-moment ‘duh’ purchases that will sit in my studio, forever calling me stupid and wasteful.

Well, I hope to have solved that for you. I just joined Amazon as an associate and spent the day compiling an Amazon list (almost all Prime items and the best prices I could find) of all of my favorite and most-used supplies. The good ones — not the ones calling me stupid and wasteful.

I added an Art Supplies page to my website with all of those yummy products– photos and all, and all you have to do is click and whoosh — you are at Amazon where you can grab some for yourself. I do, as an associate, get a small stipend for products that are ordered via my links. It’s a way to help, in a small way, to partially replenish all the supplies I use to produce my free You Tube videos, which also get embedded here for you. So take a look and see what I have compiled. Maybe you’ll find something new and exciting you would like to try. Or maybe you’d just like to do that right here – without all the fancy photos and stuff. Same list, same links – just text.

ART SUPPLIES LIST

I realize we all have tons of supplies, and usually more than we need. But, when you do need to replenish your gesso, or you really want to try a Stabilo All pencil, I hope you’ll think of me and use my links to get there. If I can return the favor, please let me know in the comments. We have to help each other – it’s a cold, hard world out there people! Okay, slight exaggeration, I suppose, but a girl can go broke trying to keep up, for sure!

Just thought you’d want to know – OK your turn — Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Cold Wax + Alcohol Ink? Yep!

It works great, producing gorgeous transparent colors!
Work in Progress – a series of four cold wax paintings on oil paper

What fun I had playing with cold wax and alcohol inks. I used the alcohol ink instead of oil paint with my cold wax and got a really cool medium to work with! The colors are very transparent, which I loved. I did add some white oil paint to my green to make a paler, more opaque color that I dabbled in here and there for contrast and interest. When I mixed the Stream alcohol ink with black, I added too much black oil paint, but I just used it anyway. I always like to add some white and some black to my cold wax pieces. These pieces are not finished – they tell me when they are done and I haven’t heard that out of them as yet. They are drying in the studio and I will add more layers tomorrow. I’m thinking maybe some orange will be striking on these.

The colors of Ranger alcohol ink that I used were: Stream, Botanical, and Honeycomb. I used Gamblin cold wax – my favorite. I videoed the process for my You Tube channel – here’s the result . . .

Have you tried cold wax yet? It’s a fabulous addition to any mixed media arsenal. You can use it in lots of ways, and it’s super fun to play with. Give it a try.

And til next time, Go Make Some Art! Bye!

Sundays Are for Practice

One of the watercolor faces that I painted – I feel like I am finally getting a better feel for watercolors.

Days get so hectic and busy, don’t they? I thought retirement was going to be lazy and relaxed. But I find myself getting my fingers into lots of pies (as I always have.) I guess I just like to be busy and productive — some might say I like to be in charge, but I think that’s wrong. I like things my way. I’ve earned that at this age, I think. Anyway, I digress. In addition to my daily art and YouTube video production, I am helping to organize my 50th class reunion. And then there is my job as copy editor of Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher magazine, which I love! Most of these ‘jobs’ keep me in front of the computer a lot. But I really, really love my time in the studio where I can create without limits or rules or other people’s requirements.

I have decided that Sundays will be for practice – practice using art materials I don’t feel as though I have mastered or learned well enough, practice getting better at drawing and painting portraits, and practice using all the art supplies I HAD to buy because I saw a cool YouTube video where someone used them and I jumped over to Amazon and in the spur of the moment, they became part of my studio arsenal (come on – I know I am not alone in that!)

So Sunday, I decided to paint faces. I usually sketch faces with graphite in my journals in the evening while watching TV. Sunday, I actually sat down at my art table with my paints and practiced. I painted a few in watercolors, and then painted one in acrylics in my art journal.

So here’s a video I created by just filming myself while I worked. Watch me paint the watercolor and acrylic faces.
Acrylic girl in my altered book journal. I had fun with her hair!! But I am not all that happy with her face. More Practice is Needed!
This one was an inspiration from Petra Stein with a challenge to paint a face using only one color. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun!

This week, I received some gorgeous, metallic watercolors from 31purplefish Etsy shop. So much fabulous shimmer and shine. I can’t wait to play with them more. I will do a You Tube review for you – the seller (Kelsey) is amazing to work with and provides superb customer service. Her watercolors are amazing and smell divine!

Until next time, Go Make Some Art! Bye . . .