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!

3 thoughts on “How Much Is Too Much? An art supply dilemma…

  1. My studio is small and overflowing. I don’t think you can have too many art supplies, but I would definitely like more space to work in! Although if I had a bigger space, that would probably quickly get filled up with stuff as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ain’t that the truth? The more space we have, the more space there is to fill with supplies, and finished art work! I am running out of room to put my finished pieces… where do you put yours? I am lucky I work in journals as much as I do. I can stack those up!


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