Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Confession time: forget shopping for shoes,
I buy art supplies

Like most artists, I'm a supply junkie. Two things touched off a recent shopping spree: 1). I was tearing up art/craft magazines to file ideas, and kept stopping to read about supplies; 2). I was visiting The Kid during her spring break from grad school in Chapel Hill, N.C., which is a short ride from Raleigh, home of Jerry's Artarama. I've ordered online from Jerry's, and couldn't resist visiting the mother store.

Here's a bit about each - along with links to the company web sites. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I bought them all. That is, nothing was comped or a company freebie (I only wish).

1. Martha Stewart decoupage medium. I know, you are thinking, Martha? WTW? But I came across this on sale, and decided to give it a try. I'm always looking for the perfect sealer for collages. This is fantastic. Really matte, and does not show brush strokes. Is my new go-to sealer.

2. Read a rave review of Liquitex spray paints in one of the magazines, so thought I'd buy a few cans - which are under lock-and-key at every art store I've been too - to try on backgrounds. The colors match Liquitex's regular acrylics, they are low-odor, and are permanent. Using them with stencils.

3. Transparent watercolors are great for glazing over acrylics. I recently bought more, by Holbein, on the recommendation of my friend, landscape painter Lisa Molyneaux.

4. Ah, PanPastels. I've been lusting for them since attending a Jacqueline Sullivan workshop four years ago. They can be pricey, but I liked using them, and with all the backgrounds I've been making lately, thought it was time to spring for some. Also bought some of the spreading/blending tools (though I think there are less expensive options - foam brushes? - in my future).

5. Huge fan of Faber Castell's Pitt Pens. Use them all the time. One great thing is that they do not bleed through most paper, so I've used them to hand-color greeting cards. They also are waterproof, which is great on collages. Jerry's had an incredible array of colors. Since that trip, I found out that the Plaza Art store near the University of Cincinnati, also has a large selection. I'll be heading there soon.

6. I use Ampersand's cradled Claybord panels for the Out on A Limb series of bird collages. They are sturdy, and easy to glue onto. So, I thought I'd try larger ones, for a new series of collages. These pieces will have thickly layered and glazed backgrounds that need more support than the usual mat board.

7. Some new acrylics. The prices were low, so thought I'd try different brands. I've used Golden for quite some time. Love their fluid acrylics for their color intensity and ease of use.

8. Another too-good-to-resist, impulse purchase. We'll see how these Strathmore "mixed-media" papers hold up.

Feel free to add comments on supplies you like, or on any that I've mentioned.