Friday, May 25, 2007

Art supplies

Today I treated myself to a little online shopping spree for some art supplies in the USA.

Its a little frustrating that I cannot access the supplies that I want locally, or often even within Canada, making me spend extra dollars to mail order things to this remote little rock in the Atlantic. I had a few unexpected dollars land in my lap, so I had to ensure they went to a good cause - art creation.

I browsed Dick Blick - an American chain of art supply stores that I wish I had been able to access when I was in California in February. Stores were in Los Angeles or San Diego, both of which were within striking distance of me, but I was rather in the middle and trying to find my way on my own to either store was challenging to say the least knowing my navigational skills. So I settle for mail order, which is very acceptable, except for exchange rates and potential duty payments. So much for free trade between Canada and the USA. However the exchange rate is quite good now, closer to 90 cents to the US dollar than the miserable 60-odd cents it was a year or two ago.

A post in Katherine Tyrrell's blog made me wish for more Derwent Drawing pencils in the full range of colours. Nowhere in Canada sold them. I could get the earth colours, which I already have, but not the extended range. So a full set of 24 was my first choice.

My second choice was a full sampler pack of Colourfix paper. This is a rough textured surface used predominantly for pastels, but works well with colored pencil as well, provided you don't mind it eating up a good deal of pencil in the process it seems. I did find Colourfix when I was in the US but not the smaller sheets of 9 x 12 which I wanted. I could only find the large 22 x 30 sheets and with travelling it would not have been worth my while to either have them cut or to roll them and hope they wouldn't get squashed in the travels.

I have found some Sabretooth paper here in Canada, by La Papeterie Saint Armand that creates lovely handmade paper in Montreal. Its not easy to find a supplier in my region for it and its fairly expensive at around $8 or $9 a sheet depending on where you buy it. I have a few sheets that I ordered awhile back still sitting waiting for my inspiration to hit.

So now I will have to wait impatiently for the post to arrive so another pile of 'loot' can be added to my growing stash of materials, part of which is shown above.


Katherine said...

........and, of course, the next thing you need is the ever expanding art supplies cupboard to cope with the stores! (I'm not joking - I'm after a second-hand plan chest!)

David Wozney said...

Re: “However the exchange rate is quite good now, closer to 90 cents to the US dollar than the miserable 60-odd cents it was a year or two ago.

A “Federal Reserve Note” is not a U.S.A. dollar. In 1973, Public Law 93-110 defined the U.S.A. dollar as consisting of 1/42.2222 fine troy ounces of gold.

Jeanette said...

Oh tell me about it Katherine. I want my own studio building, separate from the house entirely! I'm working on that. Keep searching the secondhand stores and you'll find your chest eventually. Used office equipment stores sometimes have good little finds too.

Well David, thanks for the interesting bit of information. Just as well I don't have to trade in gold to get my art supplies or they'd be in short supply.

Anonymous said...

LOL Jeanette, art supplies are such an addiction. That rush as you enter the store, the delight as you discover just what you've been looking for....the groan from the husband when he see's what you spent on it hehe :D All worth it though!

Anonymous said...

Had we had more time Jeanette, I would gladly have brought you to the Blick store in my town. I don't shop there much as I have another favorite. I can not wrap my brain around not being able to jump in the car to go pick up a tube of paint if necessary. I am so excited to hear that you have plans for all of these supplies. Loving all of your explorations lately. Watching a lot even if I don't comment.

Jeanette said...

Wendy, I just say its all completely necessary, as if I'm not happy, no one is happy. :)

Robin, you were a dear to tote me around as you did when I was there. You've a heart of gold. I can get the basic art supplies here most of the time, but if I want better quality items or something newer I have to mail order it into the province. Yes, its frustrating - and more expensive too.

Sara said...

Just a quick note:

The next time you need mail-order supplies, give a try. They usually have the best prices, but depending on international shipping rates, that may negate any savings. Just wanted to pass that on.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sara, I'll check it out.