Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hidden secrets

6" x 8" original drypoint etching

Most artists have a variety of tools that help them ply their trade.  There is always something new to tempt either in the art supply store or online and the temptation shouts loudly, doesn't it?  I'm guilty I know.  I accumulate 'stuff'.  I have paper and paint and more paint and tools that I know I'll rarely or never use.  Now, to defend myself, most of the obscure tools are relics from my distant art past.  (I even have some original tubes of dried out paint from the first set that I ever bought.  I'm a sentimentalist, or so I tell myself, otherwise why would I have carted them across an ocean and kept them for 30+ years when they are no earthly use to anyone?)  

Experimentation in early days of artmaking is common and encouraged until a style emerges and a medium is adopted as a preference.  For me, its water, boats and fish, with oils as the medium of choice.  But when I need a break or the muse takes a vacation, I dabble in other mediums and am glad that I haven't banished them from my studio entirely.

Still inbetween paintings, I'm playing with etchings and decided to invest in some new etching styluses.  Of course I had to add some new inks, papers and acrylic plates to the order - to get the free shipping of course...  I have inks, I have papers.  I am weak where art supplies tempt.

 Etching Supplies

However, the tools do make a difference to the final product.  They don't have to be expensive, branded tools, but they should demand a sufficient enough investment that you know you have quality and that they will do the job you ask of them.  Buying a tool, whether paint, paper, ink or brush because another artist uses it will not magically provide you with the capability of that artist.  You will simply have another tool in your studio that may or may not be useful to you.  

 Dry Pigment

I am clearing the studio and finding things that I am putting to one side.  These are tools that I thought were vital or interesting but now I know they were more likely a random purchase and if they have not been used, they are of little use to me. know how difficult it is to let them go. There is always the 'I might use them to make...." syndrome.

What are your hidden secrets in the studio?  What have you bought but never used?  Maybe we all need a swap meet and simply go home with a new range of tools that we may or may not use.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

i really need to go through all of my supplies to see what i need to use and also for inventory

i would have said oil paints for supplies I have but never use, but sold them the other day at college. I have no idea now what I have and don't use now....

before I moved here, all I had were my pencils and a bit of paper. now i am being over run with stuff :p :/

theartistsday said...

Oh gosh Jeanette, I am guilty of the too much stuff habit. I look at the catalogues, and on line, and then at the art shop and spend a bit here and a bit there, and before you know it you have a stack of paper to last til you're a hundred and as for the different sorts of paints and crayons !
It's also the same with clothes.
My solution is to paint as much as possible and then there's no time to buy stuff.

Jeanette Jobson said...

I think most artists are pack rats Jen. But I think its time for too to go through the things that just sit and take up space and evaluate what to do with them.

Mary, aren't we all? Its irresistable it seems. But I am determined to reduce things that I don't use and won't use to concentrate on my medium of choice, as it becomes less distracting then.

Your solution to paint as much as possible is a good one. :)

Jo Castillo said...

I like this post. I need to clear out "stuff", too. Amazing what I have collected in the 2.5 years since the fire. Yikes!

Good comments, too. Should be painting and not shopping for sure.