Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art supply fetish

Hello my name is Friday and I'm addicted to art supplies.

I was originally going to admit to just having a brush fetish (more on that later) but I think the larger issue is art supplies in general (not to mention in private).

It's all Crayola's fault. If their crayons aren't a gateway drug to art supply addiction, I don't know what is. Remember the 64 pack with the sharpener? (insert Homer Simpson-esque donut drooling here) or was it 128? I don't remember, I just know that graduating from the standard 8 pack to the bigger carton was heaven. I loved all the colors but especially the metallics and the sharpener. Then came the year of grating up crayon stubs and melting them into blocks in the sun. Wax art has never been the same since (and neither was the picnic table out back).

And then there were the containers and containers of cheap oval pan watercolors. and the crappy brushes that went with them. Maybe it was Grandma's nightly reading of The Color Kittens ( during the summer that did me in. Woof, there's a memory. I can even smell the book.

My brush fetish started in college. Working in the scene shop of the theatre I used big huge 4" and 6" brushes to laydown background colors and then worked in 1" and 2" increments for finer detail. I loved working big and I still would if I had the mechanical paint frame that the theatre at my junior college has (someday when I can design my own studio...) In grad school the acrylic painting bug hit and I smashed colors using 1/2", 3/4", and 1" flats into the canvas panels. Next to pell work, that's an awfully good workout. Not so good for the carpet, but that's what dropclothes are for.

In the late 90s of my calligraphy and illumination revolution, watercolor brushes for goauche work were rounds in the 2, 1, 0, 00, and 000 range. I bought my first Winsor-Newton Series 7 in 2002. That was completely decadent.

Nowadays, my bead and ceramic work in underglazes, glazes, and maiolica have me working small. The 20/0 brushes I bought last month aren't fine enough. The cats have been acting nervous as I eyeball their whiskers looking for finer and finer brushes. The Dick Blick catalog came the other day so they are saved by new lines of Kolinsky sable to droooool over.

What really fuels the addiction to art supplies, especially brushes, is being sold on the idea that *each craft must have its own set of brushes*. So around the house there are: watercolor brushes, brushes for gouache/scribal work, brushes for laying down gold & gold sizing, acrylic brushes, underglaze brushes, glaze brushes, maiolica brushes, latex brushes for house paint, brushes for pebeo/glass painting, and brushes to clean other brushes.

oh, and let's not forget hairbrushes, toothbrushes, bathtub brushes, the clay-out-from-under-the- fingernails brushes, lint brushes, and cat brushes.

Next time: the storage box addiction.


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