This kidney stone/kidney infection has kicked my butt! I have been completely exhausted and am not bouncing back as I normally do. There is very little that keeps me down, but this stuff has knocked the stuffin’ out of me.
Although I feel lousy, I have continued to pick away at organizing my work space. Today’s project is from Lindsay, the Frugal Crafter. I have created a couple of these very easy, little journals to keep track of my art supplies.
The first journal I made contains my list of mediums, separated by manufacturer. Another will hold my watercolor brands, papers and sizes, brushes and additives. Another will hold a list of all my pencils, markers and other water soluble media. One could hold all my acrylic paint brands and colors, brushes, canvases and their sizes. One could hold all my glues and adhesives and what they are best used for.
Since you use 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper, cut in half, these little books are fairly small-4 1/4 by 5 1/2″. I did not make mine nearly as thick as Lindsay made hers, because I want them to slip easily into my purse side pocket. I used 12 pages per book, so that’s six half sheets of card stock. If you wanted thinner booklets, use computer paper. I made mine from plain white card stock without the cardboard covers.
These small journals could also be used for your own personal paint mixing recipes. I am creating several large books with my paint mixes. They are great for the workroom but won’t work for Plein Air painting. If I want my chromatic blacks, for example, I could make a booklet filled with my favorites and carry it in my Plein Air porchade box. Easy to make, easy to transport.
Create these little booklets for a quick and easy reference library of your supplies. It helps save money when we know exactly what we have and exactly what we need.
Speaking of that, I ordered some things from both Dick Blick and Jerry’s Artarama. I will be sharing my haul with you when it arrives. I expect the Dick Blick order to arrive tomorrow-they are crazy fast! I expect the order from Jerry’s to arrive sometime late next month…They are not the speediest of shippers, but their prices are pretty good. You can always search RetailMeNot for additional coupon codes to help save some money.
My on line art courses have taken a turn. They are increasingly technique based, and I have found some colors in my student grade paints cannot accomplish the assignments. I purchased hues first, as paint labeled hue is non-toxic. The hues are also much cheaper and often work well. (There was one brand of student grade paint which was absolutely abysmal…A frustration from start to finish.) It was a huge decision for me to go from student grade paints to professional, artist quality paints. The cost is astronomical for Cadmium paints when you have to pinch each and every penny, but the beauty of true Cad Reds, Yellows and Oranges cannot be overstated. So I purchased the 6 basic colors, a warm and cool of yellow, blue and red, in both medium and light. Then I added yellow ochre, burnt umber, burnt sienna, raw umber, titanium white, dioxazine purple, Quinacrodone Magenta. Phthaylo Blue, Austrialian Sienna, and Southern Ocean Blue. The last two come highly recommended by Cinnamon Cooney, the Art Sherpa.
Ultramarine is a color I rarely use. I do have some, which will work just fine when I actually need it. I prefer not to use black in my paintings. I create my own chromatic blacks by mixing colors together. This link will give you a few simple recipes for chromatic blacks, and I encourage you to give them a try. It really does make a huge difference, in my opinion, to the vibrancy of your paintings. I think black deadens a painting. Even in my set work, I prefer not to use black. I’d much rather whip up a “black” with a blue and red, or a purple and green…
Maybe I should include a review of the acrylic paints I have and use. There are some brands I do not recommend at all, and if that would help you in your art journey I’m happy to do it. Honestly, I have kept the paints to use to tint my white gesso. Since I cannot throw things out without trying to come up with some use for it, this is my solution at the moment. Another option for using unfortunate paints is in your art journals. These types of paints are great for multi-media journal work.
Another couple options for thin, translucent student-grade paints is gelly printing and acrylic skins. Add a gloss medium to the paint and create really cool marbled skins. I have a project I began yesterday which will use several colors of acrylic skins. You can make jewelry with the skins too. The gelly printing is both fun and simple. The papers created with gelly printing is usable in your art journals, on multi-media art pieces, for tags and pockets, paper beads and jewelry, really the options endless.
Creativity does not depend upon money. I would much rather be a creative person without funds than a wealthy person without creativity. Some of my best ideas came from “this is what I want, how can I accomplish it on my budget?” And the value of being able to use what you have in a unique way that works for you is absolutely without measure. I have made some stunning things from trash and recycling.
Which gives you a certain freedom. When you know you can create Christmas from nothing, you can repair things around your home or you can fix your own car, you give yourself some financial wiggle room. You have a bit of space to breathe. There is a huge payoff with sweat-equity.