Two blogs I read every day both had Art Supplies as their topics. More specifically, the over acquisition of art materials and the proliferation of art supplies most of us won't use, and worse won't throw out. Feathers of Hope, by my friend and cousin "Pica" and her partner, "Numenius" is accessed at www.magpienest.org/feathersofhope/ .The other blog is called Making a Mark, by British artist Katherine Tyrrell, and her extensive blog and website are wonderful reads. http://makingamark.blogspot.com/
Both bloggers mention disastrous economics that are affecting most of us in the US and evidently it has hit the UK as well. In financial bad times we are looking at budgets, spending habits, and trying to determine what we can afford to do without. I know I am doing all that on a daily basis. And the art supplies spending has seriously been curtailed. Pica, in her blog entry today, said that she managed to skip going into an art store during a recent trip to Berkeley. The compulsive trip to the art supply store always leads to at least one compulsive expenditure of something that I can rationalize at the time, and then wonder why I bought it when I discover enough similar items to last me for the rest of my life an hour later when I get home.
I can not offer any concrete suggestions on how to curtail the compulsion to buy art stuff. I do fairly well with the art books these days, but my downfall are brushes and my current obsession with pigments. I do not need any more brushes, but I'll throw in a few, just in case, when I am ordering online, and I can not pass the brush aisle in the stores and I always seem to find something for a great price that I can not live without. I have yet to discover the "perfect brush".
Pigments are fortunately fairly inexpensive and I justify buying them for this reason, and am always shocked when those "inexpensive" pigments I want add up to a hefty sum, minus the shipping. At the present time I have enough pigments on hand to last me for years, as well as brushes, gesso panels, oil paints, canvas, watercolors, more brushes, drawing supplies and papers, and printmaking papers, acrylics, fabric paint, markers, mat boards and frame supplies, and even boxes of colored pencils which I have not used in years. Not to mention the drafting supplies, stretcher strips, rolls of canvas and unprimed linen, bags of rabbit skin glue, jars, plastic containers, props for paintings, fabrics in many colors and textures, and various chairs, drafting tables, and other flotsam that takes up space but is not very practical, like the antique sewing table that belonged to my grandmother, that has drawers with pulls that are missing where I have to wrestle opening the drawers that contain my tubes of oil paint. "Why," I asked myself the other day, "do you have to keep this relic?", but I do. I finally managed to pass along the box of sculpture tools and oil based clay that I had brought with me when I moved to Florida even though I knew I would probably never do sculpture again.
I shudder to think how much all this has cost me over the years!