Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tools of the Trade

This blog topic is courtesy of Cooper, age 3, who was snooping, uh, visiting my studio. Anytime you have visual art materials it is a magnet for young children and old men (well, that's another story)!
Coop is at the age of asking questions. "Why?" "What is it?" "What do you do with it?" His curiosity about my supplies made me wonder if others would like to know some of the tools of my trade that you might not expect.
Sure there is the usual stock of paint tubes, brushes, and canvas or paper. But a good many of my tools come from the hardware and grocery store too.

Starting with my oil stash: a bungee cord. Pictured here as I use it in the studio on my easel. Also have one that travels with me to hold towels.
My studio palette is a sheet of glass from the hardware store. To clean it I use a paint scrapper. Then there's the level. It helps with checking the level of the easel while painting and also on the camera when shooting my paintings. Hand wipes or baby wipes are a must. Of course there's pliers to open stubborn tubes. Hey, who isn't cleaning off the tube tops?? Oh yeah, that would be me.

Watercolors have a few necessities. I carry a compass and a ruler. Then for BIG mistakes I have Magic Eraser. A small spray bottle comes in handy. A bottle of alcohol (rubbing kind that is) and droppers. I won't go into what all that is for! You need to take one of my watercolor classes for that! Then there's the paint blotter made from a handywipe and towels. Looks weird, but works!

And last but not least, a mirror. My studio has windows on 3 sides and faces north, yeah, I know, lucky me! But that doesn't leave me a wall for hanging a mirror so I use a handheld one. OK, give up? It's for checking my paintings as I work, silly! You can stand back and look but seeing them in reverse will REALLY show up any boo-boos like crooked lines or wrong values. And believe me, I put it to good use!

Another post will have to be about the strange stuff I carry with me when I paint outdoors, yes, there is more!

And here's the Coopster racing by on his hot wheels.  You know his visit was short in the studio because it was time to play outside! 
Now go play!


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Also, just posted about the 2013 workshop to Venice!!