Monday, August 18

Explore Art Supply Stores

In The Studio

Over the weekend I spent some time shopping around for frames for my paintings. Some of my paintings wrap around the edges and don’t require frames, but some do. I try to have some frames on hand for people who want them framed regardless. I try to find frames that are attractive and will not overwhelm the artwork and are also not prohibitively expensive. Anyway, one of the larger arts & crafts stores in our area had a half-price sale on frames that I couldn’t pass up. I picked up some very nice frames at a great price. Email me if you have any framing advice.

I’m looking for my next subject to paint, and think I’ll try something on the small side. Will let you know.

Explore Art Supply Stores

The blog for the last few days has been about 4 Steps to Renew Your Interest in Art. Step 1 is to Make Your Art a Priority, Step 2 is to Invest in a Few Art Supplies; Step3 is to Explore Art, which is taking several blogs to cover. First was Explore Local Art Venues, and the most recent blog was on Exploring Art Galleries and Art Festivals.

Today’s topic (in Step 3-Explore Art) is Explore Art Supply Stores. I’m referring to the brick and mortar kind of art supply store; the place you go to and physically shop for your pencils, pastels, paint, paper, canvases, etc.

Second to exploring art museums, I think exploring art supply stores is the next best thing to being there (in your studio drawing or painting, that is). I don’t know about you, but I think going to the art supply store is fun, educational, and can even be exciting—especially if there’s a big sale like there was on frames that I mentioned above.

When I’m shopping for art supplies I’m like the kid in a candy store. Where else can you roam around at will looking at art supplies? You can shop online, but I don’t think you get the same ‘thrill’ as you do in a real store. You can pick up the brushes, and you can hold the tubes of paint in your hand, see the colors and read the labels and literature. You may hear yourself saying, “wow, I did not know that,” or “so that’s what that means,” and not even know you’re talking out loud. Someone even struck up a conversation in the aisle asking me about acrylic paint.

I suppose it’s seeing all the art supplies lined up on or hanging from shelves just waiting for you to put them in the shopping cart and take them home. It’s the expectation and the potential for what you can do with them—like the thrill of the chase.

To the ‘professional’ artist or to those who have made art a career choice, shopping for art supplies may be a bit passé. But, let me tell you, for the rest of us, it is not passé. It can open new doors.


1 comment:

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you. After visiting some art galleries I was inspired by the frames they were using. Some of their choices were very modern and simple and some were very sophisticated. After realizing how much a frame can change or even help show the greatness in a piece, I realized I need to explore some more. So I visited several galleries and was happily surprised from what I saw. It really opens your eyes to pairing a particular frame with a certain art piece.