Part of the joy and difficulty of having a new work space is finding a place for everything and putting everything in it’s place. I definitely have a problem doing this, and even after everything has been placed, I have trouble forcing myself to replace everything once I’m done using it. I guess my subconscious likes having everything out where I can see it, but obviously it doesn’t take long before I have everything out of the drawers and can therefore find nothing. So I have been actively forcing myself to mentally catalog my supplies as I stow them, so I can try to remember what I have, and where. In doing so, I have come to appreciate just how many different specialized tools I have. For example, I have quite an array of cutting utensils.

Nothing very fancy, but interesting, nonetheless, when they are all laid out together.

Of course, some are showing some rust damage because of the high level of humidity and the salty sea air, but they all still work pretty well.

Here’s the breakdown, in case you’re interested.

Do you have any special cutting devices? A favorite pair of scissors? Anything that I don’t have that I will instantly realize I can’t live without? Feel free to share.

New art supplies

There is something about getting new art supplies that makes me happy. I love the feeling of potential that it all has. However, it’s also a bit intimidating to open new, expensive materials and start using them. I guess it is the proverbial “fear of a blank canvas” that I’ve often heard about as an artist.

I think Faber Castell (no affiliation with this blog, I just love their stuff) has to be my all-time favorite drawing supplies manufacturer. I have found that their materials have consistently superb quality. You might think a pencil is pencil, but I can (almost) guarantee you’ll notice a difference with  these things. They cost more, but they are oh, so so worth it. This delicious little treasure trove of supplies sat in a box for about a week before I finally whipped them out, sharpened the pencils, and tried them out.

I’ve used their graphite pencils for several years, but this was my first experience with their charcoal products. Well, with a few small marks and my chamois cloth, I think I found a new love for charcoal. (Granted, I am certainly not a huge fan of the mess and the way they make my hands feel—I’ll admit, I had to wear gloves for this.)

Mmm, there is just something about those lines and smudgy marks that really resonates with me. Anyone else feel it? Unfortunately, this is as far as I got before my little girl woke up (transitioning to one nap a day has been hard!), and I haven’t gotten back to them yet (again, the mess is a factor here). But when I get a chance, I’ve got an interesting gourd I want to do some studies of. Any other suggestions for good subjects to render in charcoal? I’ll have to keep my eyes open…