Original Things

Original things for original people.


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Cheap Art Supplies – My 2 Cents

Disclaimer:

I do not represent any company that I may mention in this post.  No company has asked or offered me money to give them my opinion.  The only company I do represent is Original Things.  I am doing this post based on my opinion and experiences in hope to help you all.

Now that part is done with.  I noticed that most of the people who are participating in this Cheap Art Supply Challenge had also voiced their opinion on them.  I thought I should do the same.

With cheap art supplies, it is a love/hate relationship for me.  I love the price, but sometimes the quality stinks.  So why do we use it?  Money is one reason.  When I was teaching, I used to show my students options of using less expensive supplies or doing it less expensively.  I would tell them;

We are not cheap.

We’re broke.

Almost everyone of us have bills to pay, rent, food, gas, and etc.  So sometimes, we can’t afford to buy Coptic markers or Prism pencil crayons. 

Second reason is experience.  The best way that I can describe this is by this example.  You had never driven a car in your entire life.  You never taken any lessons or even been behind the wheel.  And no, the video games that have driving are the worst example.  I know a 3 year old who plays those games and she gets a kick everytime when she crashes into the wall or run over someone.

There is no way on this entire planet I am going to hand you keys to Lamborghini or an Aston Martin to learn how to drive.  I will hand over keys to a less expensive car that may be considered a “clunker.”  Because you will hit the curb, you will hit the cement bars in parking lots and etc.  And don’t get me started on parallel parking.  In my parents’ home, there is a dent on the garage door railing from me in my first year of driving.  And our neighbour’s tree still has damage when I ran into it (that one, the brake pedal fell off).

It will be at least a year from the day you get your license before I even consider of handing you over the keys.  And you have to know of how to drive in extreme weather conditions like blizzards and tornados.

So that basically why you would use cheap art supplies, to practise your skill and get the experience.  I have been drawing and painting for over 30 years and I still use cheap art supplies.  Yes, money has been tight.  But I used them for my art journaling, sketching out ideas for cards and such.  Or practising shading and coloring.

However back to the example, some of the “clunkers”cars are actually good cars.  The rich and famous people may see my car is a clunker, and yes it does have a dent when I hit the sign last year.  I should stop talking about my driving.  Anyway, but my car is good, it is great on gas, looks nice (minus the dent), and it gets to me A, B, and C.   Would I love to drive a Lamborghini, heck yes.  But I do not have a couple of million dollars in my bank account.  Nevertheless, I am willingly to bet you driving that car will feel and act the same as my car.  Granted I never driven one, so I am just guessing.

In yarn world, there are good and inexpensive yarn like  Vanna’s Choice, Bernat Supersaver, and Michaels Impeccable yarn.  I have personally used all of those yarns and been very satisfied with them.  There are yarns that are cheaper than the ones that I name, but they are so scratchy, and uncomfortable to knit and crochet with.  In fact, I would love to use a flame torch on them and be rid of them once and for all.

In the art world, we have Artist’s Loft, Recollection, and even Crayola.  Again, I used all of them and I have almost nothing against them.  All good and less expensive brands.

But this is where the hate comes in for me.  As long you follow the care instruction of the yarn, things should be ok.  But with the art supplies, that is a different story.  I cannot speak for Artist’s Loft or Recollections, but I have been told this about Crayola.

Crayola is not light safe. What that means in time, the colors will fade, even under glass.  I am not sure if fixative will work.

So if I was doing a painting for my boyfriend, or for a family member as a gift.  (By the way, that would make one great present)  I would go with the expensive art supplies, the one that I know is light safe.   I want 20 or 30 years down the road, someone points out my painting to someone, they can say, “Your grandma Lesley did when she was your age.”  I want that painting to look the same as the day they received it.

I hope this helps you.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


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Outside the Box

A couple of weeks, I was hanging out with my friend W, where I told him about the “Cheap Art Challenge” and what I was planning.  Even though, he did like the sketch of the horses I showed him, he told me the idea of a challenge  is to think outside of the box.  Which is true, however to me, it means portraits.

Portraits are not outside of the box for me, they are more like I am standing in the middle in the dark, scary forest being chased down by monsters and my flashlight is going out.

Apparently, his words were stuck in my mind because the next day, I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up some more aluminum tape.  They were out, so I ended up picking small magnets for album closures.  While I was walking around, I found this.

20160817_222748[1]8 inch circle canvas.  That is definitely outside of the box because I never used a circle canvas before.  So that with these markers, I also ended up picking up poster board.  I need a cover for an upcoming album.  But that for another post.

Now I am facing the “White Background” syndrome again.  Even though, I am planning to use the markers as sprays, but then what.

The circle reminds me of one of those portholes, (I think that is what you call them).  Anyway, it remind me of either on a ship or in a submarine, where you are peeking out to see life underwater.

Except Vicky Papaioannou from http://www.clips-n-cuts.com/2016/08/art-journal-layout-vitamin-sea/  .  I don’t know of why I can’t insert that link.  She is a very good artist when it comes to art journaling and cards.  She is one of my favourite channels on You Tube.  Anyway, she recently did a journal piece of a the porthole.

You see of where I am getting at.  Even though, they say imitation is the best form of flattery.  But kids also say,

Lesley is a copycat.

Lesley is a copycat.

Good grief.

The other day, while working on my order and feeling like a cooked turkey.  The temperature was 29C and my AC was broken.  I could feel my brain frying.  Which could explain my next idea.  I thought of finger-painting for the canvas.  Then giving melted crayons another chance.  Explain the brain frying.

Finger-paint is out side of the box and free, but again, what do I paint?  I kept thinking pumpkins. Why am I obsessed with them all of the sudden is a good question.  I don’t have the answer to that.  Finger-paint, I can do flowers, but I can’t do small detail work.

I am going to let it sit for now.  I want to work on the horse one for a bit.  And do a couple of tests on the poster board.  Here are some cards that I recently complete for an order that was due today.

 


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A Boring Post

I was hoping when the time comes to blog again, I would have something to tell you.  Some progress on the Cheap Art Supply Challenge, a knitting project, art journal, you know something.

But I got nothing.

This week, my aunt was suppose to visit, but we were waiting for her to call us to let us know of when the plan was suppose to arrived.  We waited, waited, and waited, until we called to see of what was going on.  She totally forgot about it, including buying the plane ticket.  Oh good grief.  So now, she is saying that she is planning to come at the end of this month.  But we will see.

Meanwhile, my dad brought a new couch and you guessed it, he wanted in the room where my mini studio is.  The couch I had was over 40 years old, it was parent’s couch and it is completely worn out to where I had to put a plastic lid underneath the cushions so it wouldn’t sagged and wreck my back.

So with dad, the movers and everyone in between, my little studio got shoved into many places where today, I am still trying to find stuff.  So this week, I have been putting it back together, putting stuff away and believe it or not, throwing stuff out.  Stuff like ATC that I was working on almost a year ago and such.  I realized I am not doing much trading with them so instead of making 10 per series, why not make 2 or 3.  Right now, they are going into my mail art, which I need to get off my butt and get that sent right away.

I am still battling fatigue and now, forgetfulness ( I am hoping it is not going to become a family’s trait), because it took me all day to find my reading glasses and I have 3 pairs.  I ended up using the ones that I use for this computer.  And just a hour ago or so, before I had my shower, I found my regular reading glasses.

I found out the hard way that the government does not issue notification that your driver’s license is going to expired.  And what I mean the hard way as in I got pulled over by the cops last week.  And now I have a $300 ticket.  Terrific.  Plus $85 for license renew fee.  Mom offered to helped me with out the ticket which I can pay her back in installments.  Still, I don’t like asking for help since both my parents are on pension and they are also helping out my brother.

So am I a bit stressed out.  Considering at my visit with my therapist, which was also this week, I had a little meltdown in therapy.  Not crying, throwing a temper tautum or furniture, I just made a statement using my outdoor voice.  Which is why I got my dosage changed.  I am hoping it get rid of the fatigue.

Tomorrow, I have to make more cards for my hair dresser so I am hoping that I have a space to work at.  Better yet, some ideas of what to make.

So in reality, I did have something to say.

 


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5 Minutes to Make a Mess

And 5 hours to clean it up.  That is how the saying goes right?  I assumed that there is a saying for this.

And I just received another reason to clean.  My aunt is coming over for a visit.  Nothing like having company coming to get this place clean.

I had 3 goals in mind, the other day.

#3  Work on the Cheap Art Supply Challenge

#2  Get the cards for my hairdresser done for next week.

But first and foremost:

#1 Clean up

Right now, my place looks like a tornado just landed.  And I knew the clean up would be simple.  Obviously I was wrong.

One of the signs of depression is exhaustion.  And boy, do I have it.  And it was during the day where I get up, have breakfast, sit on the couch to get my stuff together.  And before I know it, I opened my eyes and it was dinner time.  Crap.  After dinner, back on the couch and the next thing I know, it is 10 o’clock at night.  Double crap.

And even though, I don’t sleep at night, I still feel worn out.  If I didn’t have this heaviness, I would beable to clean up.  I don’t need natural light for that.  And figure out about the links in this blog.

I visit my doctor where he changed my doses so now it is the game of wait and seeing.  Another theme song.

So tomorrow, I have to get this place in ship for my aunt, but I  also have to pick up some more supplies.

I also got another idea for a journal which I am really hoping it will work.  Fingers crossed.


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Blank Canvas VS Drawn Canvas

I had to take a break from the Cheap Art Challenge because I had an order for Koda’s Kountry.  This was probably the hardest order to fill.  Not hard as in to fill, hard as to staying awake.  I found myself falling asleep on the couch a couple of times during the day.  So the good news, my insomnia may be over, the bad news is it is during the day where I need natural light to work with.  So my internal clock is screwed.  Oh goody.

I didn’t have time to take many photos, but here of what is going to Koda’s Kountry.

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Would someone please remind me to see if they have a blog or a website so I can link this blog to.

Back to the challenge. Some artists have difficulties or even fears of “The Blank Canvas”.  When I was in art college, we had a visiting artist who would splash some color on the canvas even before her classes began in order to get rid of her fear.

You are right when I first started this challenge, I had that fear.  I did not know of what to draw.  When I finally picked out my subject and sketch it out.  Which by the way, I did this at night and without wearing my glasses or contacts.  I am nearsighted.

In case, you are wondering, I used this pencil and eraser.

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The eraser was a prize from a cereal box, many years ago.  And the pencil was just lying around the house.  I still have all of my pencils from collage and highschool.  I might be a hoarder when it comes to that.  Either way, they were free.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIa-qYrAHT3/?taken-by=originalthings152&hl=en

#cheapartsupplychallenge begins. And ironically, I drew this without wearing my glasses last night.

A photo posted by Original Things (@originalthings152) on

I am hoping that this link work.  Somehow this photo is not in my phone.

I now face a new challenge, how to color it.  Obviously melted crayons will not work.

So I could go with acrylic paint from the Dollar Tree.  But I do not have much of a selection.

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Or the watercolor pencils.  Or I can use both.  Watercolor pencils for the background while the acrylic paint for the horses or reverse.  This is suppose to be fun, not causing stress.

Speaking of fun, I took 2 sheets from the art sketch pad.  Remember where the computer paper was better than that paper?  One sheet, I coated it with white paint while the second one, I didn’t nothing.  Actually I forgot.  I brought some rubbing alcohol spray at the Dollar Tree, and added a few drops of the paint.  I sprayed the paper, and sprayed it in several layers.  The green had the white paint undercoat.

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I am quite please with the result.  The green reminds me of the Northern lights.  But if you are asking of what I am going to do.  Simple, I haven’t got the foggiest idea.

 


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Cheap Art Challenge – Take 3

It was a good thing that I did some testing last night before going directly to the project.

I tried the melted wax crayons techniques on an old used canvas.  I tried the Sharpie marker with rubbing alcohol which didn’t go well as planned.  Maybe I used the canvas that was already gesso?  I don’t know.  So I tried it with crayons.  The black plastic knife was from one of the take out containers so that I was free.  The ruler, I brought from the Dollar Tree for this project.  I wasn’t going to ruin one of my good rulers.  The irony of that is that this ruler is starting to be one of my best rulers.

I had to use the heat gun for this project since I did not own a hair dryer.  Talk about irony.  A girl who does not own a hair dryer. 

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TIP: Freeze your crayons before you use them because the labels will come off easier.  I also ended up storing them in the fridge because of this hot weather.

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The color does blend better as if I was color directly on the canvas with the heating gun blowing.  Instead of holding it with the plastic knife and have the heating knife create a puddle.  I also learned that it is best to wear old clothes because wax drips on clothes, DOES NOT wash off.

I scrapped half of the canvas with the ruler like squeegee.  It did a give a smooth surface.  Once it was cool, I painted a white strip across and let it dry.

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I wanted to see of how it react to the wax, which was ok.  Then I thought that this would be a great background for a mixed media project that I have been planning to do.  But that is when the trouble begins.

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The yellow and red colors are from the watercolor pencils.  The yellow, I drew directly on the canvas and as you can see, it scrapped away the paint.  The red, I used a wet paintbrush and rubbed it against the pencil before painting on the canvas.  The blue is acrylic with I dipped my brush in the lid and painted on canvas.  I decided to try out modge podge with tissue and a piece of a cardstock.  The one on the left, I used white glue directly on it.  And this morning, everything peel off.

So the wax crayons are out for the challenge.  And yes, I know that I will be using cardstock as my base, not canvas so I may have different results.  So either I used all watercolor, all acrylic, or watercolor with acrylic.

I was leaning toward pumpkins, but last night while watching a video for research on another project, I was doodling and I ended up doodling a couple of horses.  And if you do not mind tooting my own horn, they turned out really good.

I then decided to do two pieces for the challenges.  I brought a storybook at the Dollar Tree and have been using it as an art journal.  Actually it is my Art Journal Prompt, so whenever I find a prompt, I used that journal.  So I prepped a page with white paint instead of gesso and now I am going to try something.  I am leaning towards horses except guess of what the first page of my journal is.  Yup, horses.  But since it is only an 8X8 size, I can do the pumpkins.  Do the horses on the bigger sheet where I can use the stencil.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

 


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Cheap Art Supply – Take 2

Once the pages were dried for the notebook, I still wasn’t happy with it.  And that journal page was basically turning into a blue page.  So basically crap.

Two days ago, I had to pick up some eyedrops and ended up going to Michaels where they were have “Dollar Deals”.  Which meant great sales.  I picked up two 12×12 white cardstock.  One of them I already used for cards while the second one, I already put a coat of white paint from Dollar Tree.  I wanted the paper to be more sturdy, even though, I have no idea of what I am going to be doing.  Normally I would be using gesso, but that is against the rules.

They also had craftsmart paint for two for $1.50 so I brought a couple of colors. Crayola was having a sale of buy one, get the second one 50% which I picked up crayons and watercolor pencils.  And of course, I ended up walking by a display of scrapbook supplies where they have everything 70% off.  Yeah, I was in trouble, besides buying some stuff for my cards, I found a Dyllusion stencil for $4.  Sweet Georgia Brown, what a deal.

Except when I tried the stencil out on the notebook and journal page, using a make up sponge (which I had those for years) and spray.  It did improved the book, but it was still not good enough.  As to the art journal page, it was worst where I just ended up painting white paint over it.  I’ll use the page for something else.

However an idea, actually 4 ideas finally came of what to paint or draw for this challenge.

  1. Pumpkins
  2. Underwater with killer whales and fish
  3. Dragons
  4. Gargoyles

I still have small canvases from the Dollar Tree.  I actually I have one canvas that I royalty screw up on so I am going to be using it as a test for the melted crayons.  However I know with wax, water repels from it so I can’t use my watercolor pencils.  I have no idea of how it will react with acrylic.

As to the 12×12 sheet, I am leaning toward the watercolor pencils and do a pumpkin scene.  I think the wax crayons might be a little too heavy.  And granted I can cut out the pumpkins from cardstock and modge podge them, but won’t that be consider cheating.

Or maybe make paint sprays like I have done with the old markers and spray the background.  Then draw the dragon or gargoyle, using a ballpoint pen?

Three days ago, I had no idea.  Today, I have too many.