Saturday, November 10, 2007

Artsy, or Craftsy?

Yes, usually I post a photo of my own, but I almost forgot to post today so a Martha Stewart craft image is what you get when you're forgetful, like me! I saw these on her redesigned site (for all I know, it's been redesigned for years, but it's better than last time I saw it) and I thought they would be really pretty to hang in our windows this holiday season. Silver paper? Or white with hole-punch holes? I have to see how difficult they are to make. I don't think very. Anyway, holiday crafts are fun and I haven't done any just for myself or just for our house in AGES. Like seriously, maybe 7, 8, 9, 10 years? That is just ridiculous.

So, paper stars and who knows what else. I might even have to get a Martha magazine or two this season.

Today was a very satisfying day. I went to the art store to get some treats for myself and supplies for gifts. I could have spent hours there, but I limited myself to about one (hour). I seriously looked at the oil paints and I almost bought some. I don't know why I didn't. I guess I wanted to do some more research on what kind, what brand, what colors to start, what's a good beginner how-to, etc. They're kind of expensive so I don't want to buy some and be disappointed. I don't think used oil paints are very returnable. Also I'm feeling frustrated by painting lately so I want to get back into enjoying it before I explore a new medium.

I'm such a dummy. A few years ago I decided that if I was to be a 'real' artist, that meant I had to paint big canvasses. Like, you know, real artists do. So for the past couple of years, I've struggled with sticky acrylics and streaky color and uninspired (for the most part) subjects. I don't know what I was waiting for... some divine inspiration. Mostly, the big canvasses intimidated me. They're just so... big. And I usually work very small. I didn't know how to fill the canvas. What do I do with all that space? I have ideas, but I get frustrated with acrylics -- or at least, acrylics how I've been working with them. Which is why I was considering oils. But the more I looked at the oils, the more I realized that I needed to build my confidence up again before starting something new.

So I got some different acrylic mediums. Some slow-dri stuff. Some blend-ease stuff. And a beginners book... for acrylics. I've been working with them for probably 20 years but I've never had a class, so I thought maybe some brush-up on technique and basic how-to's might help me feel more confident. And I bought some canvasses. Some 4" x 4", and some 6" x 6". Now that is right up my alley. I don't know why I can fill a tiny canvas/card with tons of itty-bitty detail, but the thought of filling a large canvas is so intimidating.

Anyway. Time to play, play, play. I got some new, beautiful colors and I can't wait to start playing with my new materials. Maybe in the spring, I'll get some oils...

After the art store, I went to the pet store. I got a wide assortment of new senior wet foods for the girls to sample. They are all Picky Petunias, so it might take a while before they'll accept something new. Right now it's CHICKEN PRIME FILET all day every day. I'm hoping to find a senior food they like; it would be better for their little elderly systems. I also got them a continuous-running water fountain. It's silent, thank goodness. I hope they like it. Little dickens, all of them.

A few more quick stops and then I was home. Such a cozy, rainy day today. I felt inspired to Clean Stuff Out. First stop: the makeup drawer. I got rid of a lot of dried-up lipsticks and crumbly eyeshadows. And I dumped most of my eyeliners. I get a little pang when I think of them in the garbage bin outside, but I haven't used any of them in years -- I use dark eyeshadow as liner, now. I kept one or two for sentimental reasons.

Then it was on to the Art & Soul room. We still have a few bugs to tinker out before we can get rid of the desktop computer completely, but I got it all squared away so it takes up as little space as possibe. Anyone want a big desktop monitor? I didn't think so. How do you get rid of these things? Craigslist? Anyway. I went through ALL my art supplies, every single pen and pad of paper and fiddly craft item and silver-sparkle hot glue stick and gold stamp-pad. Each item I tested and then kept or tossed. OK, people. I have a lot of art supplies. But I was surprised at the things I still don't have. And then I remembered... I still have a whole bin or two at home at my Dad's house, which has never made it down here. Sometime soon we'll have to drive up so I can fill the car with the last remaining bits of my art-supply collection. In the meantime, I was extremely happy, sitting on the floor surrounded by my old friends, dreaming up projects to do.

I then sat down and finished my holiday crafty-gifty project for this year. So cute! Can't wait to put the little sets together. Maybe tomorrow I will design our holiday card.

I feel a renewed excitement for artsing and craftsing in general. Every time I set the bar too high ("Must be great, perfect artist, or bust!") I get all sad and intimidated. And every time I just start fiddling around and having fun... I have fun. And am happy. Hello??!? I have a very thick skull.

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