Still squidding

Paint Party Friday

It has been a bizarre week. It started with Sunday and me painting for a good chunk of the day. It was wonderful. I churned through most of the squid’s tentacles, first layer of paint, and was raring to get started on the eye that night.

It didn’t happen that night, or the night after that, or any of the nights since. Hubby went down with the flu, Kindy required baking, and I mishandled my time a little bit. So no eye yet.

Giant Squid wip5

And obviously, I have to stop trying to photograph in my studio late at night. The lighting sucks.

So I’m still squidding with quite a bit to go, but I have hopes once Hubby is better.

Other arty stuff did happen during the week though. I’ve just started the research to buy myself my first floor-standing easel. I’m going to need one if I want to do some large size paintings. So this requires me to wander through various online art stores ::insert evil cackle here::

I was waltzing through Eckersleys and found a clearance page ::more maniacal laughter::

Several years ago I bought myself my first artist’s watercolour paint pans set for about $60. Sixteen colours, two tubes, palette and brush. This is what I’ve been using for the watercolour experiments I’ve been playing around with. I have, for sometime, wanted to expand that set, mainly because I like to have lots of colours and I’m addicted to buying art materials, but yeah, I needed to πŸ˜€ But every time I went to an art store with this in mind, my will crumpled under the horrific prices attached to watercolours. I did buy a couple of bits and pieces here and there, but my set remained to be fleshed out more.

Eckersleys had my half pans out for $1.95 ea. And I bought all the colours πŸ˜€ (couldn’t help myself). Now this required a bit of research because I was immediately suspicious as to why they were so cheap. Apparently they are normally around $6 ea which is still rather cheap when compared to the expected $10 – $15 price tag I had come across elsewhere. It turns out that my Windsor & Newton Cotman Colours are not top of the range. Apparently it is a range of colours designed to be more affordable, not student level, but not quite fine artist level. When I hunted down the artist professional range, yes, the price was doubled and bouncing around in the expected range. But I can’t afford them. I double-checked the lightfastness and permanence of Cotman colours and although they haven’t tested some of the pigments for lightfastness, all of them have excellent permance ratings. Further investigation led to realising that some of the colours use mixes of pigments rather than the pure pigments usually used for particular colours (can you tell I’ve been reading that Colour book from my last post? :D). I think they will stand up to what I need them for.

So now I have a 40+ range of watercolours πŸ˜€ …and no box to put them in…hmmm

Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour set

Oh, and I bought my first sable brushes. Three of the smallest I could get – 00, 0 and 1. So all these goodies arrived in a little box today. Above on the right is the set I’ve had for several years, and on the left is my haul today ::evil grin:: I figure that from here, I can expand into the more expensive watercolours since I’ll only need to replace one or two colours at a time.

And the other arty thing that happened this week was me being suddenly struck by an undefined inspiration that ended up with my youngest daughter falling off the couch.

Littlest one had fallen asleep on the couch. She’s had the plague that Hubby is currently battling and was crashing early. Unfortunately she had fallen asleep in her clothes, so I was attempting to change her into her pyjamas while she was asleep.

At some point I was distracted by the TV which was on SBS (multicultural television channel) showing a UK documentary call ‘Coast’. There was a story about abalone off Brittany. The reporter was diving in the water to observe some living abalone and at one point they picked up a living abalone and it crawled across their hands.

I was transfixed. I know about abalone shells. They live off the coast here and their shells were prized discoveries for a child like me about twenty odd years ago, but I had never seen one crawling around and I was struck by its unobvious beauty. You have to look closely to see the colour, to see the pattern, to see the animal that peeks out from under that shell. I don’t really know what it was, but suddenly I wanted to create a piece of artwork devoted to that abalone.

And my daughter rolled over…unfortunately the couch wasn’t that wide…and she fell off onto the floor. Fortunately our couch is low to the ground and on carpet, but unpleasant for her in any case.

I spent quite some time researching abalone from that point onwards, totally nuts about this ‘hidden creature’. And now I know a lot about abalone. I even dug up some shells out of my ancient shell collection (from my childhood, I kept it, what can I say, I’m a hoarder).

Abalone Shells

The craziness has waned a little, but it has revealed a want to paint underwater creatures, so you may see an abalone crawling through a painting of mine yet.

I do pick the strangest subjects πŸ˜€

In any case, this rambling mess is my submission to Paint Party Friday this week, so don’t forget to drop by and visit all those wonderful artists and their work.

Best wishes,
(who is hoping like crazy that I don’t get the flu that has so far managed to torture four members of my family already…I don’t have time to get sick!)