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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art Supply Stores

We need more art supplies!
If I need to spend some money (I don't, but if I did...), or if I wanted to find an endless and bewildering array of things to spend money on, there's only one place for me to go...  an art supply store.  Here in Eugene, there's only one store that will do, and that's in the basement of the University of Oregon Bookstore.

I love to make things.  I love to paint and draw, write and stitch...  if it's making something and doesn't include power tools, I might be interested (nothing against power tools, although they don't particularly like me).  Descending the stairs at the U of O Bookstore is like entering some sort of artist's Disneyland.  You know it's going to be expensive, you won't get to do everything you want to, and it's going to be a little overwhelming.  You are met by a large display of sale items, none of which really seem to be on sale.  Bypassing that, and quickly acknowledging the sales staff, you find yourself face to face with every manner of art supply...  Paints and pastels, paper of every type, thickness and color, inks in giant, and tiny, bottles...  Walls of oil paints, watercolors and acrylics...  Canvases, crayons, brushes, pencils and, my own particular weakness, pens.  Fountain pens, ink pens, calligraphy pens, plain old ball point pens (in about seventy styles) and markers...  Fat markers, thin markers, permanent markers, water-based markers, alcohol-based markers...  cheap(ish) markers and expensive markers and...  COPIC and PRISMACOLOR MARKERS (yes, I am screaming the names, so much do I love these costly pens).  If you weren't an artist when you entered this realm, you will want to be when you leave.

Copic Markers...  an addiction.  No!  A necessity!

I can't say enough about these markers.  They are nothing like the Crayola felt tips we've all just bought for our children's school backpack.  Hundreds of colors, deeply saturating, blendable!  These markers mean business.  And, at $6.50 each, they should.  I collect them, one at a time, in hopes of having a huge stockpile of them someday.

Prismacolors...  Almost as good as Copics!

Art supply stores seem to spawn creativity for me.  If I don't have any idea what I want to make, or if I am in a rut and need some new inspiration, this is the place to go.  Just now, I am on an illustrating tear.  Not quite cute little pictures for the refrigerator and not quite art for a gallery, I'm having a grand time with my Copics and Prismacolors.  Illustrating a book about the Queen's formative years, making jewelry designs or just making pictures of my house and garden, it's soothing and, to me, genuinely productive work.

So, the next time you need a boost of creativity, head to your local art supply store and be ready to be accosted by fabulously artistic ideas!

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