Chapter 8: Art Supplies
As all artists know, the cost of art supplies can be high and sometimes prohibitive. We may be forced to compromise our vision due to having to use inexpensive alternate media when creating our work. I have been fortunate over the years that I have been able to stay away from the art supply stores for the most part, because I can find wire at hardware stores, order it wholesale online, or used recycled materials.
In my new work, however, I am combining traditional painting media with my wire sculpture. Consequently, I have been venturing into local art supply stores (unfortunately the number is dwindling) and ordering online. While this is fun – like being “the kid in the candy store” – the price tag does add up! I recently visited AOE in Temple Terrace, which unfortunately is closing at the end of this month, but everything is half price. Also, Blick Art Supply on Westshore in Tampa has an online price match system if you sign up for their awards card. And there is always Michael’s.
I feel that artists sometimes choose expensive materials and equipment thinking that this will make them better artists. I don’t agree with that assessment. Creativity for painters is not dictated by top-of-the-line paint, or photographers by the most expensive photography equipment. This reminds me of a story I tell about a roommate I had while in art school. He had no money and would dumpster dive for wood scraps, plywood, etc. He created the most exquisite drawings and paintings on these recycled materials that I had seen. Also, I have read about famous photographers that have used old 35mm cameras to shoot award winning work.
So, I am continuing to shop at hardware stores and pick up “useful” trash whenever I can.