Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things you put other things in

So, I have this dream purse. It holds everything I need to take with me, it has an adjustable strap, enough padding to protect pencils and small electronics, and it's black to go with everything, and sturdy, It also has only zippers, no velcro and none of those useless magnetic snaps. Some day, I will find this purse. I will buy it. I will buy two, a spare just in case. And when the first one dies, I will painstakingly take it apart, and turn it into a pattern so I can make them myself.
And I will NEVER buy another purse.
I am explaining that to you as a preface to warn you that I may have some sort of problem. Because what this is really about is Art supply caddies.

I have these pencil boxes They are these
I have two of them One I use with the dividers to hold pencils in one section, a selection of pitt pens in the middles section and a sandpaper block, drafting compass, 6" ruler, a vinyl eraser and metal sharpener. The two bands on the  lid I use to hold two small white envelopes One full of Vellum bristol ACEO stock, and the other to hold textured drawing ACEO stock.

The other one holds watercolor pencils, a 12 color cotman half pan set, a few brushes, a metal sharpener, an envelope full of watercolor ACEO stock and smallish roll of artists' tape.

Theory being, I can just grab one and I have everything I need for a day out of art.

Oh except, I also need to bring the 6" x 6" masonite panel I use to tape down ACEO's and that doesn't fit in there. And also I need to bring water/something to hold water. Oh and in addition I don't always know which one I will want when I get where I am going so I need to bring both with me. And they are heavy, they don't have handles or straps... so I need to bring a bag to carry them. and as long as I am bringing a bag I might as well throw in a watercolor block and a pad of drawing paper. And my big watercolor set. and a few more brushes.

Now the simple act of grabbing a kit that is self contained and easy to carry has turned into a giant heavy bag of stuff.

I had this Idea of making a cloth cover for a moleskine that had a pencil and pen loop on the spine and a pocket in front for an eraser and sharpener. And I still might make that, but honestly as I was designing the pattern I kept thinking of OTHER STUFF I should include a space for on it..

The company that makes these pencil boxes also makes a clipboard size and style box with a strap, and that would pretty much take care of the whole sheebang, but I can't imagine how annoying and heavy and weirdly shaped that would be to carry around...

Now a collapsible cup, a piece of unfinished masonite that was about 4 "x 6" and a set of cotman brushes with the short handles, are things that would probably help. as well as taking the pencils out of the watercolor box except for a few sketching greys, and then adding in a graphite pencil, eraser, and one of the superfine black pitt pens. would make a better "I don't know what I'll want " kit.
But I know I will desperately wish for something I left behind.

Also the french easel? WEIGHS A MFT (see below).  I have a strap pack for it, which is very nice, but I am short in the torso, so with it strapped to my back it goes from the top of my leg (otherwise known as the bottom of my ass) to my head, meaning when carting it anywhere if I sit down, I have to take it off, or get punched in the head with the mast of the easel. And can they make a french easel that isn't so fussy to set up? 

And seriously, their rich, long history of making them aside, when you are working with a julian out doors don't you always worry that the relatively spindly legs are gonna give out on rough terrain?

Basically a day out with the french easel means a week of shoulder pain, a possible concussion and a stressful session of work being vaguely worried that any second the whole thing is going to keel over.

And lest you think this problem of storage is only for leaving the house...

I am out of space for finished canvases. I need at least 20 more drawers in the studio for stuff. and a way to clear up about 5 more feet of floor space so I can set up the second easel in the studio. Also I can't find my 72 color tin of derwents'.

MFT=metric fuck-ton

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