So tired and not feeling well. I keep getting excited about starting a new work, and then wave of feeling horrible hits me. I hate being sick.
Anyway, I thought I'd make a bit of a ramble about art here today. This is going to be a fun informative ramble.
Some tips I have learned or figured out:
1) Petroleum jelly
Okay so for a while now I have used petroleum jelly in the studio for three main things. I put some around the inside of the seal on my sealing palettes this makes them more sealed and keeps the paint fresh longer. The manufacturer of the brand I use recommends this, and I find it works really well. The other two things I use it for are sort of the same thing. When I am setting up my palette I put a glob of petroleum jelly down with a painting trowel and I use this for two things,
first - it's to hold the palette cups steady and keep them from sliding around on the waxed palette paper. I smooth it on with the trowel, place the cups (I use a double metal) just behind it and slide it into the goo. this keeps it steady and also makes it so I can close the cover over the palette with the cups inside to keep the mediums usable longer and I don't have to worry about them sliding around when I move the palette. (I have two of these palettes so I can keep two working sets of paint going at once so they get switched around occasionally)
secondly: The rest of the glob of jelly is used to coat the threads of the paint tubes. I spread the rest of the glob in a thin coat, and then when I use a tube of paint and am ready to re-cap it, I place the opening of the tube just in front of the jelly , flat tot he palette and then slide it into the jelly a little, using the threads to "scoop" up some jelly. Then I put the cap back on. This keeps the tube sealed and the threads lubricated so I never lose a tube to the cap drying to the tube. I have a few tubes that are about 15 years old and the paint is still fresh as the day I bought it. I've never had to chuck a tube for any other reason than it being empty, and this includes when I was stuck with my paints in storage for 3 years... those tubes are still as fresh as the day I bought them because I jellied the threads. I highly recommend this as a cost saving technique. Although it is important to remember to only get the jelly on the threads. The jelly itself will not harm the paint, but too much into the paint can dilute the pigment load on the first squeezed out amount. The other cool thing about this is it makes cleaning the neck and thread of the tubes super easy to make sure there's no product build up. Just take a bit of paper towel of lint free shop rag and give the the threads a wipe and the jelly makes it all come right off.
2) Flip it over:
When I can't get my brain out of a painting I find flipping it over works to switch my brain back to "view" mode. When I am painting I get really into it and can only see what I have done, I can't really see what it looks like for a few hours after I've stopped working on it. I find flipping it over and looking at it upside down helps. I will freely admit this may only be a problem for my brain. But if you find yourself similarly stuck in the work, give it a try.
3) Frog Tape:
I had a hard time finding a good economical tape for the edges of paper works, Yellow tack frog tape was suggested to me by someone on one of the art forums I go to , and I have to say they were not wrong the stuff is incredible, and it's like 6$ for a giant roll of the stuff. it seals the edge clean and comes off easy without bring the paper with it. Only draw back, it's only available at Sherwin Williams stores in the yellow tack (the green tack is everywhere but it's too high tack for paper use). I don't have anything against Sherwin Williams at all, it's a fine store, but they are hardly thick on the ground.
4) Save paper Use a computer!
Reference photos and sketches are great to have while you are working, but why would you waste paper and horrifyingly expensive printer ink on printing them out? We all have or know someone who has some old laptops and such, recycle one for your studio! I have an old laptop where the key pad is shot and I have to use a plug in keyboard with it. It lives in my studio, it's networked to the desk top and all it does is play music and display my reference work for me while I am working. It saves me on paper. Ask around to your friends and see if anyone has a computer or old lappy that can display your pics and run a music player and make it a fixture in your studio. It doesn't need to run anything fancy like Photoshop or Roxio, there just needs to be a way to get the media you want on it, on to it, and a way to view and listen to it.
5) Price tags: the great brush cleaning motivator:
If you ever find yourself finishing up a session or a painting and feeling like the last thing you want to do is wash your brushes Then when you buy a brushes to replace the ones you ruin start leaving the price tags on them. When you are painting I know the last thing on your mind is the paltry matter of money. Care not you for money when ART is happening... but the next day when you find your brush is ruined and you just flushed 50 bux down the drain, you'll care. So I leave the price tags on mine, nothing motivates me more than setting the brush down and seeing the cost of replacing the brush should I fail to clean it in a timely fashion. Sometimes I even sharpie the date I bought the brush on it. As a reminder that 10 years ago, the brush was only this much... I shudder to think how much it would be to replace now.
Well I hope this wasn't too rambling and you got some good ideas from it. If I think of any more tips I will add them later. I'm stopping now cause I'm, again, experiencing a wave of not feeling well.