Lots of artists search for the perfect equipment that will make their paintings better, maybe they are a bit like golfers that way but I have no doubt that my true artistic genius will be finally unveiled once I get my hands on the ultimate oojamaflip. I seem to have accumulated a fair bit of stuff but not all of it is fancy or expensive and some of it isnt even made for the purpose. Here are some of my current solutions for transport, storage and convenience.
First are my little baby paint savers. I think they are actually for dry pigments but I have used these little aluminium pots both for transporting premixed paint in a painting box to life sessions and for saving leftovers - time and money saving. They have clear lids and come in the bigger box, I often store the leftovers in the freezer if I am not going to be painting again for a while but even without they last pretty well. I have two sets, one for water mixable oils and one for my premium oil paints.
Now these little beauties are my homemade pride and joy wet panel carriers. The manufactured versions are so expensive to buy even if you can find them in the UK and I wanted a range of sizes so thought I would have a go at making something. I used a large leftover corporate plastic display board, the type you see at trade fairs and exhibitions. I cut it into a box shaped template in the required dimensions using a stanley knife but not cutting the whole way through so it would bend but was still in one piece. Then I bought some plastic window tracking from the local DIY store which cost just a few pounds, cut it to size, glued it in then duck taped it all together. I put some ribbon on some sticky velco for the opening and then Ta Da! Really light weight multi size wet panel carriers for next to no money.
This is my homemade version of a French Mistress studio palette. Its a glass kitchen worktop saver which I painted a neutral grey on the back. It has nice finished edges and little non slip rubber feet on the bottom and it lives in a stationery paper storage box which helps keep the paint fresh for a bit longer as well as keeping dust and little fingers or paws out. I have two, one in A4 and one A3 and they are excellent.
I've never done the full paint mixing charts a la Richard Schmid but I did make charts with tints and shades to document each and every one of my paints. The middle is the original out of the tubepaint and the two above are mixed with increments of white and the two below with black. I painted them on drafting film over a black felt pen squared template I drew out to keep it neat. Each brand and colour is noted above and if nothing else it should stop my buying any new colours for a while - I seem to have accumulated quite a lot of paint, there are about 15 sheets. Although I know most of my paints pretty well I have found it really handy to see the tints at a glance. I rarely use tubed black and the shades have proved to be interesting and quite suprising in some cases.
This darling little display easel is perfect for propping up my iPad or for painting small pieces. The green glow you can just see peeking from behind is cheapo hair gel which I use for my natural hair brushes after cleaning to keep them in shape. The dinky bottle is Clove Oil which I bought from a health food shop as I have read it helps keep the paint fresh on the palette for longer. You dont mix it with the paint, just put a few drops nearby but I havent actually tried it yet so dont know about its effectiveness. Its day job is a toothache remedy.
This is my paper storage drawer unit from Ikea, it fits up to A2 and is pretty sturdy. I could do with another one for A1 but they dont make it that size and I dont have the space anyway.
Its great for storing artwork and my drawing and pastel pads.
This is a cookery book holder...
...and it holds my very biggest art books no problem.
Really handy for studies and just generally having open at favourite pages for inspiration.
So those are a few of my bits and bobs, I love the stuff that comes with this obsession called art and looking after it all is the only sort of cleaning or housework I like doing. I might tidy my pencils tomorrow.