Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To be or not to be frugal

When I decided to try oil painting, I made a conscious decision to not spend a lot of money on it. After all, I have thousands of dollars invested in pastels, easels, paper, watercolor paint, brushes, lights, books, boards, and all of the other things that go with pastel and watercolor painting. Not to mention my drawing supplies!

Plus, I didn't know if I would even enjoy painting in oil!

So, I spent as little money as possible. I bought oil paint in 37 ml tubes and only the colors that I needed for my lessons. I bought a few canvas panels and gesso boards but I didn't go crazy with buying stuff.

Something happened when I was working from this miserly/frugal mindset. I wouldn't squeeze out a generous amount of paint, I used little dabs of it and stretched it with OMS. I felt hesitant about painting a lot because, well, I only had two more canvas panels left. It was a crazy way to think and it certainly wasn't helping me. Instead of using what I had, I was kind of hoarding it.

It was giving my brain a cramp!

So, I decided to ditch the poverty mindset and to embrace abundance. I placed an enormous order for 150 ml tubes of paint and dozens of canvases and panels. Soon, I will be squirting out paint with a caulking gun and shuffling panels like decks of cards.

I think it will be easier to progress without a cramped brain. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I guess the artist is winning. Cramping your brain never pays off. I anticipate giant steps and interesting artistic and self discoveries with the new materials. As always, observing your journey and the emotion and energy it elicits makes me happy for my friend

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Good for you Katherine. I am sure it will be freeing for you to have the larger tubes of paint.

Celeste Bergin said...

When I first started I used big tubes of Winton oil's not bad, except for the yellow. Now I use big tubes of classic (I get it through Elio)...or Gamblin from Art Media. I don't think about the cost much, because I give up some things in order to buy supplies. I know what you mean, though...I am still daunted by any supports that are "spendy".

Suzanne said...

Congradulations on progressing from the poverty mindset! I had to laugh at the thought of you being stingy with oils.
When I was beginning with pastels and trying to save money, that cheap pastel paper was a frustration compared to the Wallis paper. And who gave me the good advise? Enjoy those large tubes. :-)

SamArtDog said...


William Cook said...

I remember when I first started in oil, squeezing out half a studio tube of Cadmium yellow into my hand, and threw it across the room to the canvas. That stuff is heavy--knocked the whole easel over. Smudged it around a little but in the end it didn't work. I was a little more frugal after that.