Studio Chaos

Okay, so I’m not the anal-retentive neat freak, but I do like (and need) order to my life and the space around me. In my studio life clutter happens. I start out working on a watercolor and while it dries, I hop over to another area in the studio to work on a piece I’m doing in charcoal, then I might work on a third project or sketches (or something). In my wake I leave a trail of reference sketches, scraps of test papers, photos, notes, a bottle of water, a cup of tea, my iPad, my phone, several pairs of headphones, dog treats, magazines, pencils, pens and assorted brushes… every surface covered with stuff! Depending on projects, deadlines and just deep immersion into a painting, this chaos can last for days, building in layers until I find myself digging like an archaeologist to find just the right pen, pencil or brush. Frustration causes Left-Brain to throw the breaker switch and say “enough”! I look around me in disbelief, and horror.  I take a deep breath and slowly start to declutter, putting things back in their order, vowing I’ll start being tidier as I work, putting this back after I’m through with them, keep this chaos in check…

…and Right -Brain just smiles.

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Oh, the wind and the rain!

Winter weather is finally here! Blessed rain falling in sheets outside the window of my little retreat. The birds flock to the bird feeder between downpours. I find myself staring out the window enraptured by the power of nature. Now, those that live in a rainy climate might not be so enthused by so much rain but here, in California, where we are in the throes of a long drought and go months without seeing water fall from the sky are downright rapturous.

One upside for me in particular, is that the rainy weather inspires my creativity. I have been non-stop drawing and painting since the rain began a few days ago. “In the zone” my biggest concern is not confusing my paint water for my tea (I have mistakenly ingested plenty of paint water in my life). It’s all rain water color bliss!fullsizerender-11

What’s the Point?

fullsizerender-2I am obsessed to know what tools other artists use to create their works of art. I’m always in search of something new and exciting to try. Be it pens, ink, paint, brushes, paper, a new phone app…. yes, obsessed.

So today, I thought that I would share my favorite pencils, erasers and sharpeners.img_1296

From front to back: Wooden Pencil – Staedtler Mars Lumograph HB, oh so smooth and reliable. Mechanical Pencil – Sakura 127 0.7 lead, a fairly inexpensive pencil, but it feels good in my hand and gives me detail lines. Lead Holders – Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth Versatil, sturdy all metal body has a great heft to it, feels like driving an Audi. Rotring Art Pencil, nice tapered barrel (like a dip pen) gives this lead holder a super comfortable balance. I can draw with this all day and not suffer hand fatigue. Koh-i-nor Hardtmuth 5.6mm lead holder with the handy sharpener in the lid. Like driving a semi tractor trailer, big and bold strokes. Palomino Dual Sharpener (I love the Palomino pencils too). Staedtler lead sharpener, keeps everything pointy for super fine detail work. Lastly, my favorite graphite eradicators: Tombow Mono Zero, I actually use both the round and the rectangle shapes, you can really pull out details with these little guys. Moo PVC eraser is fairly new to my toolbox. It picks up graphite better than the art gum eraser I used to use. I actually will cut my own shapes from these erasers depending on the areas I need to erase.