Monday, October 6, 2008

Art Supplies

Cooler temperatures outside seem to encourage indoor, artistic endeavors. Fall seems to whisper "be creative". This is the time of year that I start thinking of taking a class ... writing, watercolor, sculpting, knitting ... something that awakens my creative brain and turns me into a kid again.

Creative endeavors, however, can be expensive if one rushes out to the nearest art store to pick up the latest gizmos and gadgets. So ... is there a better, less expensive, environmentally friendly way to encourage the artist within? I'm glad you asked!!

Here are a few ideas:
  • Ready to write a best seller? Instead of taking pen to paper ... use a computer. Word processing packages, which normally come with a computer, are great for writing ... they spell check and format and even correct grammatical errors. One can save their work without dropping a participle. Yes, there is a small amount of energy used but it is minimal and there won't be any wasted paper. When it becomes necessary to actually print out your Pulitzer prize winner, use recycled paper. Does your professor or a publishing company require printed out manuscripts? Encourage them to accept an electronic version ... they may say "no" but it doesn't hurt to ask and who knows ... maybe you'll put an earth friendly idea into their heads.
  • Beginning painters need a lot of practice learning basic techniques such as brush strokes, color blending, etc. So, practice on the back of used paper and save the "good" paper for that future masterpiece. For paint and brushes, take a look in your children's toy box ... kid's paint boxes usually contain the basic colors and plenty of brushes ... both are wonderful for learning. For watercolor enthusiasts, use old jars or plastic cartons (like the ones that store-bought mushrooms come in) as water containers. Need a pallet? Re-purpose an old dish or pie plate.
  • Sculptors not only use their hands but use tools to create shapes and textures. Check around your home for household items that will work. For example, try old kitchen utensils and silverware for cutting and shaping ... create surface patterns with pieces of lace and an old rolling pin ... use a piece of cotton string or thread, tied between two pieces of scrap wood, to cut clay. Other great resources are thrift stores ... if you look with a creative mind, you'll find all kinds of items which can be used to mold clay into something that Michelangelo would be proud to display.
  • Perhaps knitting, needlepoint, quilting or sewing gets your creativity flowing. Check thrift stores for needles, skeins of yarn, thread and material. Turn an old dress into something new ... perhaps cut it down to fit a child. Use scraps of material for creative quilt designs. Start a "bee" and have a material trading party. If this kind of project is purely for the fun of it, considering making wearable items and donating them to those in need.
Pursuing one's art is wonderful and with a little creativity it can be inexpensive and earth friendly.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!