What am I writing about today? How about a pointless trip to the art store. Since I’m a total art supply geek it wasn’t really a pointless trip but I didn’t go there for anything specific. It was more of a spur of the moment trip. A friend of mine needed some paper so I went along for the ride and to see if they had any Tahitian Blue Copic marker ink.

Tahitian Blue has been the color that’s eluded me. It was the first color Copic marker that I ever bought and it’s a favorite of mine. It’s such a nice color blue. I still have a marker that’s full and a little ink left in my refill bottle but I need a new one. About a month ago I ordered from the Dick Blick website but they were out of stock on almost all of their Copic marker supplies. I have no idea why that was but it meant I couldn’t get one. The last two times I was to the Paramus NY Dick Blick store they also didn’t have any Tahitian Blue refills. I figured maybe they would this time. I’ll save you the suspense. They didn’t.

It was odd that they had about twenty other different types of blue refill ink but not the one I needed. They have a really nice point-of-purchase display for their markers. It lines up all the markers and refills in different spots and you can spin it around to see what they have. I spun around to the refill section (I really should have brought my reading glasses but they’re new and I’m not used to carrying them) and looked through it thoroughly. There wasn’t even a spot for Tahitian Blue. Up in the marker section that had a few Tahitian Blue markers in stock so why don’t they have the the refills? It’s a mystery to me.

I ended up buying a couple of new markers though. Not Copic ones but a couple of the new Dick Blick brand brush markers. They’re done in the Copic style with a brush marker on one end and a chisel tip on the other. At four dollars a marker they’re a couple of dollars cheaper than Copics but being that there is no refill ink for the Blick ones they have to be thrown away when they run dry. That ultimately makes them more expensive in the long run. I bought them just to try them out. Lately I’ve been buying a black and a blue marker when trying out a new brand so that’s what I did here. I haven’t really put them trough their paces but so far with a little drawing with them they seem nice. They brush tip is smooth and the ink flows nicely. Without refills they have almost no chance of joining my starting lineup of markers but we’ll see if Blick comes out with refills some day.

The second thing that I bought was a little can of Bestine Rubber Cement Thinner. I mostly use that for removing glue residue from anything that might have sticker glue residue on it (often comics, pens, or books). It’s only a small four dollar can but I always feel a little disappointed when I buy something like that because it’s not an art supply I make something out of. I maybe should have spent a little more on the bigger can. This one is only four ounces and the larger twelve dollar one was sixteen ounces. But it really wasn’t the size that makes me say that but the can itself. I had one of the sixteen ounce size for years (I really don’t use it that much) and it served me well. After that I got a four once can and it seemed to run out fast. I think that was because it evaporates more quickly out of the smaller can. If the lid is even a little loose the can can dry out. I think I lost a lot of the last can because of that. I’ll have to see how this one does.

The other thing that I was going to buy but didn’t was another Simmons white sable round brush. I ended up not getting any because they were considerably more expensive at the store than online. They had a confusing discount on them that didn’t help.

At the Blick website the brush that I wanted was about five dollars. I’ve bought them there before. In the store the same brush was ten dollars. I believe that’s the full retail price on them. There was also a sign that said if you spent forty five dollars then the brushes were five dollars a piece. But what the heck does that mean? If I buy five ten dollars brushes does that cost twenty five dollars? Or is the sixth brush I buy then five dollars? What if I buy fifty dollars worth of paper and fifty dollars worth of brushes? Does that make the brushes twenty five dollars? What if they ring up the brushes first? That made me not want to bother with the brushes. I’ll get some more another day at the web site. At least there I’ll know the price.

I do like the Dick Blick store in Paramus because it’s a real art store that has real art supplies in it. They are usually a little more expensive than online but it’s fun to go to an art store. I also go to A.C. Moore but that’s more of a mainstream arts and crafts store. Sure I can get some stuff there but it’s mostly crafting supplies. They don’t have any Copic markers at all and that don’t even carry the Simmons white sable brushes among their other Simmons brushes. I’ve purchased some Strathmore 300 Bristol paper from A.C. Moore before but the reason we had to go further away to Dick Blick is that A.C. Moore doesn’t carry the Strathmore 400 Bristol. That’s the good stuff that my friend needed.