This week I restocked some art supplies that I was running low on and bought some new things to try out. I finally got a new roll of canvas. I’d been out of canvas for a while. I only used small pre-stretched canvases last year and my large roll of canvas was completely gone. I don’t think I stretched any of my own canvases all last year. I don’t know why. Except it’s easier to buy small (8″x11″ or 11″x14″) canvases than to stretch my own. With bigger canvases it easier (i.e. cheaper) to stretch my own.

I ordered a bunch of stretcher strips too. Those are the four pieces of wood that make up the rectangle that you stretch the canvas over. Since I had some ideas for what I want to paint I bought specific size stretcher strips. Some long and some short. Since I bought all these supplies from a web site I couldn’t inspect the stretcher strips and one of the longer ones (38″) is useless. It’s bowed about half an inch and will not square up. That’s the chance you take with pine. It costs less than four dollars so it’s not worth returning but now I have to replace it. Luckily it’s one of the few things I ordered that I should be able to get at a local store.

The temperature around these parts dropped into the single digits (Fahrenheit) last week and that lead to a strange thing happening with my order. I bought a bottle of ink along with everything else and when I opened my box full of supplies I noticed something was amiss with the ink.

At first the bottle looked like it had a black cork sticking out of it. This looked odd because corks aren’t used on ink bottles. And corks aren’t black. Then the cork broke off of the top of the bottle. I didn’t quite no what was going on and expected the ink to spill all over everything but it didn’t. Y’see the cork was the ink.

It took these supplies a few days to get to me and they must not have been kept anyplace heated because the ink was frozen solid. It also expanded as it froze and broke the plastic cap right off of the top of the bottle. The frozen ink “cork” was sticking about an inch above the top of the bottle. The bottle was only about four inches tall so that was some impressive expansion. The bottle was also wrapped in bubble wrap so that made for an even more odd sight.

Things would have been much worse if the ink was liquid when it spilled. All of the paper I had in the order would have been ruined. I’m glad it was just an ink bottle cap that got destroyed.

I bought a few of other things that I haven’t used in a long time that were in that box. I got some marker sets. I haven’t used magic markers, except for single color drawing (usually black) in a long time. Back in my school days I was pretty adept with markers. I enjoyed using them. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these new archival type markers that they have nowadays. I got a set of 24 brush markers and a set of 12 basic design type markers. We’ll see if they do anything for me anymore.

Colored pencils were among the other things in the order. I don’t think I’ve used colored pencils since 1988. I was never a big fan of them either. As a matter of fact I don’t know why I ordered them. I’m not sure what I’m going to make with colored pencils. They are some kind of oil based pencil and maybe I just thought the set looked cool in the catalog. I am a sucker for sets of things.

I also found a good container. I mix some of my acrylic paint in these little plastic jars with lids called cubbies. They’re airtight and the paint lasts a long time in them. I have a lot of them with various colors of paint inside. I’ve been keeping the cubbies in cardboard boxes but that is getting cumbersome. I’ve been looking for a more durable box to put them in. I ordered the ArtBin 900IDS storage container and it is just what I wanted. Now I need four more of them. Who doesn’t love storage containers?

My order of art supplies came in four packages spread out over the end of the week. The one with the most fun stuff in it (markers, colored pencils, ink) was the last package delivered. I guess they were building up some suspense. I also got some boring old gesso and workable fixatif at a local store so I’m well supplied for the moment. That always feels good.