Thursday, February 21, 2013

Resistance is Futile

With a title like that you would expect this to be a post for Geekdom. But no... you are in the right place. The last few years without a brick and mortar art supply store in town has hurt. It hurts the community. And it hurts artists. We are stuck with the box stores that don't have the most highly informed staff. And without a car for a year getting a box store to be disappointed has been an issue. So I finally broke down and started surfing the Dick Blick website.

Dick Blick has been in business for as long as I've been a live, at least. And it is a trusted company. I just prefer to have a hands on experience rather than trust that a catalog's print shop has faithfully rendered the colors. I like to touch the thing that I am buying. I like to eyeball it so that I can tell if it is going to work in my space. But these days that is just not happening. When I needed the easel I just had to throw in the towel and swallow all of my assertions that holding out would bring a brick and mortar store back to town. And I was happy with the easel.... it is a great place to work.

Until that moment when you chose your favorite old yellow and can't open it. Not without breaking your teeth while the stuck cap is in the vice grip of your teeth. And when the vice grips fail to remove the lid without tearing the body of the tube apart you know that you have to break down and replace your favorite old yellow with a fresh tube. But the box sores don't carry it. Aureolin apparently is not a hot seller. And they apparently can not stock an adequate yellow hue of a different name for any length of time. I waited six weeks for one store to get a tube of gamboge back only to be told that the company discontinued it. Do you know how long it took me to get colors from Blick? Three days.... but I am getting ahead of myself.

The easel was great. The transfer paper that I ordered was great. And thus the slope gets slippery. One of the best things about the brick and mortar store is that when you are an artist pregnant with ideas and cravings set in at 3 a.m. no one is open. So you get to be a bit smarter about your impulse purchases and learn to make do in an art emergency. The worst part of a brick and mortar store when you are an artist pregnant with ideas and cravings set in at 3 a.m. is that no one is open. So your creativity has to wait for morning and your need to shop is tempered. Enter the internet age and the store is never closed.

And it is almost never out of stock. If it is out of stock you find out before you ever click on something. My resistance crumbled like a dry shortbread cookie.

So yesterday I picked up my order from the post box. 6 brand new tubes of color.... one that I had never heard of and one that I had been drooling over for about a decade now spilled out into my hand. With them a color that sounded intriguing as the cliffs of Dover but disappointed in reality. Another tube bearing the name of a pigment I love in maroon and stare moon-eyed at in violet. A completely utilitarian green gold that excites only when paired and a replacement for a color that I use quite a lot. Yes... color has broken down the last of my defenses against on-line shopping.  And strangely it was not the color that I had been drooling over.

It was the new blue. A blue so deep and rich that you have to see it to believe it. And the first thing that I have to do with all of these colors is make a worksheet that shows me how they all blend together. Thank you college instructor for teaching me how to do this for myself. It was one of those things that I think would have made watercolor lessons in high school less stressing.

What is this new blue?
I will tell you next time.....

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