Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Monday, August 20, 2012

When scavenging artists strikes

As a self employed artist, money is something I have to keep a tight check on so that I know where funds are going so it's not too surprising to look at a dwindling amount of supplies and think which is more important: grabbing a meal because of being a bit hungry or finding the supplies I need to produce more art. There are admittedly times where the need for supplies out weighs the need to find something edible to stuff in my mouth. So when the offer of paper came up when talking to my curator's husband the other day, I was extremely grateful.

Utrecht Art Supplies listing for roll of paper
The story starts with the passing of one of our most respected artists, Kenneth Potter, earlier this year and his daughters having asked my curator and her husband to take care of his art and the belongings of the house. Well it would seem that after several months of non-stop cleaning and donating of clothes and furniture, he figured that it would be best to ask a couple of us if we wouldn't mind some paper and such. I said yes since I actually was nearing the end of my own paper supply and was trying to figure out how I was going to get more while waiting for a couple of clients to finish their payments. He comes to my house on Saturday with his van stuffed to the gills with various types of paper and I couldn't help but get giddy over some of the items. One was a large roll of watercolor paper, which I had been looking into purchasing but the cost would have been a bit of a dent in my current budget. For those who are unfamiliar with watercolor paper, it comes in pads, single sheets, or if you want to go bulk there is the option of rolls. Of course the prices vary between each of those and also if it is hot press, cold press, smooth, rough or medium, the 'weight' of the paper, and even the manufacturer of the paper. Have a feeling that I've lost people on that past part but hot press and cold press is the process of which when forming the paper, the rollers are either hot or cold when the paper is being pressed through which assists in the texture of the paper. Weight is usually stated as pounds (i.e. 140lb, 150lb, 300lb) actually isn't really how heavy the paper is but how thick it is. The roll itself can range between $125 to $190 depending on these factors and where you are ordering it from. One of the sheets of paper I was able to acquire was a hot press smooth and depending on where you get it, it averages about $26 per sheet. So as you can see, I was ecstatic at being able to have these. He also ended up giving me several sketch pads and some ink for calligraphy along with letting me know that if he finds anything that I could possibly use, he would let me know.

Match books from California to Germany & Sweden (dates unknown) 
Sunday I ended up receiving another call from him letting me know that he found a FULL calligraphy set and was if I could bring some paper for one of our other artists could have it. I said sure and decided to bring along one of the 2 rolls I had acquired. This is where things got interesting. Once there, my boyfriend and myself found ourselves scavenging the home of a fellow artists trying to figure out what supplies I could have use for. Pretty much most everything was up for grabs and it was overwhelming to see how much the man had stock piled in his house. Was able to claim some more supplies, which I am thrilled about, but also some little odds and ends that I have a feeling that if I hadn't grabbed them would have been dumped as junk including a collection of matchbooks that he had gathered during his travels. I'll probably go ahead and find some way of framing them since though they aren't in the best of condition, they do have some history to them. Had discovered them in a small box near shelves of flammable supplies for print making. Never said that Ken was the most organized man but dear lord. 

Among some of my happy finds was a box containing several Styrofoam cases filled with calligraphy ink bottles, a stack of Architectural Digest Magazines, carved picture frame, a few wooden wine boxes (destined to become plant holders in the back yard), various art magazines, random hardware which we can use around the house, tripod, and some color pencils. If I look at everything which I was have been able to receive during the weekend, I realized it has saved me close to $900+. Now the only thing I have to do is continue my attempt of cleaning and getting rid of things in my house that I don't need and reorganize everything that I am keeping. Already have donated several bags worth of clothing I no longer have any use for due to various reasons but I still have so much more to go through in order to have the bedroom (which doubles as my office/studio area) the way I want it so that it is efficient and organized. Also have the rest of the house to tackle as well since my father and I have been planning some renovations for the kitchen. Just glad that I have been able to save a bit of money. Now I just need to clean things up over here so that I can put the supplies away properly instead of where I have them stacked in the living room at the moment.  

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