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Art, Lifestyle

Root Veg Watercolor/Gouache and a Declaration

April 27, 2018

So begins the long haul of me thinking of nothing but homegrown vegetables and fruit. We have started our cooler temperature vegetables (peas, greens, radishes, kohlrabi, cabbage and beets) and wait patiently to put in everything from squash and pumpkins to strawberries, tomatoes and anything else we can get our hands on. 

I have so enjoyed the near radio silence of the diminishing social media in my life. My focus has moved to my children, my husband, home cooked food and slower living. Spending less time on my phone/computer and in front of my TV has relieved a myriad of problems faster than I could have anticipated. 

I have also completed my sketchbook, read and listened to several books, discovered art/junk journaling which I will have to share more on at a later time and made some significant progress on renovation projects around our house.  Seeking simplicity has yielded rewards I have been long dreaming of. 


Materials listed at bottom of post.

 I could carry on for miles about how grateful I am for the changes I am seeing in my personal life, but I wanted to share a particular goal I started this week. 

I have decided that I will not purchase any more art supplies for the rest of the year.

Yeah. You read that right. A full shopping ban on all art supplies for eight whole months. I mean business about this and it seems the next step in creating a healthy relationship for me with art and coping with stress/boredom in general. 

I came to this decision after two things happened. 

First, I had to move all of my art/sewing/creative tools and supplies from their hiding/storage/out-of-sight-out-of-mind spots in my bedroom to what will eventually be the office/studio in our home. Shopping for art supplies has always been something that I was able to easily justify. Especially last year as I found myself on a journey of self-exploration as an artist, trying every new/forgotten medium I could get my hands on. I spent a lot of money on paint, brushes, tape, and other things, more than I care to admit on a hobby actually. So, I knew there would be a lot. 

But when I had it all stacked it in the corner of the office, thinking of how I would store and organize all of it, I felt a little ashamed. Especially because simplifying has been a really important goal for our family lately. 

Then, the thing that pushed me over the edge was my random discovery of Cait Flanders‘ book “The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store“. I wasn’t looking for this book or even books on this subject. It just happened to be on the front page of the audiobook app I’ve been using. I had just finished a book, so I downloaded it. 

I won’t delve too deeply into the details of the book. Though I definitely found the personal experiences she shares moving and her insights very valuable and I would absolutely recommend it. After overcoming alcoholism and getting herself out of debt, the author, recognizing the futility in trying to “buy happiness”, challenges herself to a year-long shopping ban. 

Her experience inspired me. I’m not ready to take the leap into a full shopping ban, but I know that utilizing what I already have (which will take me a really long way) will push me creatively and help my family reach some of our long-term goals. 

Like many before me, I am using my blog for accountability. I will not shop for art supplies for the rest of 2018. 

Art Supplies Used

  • Schmincke Watercolor
  • Gouache (Holbein, Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, Caran d’Ache, Daler-Rowney)
  • Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Pastels
  • Winsor and Newton Squirrel Mop Brush 

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