Beating blank canvas syndrome – the scraps drawer

I’ve picked up so many little bits and pieces of paper around the place that it can be overwhelming.

Now I have a desk that I love and a dedicated creative space I decided to designate one of those lovely timber drawers to holding my scrap collection.

Everything from air mail stickers to clothing tags, lolly wrappers to scraps torn from paper serviettes or wrapping paper.

In it goes… to be swirled around and join the mish-mash of ephemera that will inspire my future artworks.

Not everything actually fits into the drawer, it’s more of a representative sample of what I’ve collected over time.

The rest goes in a large airtight box that lives in the garage and will get periodically raided to freshen up the drawer’s contents.

And they’ll be waiting there next time I’m sitting in front of my desk, with a glaringly white canvas before me.

I grab my favourite acrylics, glue & brush, and thrust my hand blindly into that drawer, to clutch a handful of pretties and begin.

Give it a try next time the dreaded blank canvas bails you up in a corner, and let me now how it works for you..

Cheers, jane 🙂

ps – linking to paint party friday – happy ppf everyone!

3 more lovely art supplies I’m glad I tried

One of the most fun benefits of doing online art courses in the last year has been getting to try a lot of new art supplies that I wouldn’t even know about otherwise.

Here’s a few things I’m super-glad I tried…

1.  Shiva paintstiks

I learnt about these last year from Juliette Crane, in her Serendipity course.
They’re oil paints in a stick form and look like oil pastels. I use them for mark making, patterns and shading, because they smudge much more easily and smoothly than oil pastels. They take 24hrs to dry, but that’s still quicker than regular oils and they actually kind of smell nice (unlike regular oils).

2.  Stabilo marks all pencils

I originally had a black Generals brand pencil that is quite similar to the Stabilo, but my local art store only has it in black or white.
So in my last order with I impulsively added Stabilo’s in red, blue, brown and green too.
Not only do they write on just about any surface or medium, but when you wet them they react like a watercolour pencil. I also like the effect spraying with water gives.

3.  Neon Acrylics


I’ve been seeing a lot of neons being used by different artists lately, and when I saw some in a cheap discount store in December I decided to grab some and have a go to see how I liked them – and I love them!

These are from Reno Art, and I particularly love the fluorescent purple and fluorescent lumipink (centre) at the moment.

What art supplies have you tried and loved?