Friday, March 30, 2012

Purple Horses

The boys are in bed.  Adrian had to stay over because his grandma had surgery.  I just looked in on them and Nick is sprawled into the middle of the bed and I'm surprised that Adrian hasn't fallen off the far side.

Yesterday, Nick was invited to a girl's birthday party.  I'm very excited for him to expand his friends, to be included with a different crowd of kids.  He's known this girl since preschool, but they're crossing paths in a new way now.

I got nervous about shopping for an eleven-year-old girl.  Whew!  I'm used to shopping for boys.  What on earth do girls want?  She might be too old for Barbies and dress up.  Who knows?  Then, Rachel told me that this girl is interested in art, among other things.  I knew immediately what I wanted to get for her.  Last night, I dropped Nick off at karate, told him I'd be late to pick him up, and drove one town over to Daniel Smith's.  Have you ever seen all of the cool art supplies at Daniel Smith's?  Check it out online.  I am in heaven there.  I don't even need art supplies any more.  I never seem to use up all the pastels, watercolor pencils, and acrylics that I've accumulated over the years, so I don't get the excuse to go buy more. 

See, I love the kneaded erasers and the stomps.  Oh, I don't even know the official term for the stomps, but they look like a pencil with no lead and you use them to smooth out a pastel on the page.  Life is so much better when you have tools like this.  So I bought the birthday girl a wooden art box and filled it with tools like this, with perfect pieces of charcoal, with a tiny easel, with a can of workable fixative, and with some pastel sticks. I got to pick a palette for her.  I chose four or five purples, a couple of yellows, and then a handful of natural colors, ochre, moss, gray, and tan.  Just imagine those luscious colors all in one piece.  In my imagination, the birthday girl draws a purple horse in a moss green field with gray, overhanging skies like the ones that feel like home to me.  Can you imagine this picture?  Of course a horse should be purple.  Purple is her favorite color.

I kind of went overboard and spent $96.  Don't tell Mike.  Okay, so I needed a couple of notebooks and a pad of good paper for making books.  I got two notebooks out of the one pad, but ended up putting one of the notebooks in as a sketchbook for my girl.  I also split up a package of rice paper I bought for another project and gave her some of that tied up in purple ribbon. 

Here's the thing: When I was a girl, I would have loved getting an art box like this.  My parents had a box of colored pencils that folded inside out and propped up, ready to use.  I loved this pencil set more than I knew what to do with it.  Take the joy of brand new school supplies and throw in a lot more color.  I think my favorite thing was arranging them in rainbow order before I took out a sheet of paper.  Unfortunately, my parents only bought lined paper and that always bothered me.  The pencils almost made up for it. 

After assembling the wooden box, I looked through my own stash.  Now, I have acrylics, fabric paint, watercolors, pastels, pencils, fixative, workable fixative, gesso, stomps, chamois, kneaded erasers, palettes, canvases, woodless pencils, tracing paper, watercolor paper, textured paper, and toned paper.  Oh happy days. 

I need to go draw something.  I'm not good at drawing, but I love doing it anyway.

Thank you for listening, jb

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