Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Just to show that you don't always have to get your art supplies from an art shop, today I bought this cake server from Asda for £2.

It has a nylon blade and a long sloping edge, so the angle and flexibility mean that it is ideal for making large, sweeping gestural marks with oil paint on a big canvas.

You can get silicon blades from art supply shops, but they are far more expensive, sometimes several times the price.  I saw this, and liked the way it felt when I held it and tried out a few mark-making movements.

Years ago, my tutor at art school spoke sharply to a fellow student in the life drawing class who had forgotten their water jar.  "Improvise!" snapped the tutor, quickly getting an old polystyrene drink cup out of the bin and slapping it down in front of them, in order to get on with the class.

It's a very valuable piece of advice.  (His other great piece of advice was "Look!"  Clearly a tutor of few words, but as it turned out, ones that have stood the test of time.)

You don't always have to buy fancy pieces of art equipment, ones are that are labelled 'art'.  You make up the rules.  

So if you're in the cake baking section of your supermarket, or the local DIY shop, or passing a skip, have a look and think how you can use it to make art.  Here's my great piece of advice - 

"Everything is art."

If it's a household brush, a baking spatula,  junk you can turn into sculpture - all you need to do is use your imagination.  I've often stopped the car when I've seen items lying in the street - the bevelled-edge glass top of an old dressing table makes a great monoprint plate, as does a large piece of perspex that I found.  My palette is the lid of an old school desk.  

So if it fits your purpose, then use it!  Just keep your eyes and your mind open.

(But ask permission before you remove stuff from skips...)

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