©2010 Cathy Read - Faith built on sand- 59.5x42cm- Mixed media on paper

Stupid things done in the name of art – Number 1

Do you have an obsession?

You know what I mean, a “casual” mention causes you loved ones to groan because they expect you to talk for hours! Or they keep you away from certain shops because you’ll spend your life savings if not controlled?

Like most artist’s, mine is art materials.

I  managed to keep a lid on things by keeping to watercolour, pastel, oil and acrylic! That was fine…I had all I needed and just topped things up when they ran out!

But then I started mixed media painting, and discovered so many more things I “needed”.

Like the oil pastels for this one…

Working with large canvases, struggling with a field easel for a year. using string to hold the legs together.

I needed a studio easel.

My limited budget was a problem, I wasn’t selling much work at the time. Visiting  London one day, I explored an Art shop near Trafalgar square. I was specifically looking for liquid acrylics, but also decided to check out easels. They had one and  I could afford it but they didn’t have the acrylics I needed. However, their Soho store did and was “just around the corner”. Which was true, or so the little map said.

The little map lied!

It was “around the corner” but not nearly as close as their convenient little map card would have you believe. I found the store and about 20 streets not on the map! This should have made me rethink my plan but no, I have a stubborn streak. I really should have left it there, but I wanted a shiny new easel! They had what I wanted, easel and acrylics. Result!I

I opted for a less bulky but more expensive option- still cheaper than anything else. Now to get it home. Bear in mind this was a money saving exercise so Taxi’s were out of the question!

Ever tried transporting bags and a boxed easel on the London Underground?

During rush hour?

No? Well, here are the highlights!

  • During 10 minute walk to underground – Wishing I’d accepted the nice assistant’s offer to carry the easel to Piccadilly Circus. But don’t fancy the walk back to the shop to take him up on it!
  • At the station I realise I should have walked to Leicester Square (same distance) to save changing trains! There’s probably one closer. But I can’t bear to look!
  • Getting on packed trains with large boxes is like playing Tetris… near the top.
  • Dragging boxes along platforms causes easels to break out of boxes.
  • Makeshift handles tend to collapse.
  • You can do a really good comedy sketch where people jump/are knocked out of the way by carrying said box on your shoulder.
  • Easel home, obsession satisfied, until the next art shop visit.

Next time I’ll use the delivery service.

Do you have an obsession that made you do something you regret? Or is it just me?

Will you share and make others feel better?




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