PAINTER / PRINTMAKER / POET

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A lot of my supplies are thrifted

Lately I've been thrifting frames and supports – frames were a no brainier, find some quality wooden ones that aren't too garish, sand and spray them, and you're in business! However, it took me a little while longer to start thrifting the supports for the pieces themselves. I'll buy bad paintings and gesso over them  - they're always done in acrylic so after a few layers of gesso you've a sound surface to paint on.

 Three small canvases, presumably painted by children, cost 99¢ each at Savers. 

Three small canvases, presumably painted by children, cost 99¢ each at Savers. 

I've begun searching out those terrible digitally printed photographs that are stretched on canvas as home decor, ripping them from the stretcher bars, and re-stretching with linen or canvas. The other day I spent $24.50 on bad art at Goodwill, and am now priming a 36"x48" canvas, the three small ones pictured above, a 14"x14" canvas, and three more of varying sizes, constructed from these ancient stretcher bars still in their original retail package. 

 Original label from stretcher bars found at Goodwill - the two in this package were 24" and they cost $2. 

Original label from stretcher bars found at Goodwill - the two in this package were 24" and they cost $2. 

I don't really have a point I'm trying to make here, just that I love scoring mad deals on art supplies🙌🏼🤓🙃👻  in fact, I probably shouldn't've mentioned it bc now y'all are guna be thrifting my thrifts before I can thrift them. But I suppose my point is that as an artist, it can seem like there's a lot standing against you. Supplies are expensive, and it takes time to make good work, and to pay for the time and supplies it takes to make good work, you price your work fairly and competitively, in hopes that you'll be rewarded, maybe. But to get people to see it you have to enter shows, where you have to pay to enter with no guarantee of being represented or getting your work on the wall, and if you do, the price then includes a commission, roughly 40/60 or 30/70, so the work then gets priced higher to compensate for the commission, and then all of a sudden art is expensive to buy which makes it less likely that people will buy your art, which, let's face it, wasn't very likely in the first place, bc who in their right mind would want THAT hanging in their living room. This isn't even considering the cost of living or the debts so many of us have from obtaining a degree (in art! Like why?!!! Hahahahha). Being an artist is hard. It's expensive, and it's hard, and it takes a lot of your being. So it's nice to know you've got crappy stores like Goodwill and Savers where people throw out all their ugly, old, wall art, or the painting they did at a "drink n draw," or that when somebody's aunt dies, all their antique frames find their way to those dingy back shelves of your local donation center. 

 

Anyway, I've been considering starting a blog post about things I paint over - the crappy acrylics your daughter did in sixth grade, the abandoned portraits of freshman BFA students, that same sunset scene all of you painted at that company outing or friend's birthday at Muse Paintbar, and even the old self-portraits of me three years ago, the unfinished cityscapes, and other rejects from my undergrad portfolio. I think it'll be a good series, I'm just trying to think of the hashtag 🙇🏻

 

Ali KellerComment