Our local supplier of Winsor and Newton Artists’ Acrylic here in Cardiff (apparently there is only one, even in the Capital of Wales) is not maintaining a full range of colours in this brand. I was told by a member of staff that they check and replenish their stock every three weeks. Well, that is clearly not good enough. They have been out of stock of some important colours already. Inevitably, when only small quantities are bought by the shop, at insufficiently frequent intervals, it soon becomes apparent that the most popular colours are out of stock all too often. This is particularly critical when there are no other local stockists. It is also no help to the manufacturer trying to establish a relatively new range of paints that have superseded its earlier range. Established acrylic painters may well change their brand (and thier retailer) if they find that the new paints are not available when wanted. Newcomers to acrylics may feel unable to start at all if certain colours appear unavailable. In this instance, Titanium White is among the absentees.
As for me, I am continuing to try the new paints and, so far, I like what I see. However, if our local stockist continues to be unreliable, I will have to abandon my practice of supporting local business where possible and use an online supplier instead. Meanwhile, I have a half-finished acrylic painting awaiting supplies!
Some time ago I shuffled the furniture in my small “hobbies room” to create at least an illusion of more space. Then I bought a folding tea trolley to accomodate all my painting requirements. It is ideal, enabling me to avoid the chore of getting everything out of cupboard or drawer, before even starting to paint, and putting it all away again. It is easily moved about and if ever the painting kit is stowed away in cupboard or drawer, the trolley folds up flat and so takes up very little space.
Thus emboldened, I decided to smarten up the “studio” by dispensing with the scruffy old coffee jars which had served as brush containers and to find some smart glassware for the purpose. Two large, plain glass vases with heavy bases were purchased from our local Tesco’s and three smaller ones from our local charity shop. Now I needed the personal touch. Our friend Ruth (Welshpurpletree to those of us who know her on the web) is rather good at painting on glass and she kindly agreed to take on the unusual challenge. Each glass was to have a different theme connected with my interests and each glass was to be painted all round (which is why the picture above appears a bit confusing). Henry (the tortoise) is included, as were both VW Campers that we owned many years ago, my hobbies (music and painting) and my very strong connections to Ireland. I am delighted with the results and they certainly raise the tone of my workspace.
Apparently, photographing paintings is not as straightforward as it seems and I have much to learn. However, this is an approximation of my second oil portrait. I have no idea where the original photograph came from on which this portrait was based but I hope it was from one of my copyright free sources. Otherwise I will be happy to delete it.
I particularly enjoy painting portraits and am attempting to teach myself how to do it by tackling a short series of projects. It is interesting because it combines research (available books and pictures on and off line) with practical application. The results will not be for sale but, perhaps over time, they might show some tendency towards improvement. That will be reward enough for the time being.