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SS: 0016 The Painting Prince of Fresh Air

This is the story all about how my studio is setup outside.

Ahh what a beautiful sight! That's right this is my new domain of creative reign... oh boy this is going to be one of those posts with cheesy rhymes and mediocre puns, enjoy!

I'm officially a resident of Arizona for 16 days now and things are starting to fall into place. During the last week of our bike tour, Megan's aunt Lori gave me this white table which has already become a staple for my make shift studio space. For those who haven't heard or read, I'm living with Megan and her parents in Queen Creek, Arizona. Carla and Daryl are both very generous folks who are allowing us to live with them and figure out if Arizona is a place we want to be. Who knows!

After I decided I was ready for a change from Wisconsin winters Megan agreed that returning to the Grand Canyon State was an attractive idea. She would be able to spend more time with friends and family who typically saw her only a few times a year. I'm quickly beginning to understand the feelings of homesickness and how she had to have felt leaving Arizona for the first time. While it's exciting to be surrounded by changes it's also hard to watch time go by back home and to miss the times with my friends and family. Well on the brighter side there's just more reason to work hard and make them proud! (plus I'll be home visiting soon enough!)

I've already forgotten what details I mentioned in last week's posts about Lori's recycled art supplies she gave to me. Along with the table I now have a tabletop easel (now indoors), 15 canvases of different styles and sizes, and a sweet box for drawing supplies!

Came with a masterpiece under the lid, I'm guessing someone had a mischievous encounter with crayons! Thank you Lori for being a tremendous help!

One of the first things I did after arriving with Megan was investing in new supplies, some of which can be seen above. Tempe, AZ has the only Blick store in the Phoenix area, but is over 20 miles from Queen Creek. Another helper in Megan's family has been her mom who has let us borrow her car for our long distance errands. Thank you Carla!

From Blick I picked up:

5 tubes of Utrecht Acrylic Paint

Charcoal Pencil and Sticks

Two China Markers

Canson Watercolor Pad 9" x 12"

Gamblin Gamsol Oil Painting Solvent

Arches Oil Painting Paper Pad 9" x 12"

1 Gallon of Studio Gesso

Two packs of 4 brushes

A jar for my solvent

An Illustration Pen

I also ordered clear protective sleeves and backing board both 9" x 12" for drawings to sell through my Big Cartel store. I accidentally ordered the wrong size sleeves the first time and had to order a second batch. Now I have 100 sleeves that are exactly 9" x 12" which hold paper 1/4" smaller on both sides. Oh Well! I guess I'll have to find paper to fit them.... I've had enough time to decompress that frustration. If you're looking for these materials to sell prints or artwork on paper I went through if you can use their site correctly you won't be disappointed!

During the first two weeks here I was waiting for a box to arrive full of many of my oil paints, brushes, and mediums. My mother was a saint and shipped these out from Wisconsin. Oh and by the way she hunted for specific colors I asked for. Geeze I'm surrounded by people who are too dang helpful! This move is supposed to be a test of my will to become an artist! In all seriousness thank you to my mother Mary and my family, and Megan's family for making me feel confident and prepared to keep painting. Without all of you I would be struggling beyond belief to become a painter.

Thanks to mom the box arrived and I had a bag full of my old goopy friends back! Within a few days I had my oil painting supplies, surfaces to paint, equipment, a new French Easel (scored from a garage sale for 10$ - thanks Megan!) and a place to work. Carla and Daryl approved a spot in the backyard near their tree line (including an Orange tree!). It's shaded, quiet, and home to active birds. Occasionally their horse Lady is allowed to graze the grass in this same area while the dogs sleep in the sun. It reminds me of our farm back home. Watching animals carry on through the day and interact with each other. Beyond the back fence you can see the outline of the San Tan Mountains. Compared to biking through the busy streets of Chandler/Mesa, this setting is ideal for making art. Also, by keeping my materials outdoors I'm forced to take advantage of the light and work during the day. I'm getting used to it though. Late nights have become the time for internet work and youtube-ing.

Speaking of YouTube check out this new November preview I put together to show a little bit of whats in the works! Let me know if you think a monthly snippet like this would be fun to see in the future!

I'm excited to share aspects of the new life I've acquired for the time being, thanks to so many generous people! Also, Megan's Aunt and Uncle asked us to house sit for them while they're on a trip to Australia and New Zealand. This means I'll be painting on their patio and keeping their dog Sasha company for the next two weeks.

As long as I can paint, I'm happy.

- Hector

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