Mlle. NiceWork wants to paint with acrylics and so we take ourselves to a nearby art supplies store — Mittel’s on Ventura. For her it is a weird adventure — like going to a phrenological equipment store. For me, it is a time machine. It has been years since I have set foot inside an art store — I am a tad surprised they even exist any more.
When the youngster was still younger, frequent trips to craft emporiums, like Michael’s or Joann Fabrics, were necessary for all our popsicle stick and dimensional fabric paint needs. But a real palette-knife, bristol board, easel and canvas art supply store? How long has it been? Well, let’s see… I’d stopped in a Blick‘s back in 2000 on the way to the wonderful Cosley Zoo in Wheaton. Bought sketch books and soft pencils. Zoo animals — especially the farm animals at Cosley — are very patient models.
Wandering the aisles of Mittel’s brings back the fun (a little) and frustration (a lot) of working with actual…um… actuality. I’ve been 90% computerized so long — only working up my sketches in pencil out here in the real fleshly world — that I’ve left paints and rulers and inks in the unlamented past.
When I was just learning art stuff and trying to break in to the unwelcoming biz, I would be so intimidated in an art store, looking around with wide-eyed curiousity at all the strange tools and gadgets and compounds and additives and blades and tools with French names and I would wonder what they all were and how you used them and did they somehow augment one’s limited talent. Well, here in 2009 I still wonder what all that stuff is but with little curiosity, and ::deep sigh:: no feeling of intimidation.