Art Supply Finds


Well-known member
Over on WC there used to be a thread in the Oil Pastel forum called Art Supply Addicts Anonymous. I was a fairly frequent contributer, as I was (still am) an enthusiastic bargain hunter... I treasure vintage art equipment, art books and art supplies. I also prowl the clearance racks and haunt estate and yard sales. I was wondering and hoping we could get a conversation going over here, also.. Is anyone interested?
I am relatively save because I live ridiculously remote...Cuts down on impulse buys. At the moment I have a bit of a self imposed ban on buying new supplies, with the possible exception of artist quality watercolor paint (I am upgrading), and watercolor paper (sketchbooks).
But that doesn´t extend to following a topic like this and talking about it, so yeah, I´m in!
Yes, I am an Art Supply Addicts. I was OK for a couple of years. I would just purchase a new tube of replacement paint when needed. I had perhaps 10 or 12 tubes of watercolour paint. Then it happened. Someone on WC offered 50 tubes of Daniel Smith for $100 USD. I jumped on that one with both feet. Then there was the ink problem. I needed some red ink, so I bought red, blue, green, white, and two bottles of black. The I need some red gouache for a tail light so I purchased a starter kit of 8 tubes of gouache. But then I needed more colours and of course I couldn't make it without a large tube of black and a large tube of white gouache. The Christmas, how could I resist the 36 tube starter set of acrylics. I can't risk using my good watercolour brushes... and to save money on shipping I ordered 50 sheets of watercolour paper instead of 10... and how could I resist the 2 rolls of watercolour paper for the price of one!

I don't even want to think about the pens, pencils, oil pastels, conte crayons, graphic, charcoal, coloured pencils the list goes one.

and where does one store all this stuff.

Oh my gosh, I remember that thread and I was on it frequently too. I think I posted pictures on there of some of my supplies trying to show off? I'm not sure. I must have shown off my watercolor box I made by hand, right? It's small and doesn't hold everything, just the most expensive stuff. It's a pride and joy of mine. It took weeks to make.

I feel like I could almost open my own store as well. Although, I have given away and sold a lot of my old supplies when I moved. In fact, I sold my old mechanic's art cart filled to the brim with art supplies (of all species and kin) for $150 in Bitcoin! Now that Bitcoin is worth $800. Isn't that crazy? I sold it to a young college kid who truly needed the supplies and that was all he had to trade for it.

Anyway, I do have a bad habit of buying more and more stuff, but I usually do it because I need it! Or I think I do. I live in a very remote place myself. There isn't an art supply store within probably 100 miles. There might be a JoAnns or a Michael's in Riverside I suppose, (about an hour and a half away), so I buy everything on line. Impulse buys still happen for me! There are always those sales that come into my email inbox from Cheap Joes, Jerry's, Blick, you name it. I shop at several different stores online. Frame shops too.

There's a place called Rex's Art Supplies where I like buying my super tiny brushes I use for watercolors. They are technically for decorating--cheap synthetic rounds (000), and I'll buy a whole bunch of them so I never run out. These are not the same ones I use for everything else though. I have brushes (expensive ones) that I've had for decades that are still in excellent shape.

And I go through those Sukura Micron pens like toilet paper. I order 12, 24, sometimes 48 at a time in my favorite sizes: .005, and 01. I sometimes use a few 03s and some fatter ones too, but go through those tiny ones so fast. I feel like Blick must either love me or hate me.

OMG, I could go on forever! Ha ha ha...

Already loving this thread. I will find those pics of my beautiful wooden box. I'm sure I've already posted them, but this is a great place to do it again. Why not? :LOL:
This is the Gerstner box I made.






I suppose I am, but I'm not all that clean.

EDIT: This morning I actually spent an hour or two straightening up my studio so I could work--that's sometimes the only reason to do it. I simply don't have the space to keep working unless I put things away. The picture above was when we lived in a temporary situation and never really unpacked there. That was our transition house.
That is a gorgeous box, you clearly have major skills beyond painting!
I am a sucker for that kind of items...
It's a kit you can buy from Gerstner instead of buying one of their crazy expensive ones that's already finished. Still, it's about half the price, instead of paying $350, or whatever it was to buy that box if it was retail. It comes in pieces, unfinished for $150 (or about--not sure it was a gift) with instructions. Still had to sand it and do everything to it and was careful. The gluing may have been the hardest part.
Do you guys have issues on where you put everything? I do! I have a few of big dressers/cabinets I use as art supply storage furniture. One is just for holding all my paint brushes, though that one is the smallest cabinet. I got it at Ikea and it's really to display dishes.



Here's some of the other furniture:




And this is my Craftsman's mechanic's art cart that I'm showing just to make sno more mad at me...



As for oil paint, I keep all the ones currently in use in a cleaning caddy on the floor out of the light.


How do you guys deal with storage of supplies?
Cabinets, shelves, plastic boxes, etc. Much like you use but mine are not so neat. Someday I'll clean it all up, organize and take a photo. 😁
In the last 5 years I have collected many ( too many) tubes of oils. I continue to search for used and vintage oils on eBay, Etsy, etc. sometimes I would buy a lot of assorted colors just to get a couple I would use, then turn around and sell the ones I don’t use. I have not counted them, but I must have well over one hundred tubes.

I started painting over 50 years ago. Back then the major MFGs.( Rembrandt, WN, Bellini, etc.) paints were more heavily pigmented. From my experience it seems the same MFGs (and others) have diluted their mixes over time. In today’s market it seems one needs to get expensive paints or hand made from custom makers if you want high pigment load. So I save a lot of $ by getting older paints in lots and then reselling the colors I don’t want. Newer paints.. I’ve tried a tube of ultramarine from Old Holland...not impressed. Williamsburg however still seems to have good pigment load.
Here’s one of my storage systems. An old retail display unit that rotates on a lazy Susan type bottom. 4 sides sorted reds, blues, yellows, earths.
it's about half the price, instead of paying $350, or whatever it was to buy that box if it was retail. It comes in pieces, unfinished...
Yeah, the finished box from them is $500! :oops: The kit is usually half that, but we got it during their annual sale for $150.

I sold my old mechanic's art cart filled to the brim with art supplies (of all species and kin) for $150 in Bitcoin! Now that Bitcoin is worth $800.
$855.25. ;) Bitcoin is going a bit crazy...

I enjoyed that thread, too. I was able to add to it a few times. Even though I do not expect to be buying anything more, I've been thinking of a tube or two of gouache and more recently, tempera paint...
Good morning here are some of my good finds of the past months. They came from various hobby stores, art supply stores, thrift stores and estate sales.

Posh New Wave glass palette 9x12 for $7.49 clearance.
Posh New Wave glass palette 12x16 for $9.99 clearance.
Rembrandt vintage 90pc set of pastels in wooden box 95% unused $25 (yep really) thrift store.
Stonehenge paper 22x30 pale blue and white 40 sheets for $25 clearance.
Stonehenge paper 22x30 black 40 sheets for $35 clearance.
Mabef Pochade box brand new $25 clearance.
Fifteen Ampersand floater frames size 8x8 to 9x12 for $70 nicks.
Eight Ampersand floater frames size 11x14 to16x20 for $85 nicks.
Ten bottles of Talens Ecoline watercolor for $18 damaged packaging.
Two bottles of Colourfix Primer 250ml for $5 each leaky.
Five 10-pks of Strathmore Watercolor card sets for $1.99ea clearance.
A block of Hahnemule 24x32cm cold press watercolor paper $10 small dent in corner.
The book "Color Mixing Bible" by Ian Sidaway $8 thrift store.
Ampersand Pastelbord three 18x24 for $10ea very small nicked corners.
Ampersand Encausticbords two 8x10 for $5 ea small nicked corners.
Pastel Premier Ecoboard nine 16x20 boards for $35 total torn packaging.
Twenty seven assorted Grumbacher and WN brushes for 75% off regular price.
Derwent Coloursoft CP 24-set for $9 smashed tin.
Five of the small size Daniel Smith WC Ground jars for $6 ea clearance.
Fourteen Daniel Smith WC tubes for $3.59 ea clearance.

I love, love, love bargain shopping, and I have much, much more that I could list. Some things I keep, some things I gift.. Today is rainy and even a little bit snowy and I'm laid up w a sprained ankle and twisted knee. I can't quite get comfortable enough to do any artwork, so I thought I'd post on some of my recent finds...have a blessed artfull day all...