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Sunday 7 March 2010

Buying paint, an important "bit-in-between"

"Still no spring-green", by Susie Mallett, March 2010

Yesterday afternoon I took myself off to the art shop in the middle of the city. Normally I would walk but it was bitterly cold so I went by tram and U-Bahn.

I had a shopping list

I bought everything that was on, the and of course a lot more.

I haven’t been painting much over the past year but started again very recently. So it is also a long time since I went into town especially to go to the art shop. Normally town is a place that I avoid on a Saturday. Actually I avoid the whole city on Saturdays as I do not like the bustling crowds.

Today there were no crowds. The Club were not playing football, that always makes a big difference and the bitter weather kept people cosy indoors too. The art shop was surprisingly empty and there were lots of assistants available and willing to help.

On my list for the art shop were some gold and silver ink, gold and silver crayons, some metallic acrylic paints, and some gold powder. I also needed cadmium-red, alizarin-crimson, and cobalt-green half-pans of watercolour. These are tiny and expensive, and gorgeous to look at. I like these little half-pans even more when they are clean and shining in the paint tin before use, they look almost good enough to eat!

Added to these in my basket was a 32 x 24 cm pad of 125-lbs, rough, watercolour paper to continue the series that I have began painting in 2010. Luckily I found some almost identical in texture and colour as the paper that I have just finished, that I had bought in the UK.

That wasn’t all that I put in my shopping basket

I found two pairs of scissors that I think may be perfect for the next stages in learning to cut for my athetoid littlie.

I found a nice fold-out, concertina-type card that I will use to create something appropriate for my grand-niece/nephew when it at last arrives on the scene (due last Sunday).

I found some blank do-it-yourself memory cards that I will use at work with the children, or maybe even for myself, and I bought some heart-shaped beer-mats for guests to paint at a friend's wedding, and that was it.

I stuck my hands in my pockets and walked, eyes facing forwards not to be tempted by the bits and pieces strategically placed like the chocolates in the supermarkets, to the cashier!

I was very pleased with my purchases and impressed by how restrained I had been considering the lovely things that I had seen and touched. I love art shops, I would love to have the opportunity to do one of those shopping trolley runs like they used to do years ago. Five minutes to fill the trolley with paints and brushes, easel and canvases, pads of paper and, my biggest weakness of all, sketch-books!

I can dream and, until the dream comes true, I can keep my hands in my pockets.

Affordable clothes

With my rucksack full of goodies I walked ithrough the Siberian wind back towards the U-Bahn. On the way I noticed that there was a sale on at one of my two favourite, affordable clothes shops. Actually the one that I spotted yesterday is affordable only when there is a sale on!

I had been looking at my wardrobe recently and had decided that in the next months I should purchase a pair of black trousers if I found any going cheap. There they were, along with a cheap shirt, not exciting but warm. I also came across a lightweight, black, long, thin-wool jacket/ cardigan, ideal to throw in my suitcase in spring and autumn, even in summer if I am visiting the UK!

I didn’t buy anything fancy, all very sensible things that I had decided that I needed at some time or other. Here they all were in one shop. That is the way I like to go shopping, quick and painless and no crowds.

Although the art shop was the more exciting store, the temptation had been just as strong in the clothes shop.

The assistant was about the same age as me, and had lots of time as the shop was almost empty and spontaneously began bringing me things to try on. I love it when this happens because I am just as much an opsimath when it comes to clothes, as I am with books.

I enjoy it very much when women of my own age feel happy to advise me. This lady was really good at it, she brought me lots of things that I would really have enjoyed wearing but would never have chosen for myself. I would have loved to have bought them all. I probably would have bought them all if I didn’t want to travel to Hong Kong this year and desperately need a new laptop.

I resisted here too, put all but the three sensible items back on the shelf, and walked to the cashier, coincidently spending exactly the same in both shops!

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