I Really Might Need That! Confessions of an Art Materials Haorder
You know those shows about people who hoard like everything from trash to animals. I watch them, expect animal hoarding that’s kind of creepy for me. I watch them because one I’ve got some family that lands in that category, two to remind myself not to fall in that category and third to see how psychologist try to get them to move on.
It’s kind of a fascination for me.
I’ve never been a collector of anything. I get these spurts where I just toss stuff; sometimes I have a remorse for things I threw out. But I discovered something about myself, while I was going through some old totes to find some art materials for a project I was doing. I found all these art materials I had forgotten about. Paints, etching and block printing materials, canvas, oils, acrylics, guache, charcoal, pastels, candle making materials. I found I had kept just regular ball point pens, felt tips and regular pencils tucked away. And brushes lands sake those are worth their weight in goal.
And papers…don’t get me started on the paper I found tucked in every nook and cranny. I kept things, literally from the 80’s, high school. I found tons of old work. I have this deal with myself, if I despise a piece I’m working on, I stop and put it a side. Unfortunately newspaper print paper is not archival.
Anyway, I thought “why did I have all this stuff?” I thought I got to go through this junk and figure out what to keep. Then I knew that in my heart, I couldn’t throw any of it until I had touched and looked at every piece. Gasp! I am an art materials hoarder!
It all started in high school. Art stuff is expensive. When ever I would get a hold of something even if it was nearly was gone because who knew when I would ever get that piece of string again and I could use it later. I loved ever piece of work, until I made something new, like it was my child. I could not let it go. Now I’m thinking these kids 18 years or older. They need to move and bring in some money! In college, I had some money and bought materials I lusted after for years. I experimented with many different types of mediums (as if you couldn’t tell from the list above). Teachers encouraged you to keep your old work just in case you need inspiration or you want to collage. Which I never collage (roll eyes) but I kept them.
Don’t get me wrong, I have found it very valuable that I kept a lot of these things, but dried up paint, mineral sprits not properly stored ( ka boom), brushes with hardly any bristles. Come on...
Then I noticed something else, it wasn’t just fine art materials but children’s art materials as well. I keep scraps of construction paper, crayons, and makers, stickers, dried up glue. I save thousands of crayons from the trash each day.
Then I noticed the hoarding went in to my sewing projects. I’m not very good but I took up quilting while the boys were infants so I could create and not worry about someone drinking some turpentine. It is not expensive to start and there are so many different cloths to choose from. *sigh* I have kept I swear all the tiniest pieces of scrap cloth I may have every used. I was thinking crazy quilts. Yes, crazy quilts.
All my digital art work I have copies and copies of work kept in like 12 different formats. Copies and copies of programs. My duplicates have duplicates. I have hard disk copies. What use are those now? Coasters. Maybe. Of course needless to say I have piles of computer paper, photo paper, brochure paper, t shirt transfer paper, shrink a dinks (don’t ask) and inks. So after the shock of discovering this about myself. I began to wonder is it so bad? I was saving money, kind of.
After all art materials are expensive. What void am I filling? A creative void? A void that I’ll never be the artist I want to be. I can’t go there just yet. Nah, I think, art supplies are expensive.
I think this is going to be a long process.
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