Sunday, April 25, 2010

My new Toys.....

On the last day of my UK trip, I went through to London on the tube. I landed up in Trafalgar Square! What a different sight met my eye from the last time we were in London some years back - NO pigeons!!!!!!!!!!!! I hardly recognised the place! The square was jam packed with youngsters and tourists milling around and sitting on every ledge and every step, just enjoying being out in the fresh spring air. Once I'd got my bearings and strolled a while I discovered a sign saying "DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS", I then realised why it looked so different! I have wonderful pictures of the pigeons on my son's head's, nipping their ears, trying to steal seed out of their pockets - but now, there were NO pigeons. My memories of them were wonderful, despite their annoying habits!, But I felt a tad sad that they weren't there to greet me this time.

As I wondered around, I caught sight of the National Gallery which I decided to pop in and look around a while, seen I had a bit of time to spare while I waited for the hotel to get my room ready. What a wonderfully awe-inspiring place to visit. There are just rooms and rooms or should I say floors and floors of art pieces from artists of all centuries and mediums... quite something!  After about an hour I'd only seen a third of the gallery, but I wanted to move on as I was running out of time.

As luck would have it...on my way back to the tube, I came across an art shop Cass Art shop.... some of you might know it. I had a really tough time turning my head and just walking past as by this time I should have checked into my hotel, but curiosity got the better of me and I stepped inside.What a wonderful artshop .... watercolour paints by the score, palettes, mediums, magnificent paper and so much more to tease the artists soul.... some of which I wish we had here in South Africa, but due to freight charges and our exchange rate the selection is limited. As I was gleefully scanning the shelves at all the marvels, I could barely contain myself when came across the most exciting find of my trip..........

 2 squirrel hair mop brushes


Now, I'm sure that some of you are probably thinking 'why did she spend all that money at that shop, as there are plenty other shops to choose from'. Well in truth... I have wanted these brushes for ages and I acted on impulse, and didn't mind.... I NEEDED these brushes. The hardest choice was choosing the size I thought I'd use often. I'm so thrilled with my new acquisition and these are two of my favourite brushes at the moment which helped me paint my Stonehenge sketches.... I'm sure I'll be using them a lot more now too with the loose style I have been practising at my workshop. "Happiness is a new set of brushes"............ pity better brushes don't paint better paintings!

Until next time.......

14 comments:

jane minter said...

D:) enjoy them debbie !

Sandra said...

I know exactly what you mean about being so excited about a new brush! I have only ever had cheapy ones and I am about to invest in a pure sable. I have heard so many times that a good brush makes all the difference! I have seen alot of these squirrel mops around and I've been tepmted to buy one. They look great! I love their unique shape. There is an amazing art shop in Tunbridge Wells not far from me and they do a whole range of them, including a short one for sketching. I can't wait to see your first painting using yout new toys! Don't forget to let us know what you think of them!

Maree said...

It's a pity about the pigeons, I enjoyed them immensely when I was there - but just not feeding them couldn't have made them disappear totally - do you think they implemented an eradication program? That would be terrible...

Better brushes might not make better paintings (although it does help!) but man, the enjoyment!

martinealison said...

Hi Debbie,
Je comprends aisément l'excitation que vous décrivez en entrant dans ce magasin. Je ressens toujours cette excitation moi aussi et j'ai l'impression alors de me trouver dans la caverne d'ali baba!
Les premiers instants mon regard se porte sur tout, il bondit et rebondit partout! une véritable puce!
Puis quand la pression se relâche et que le choix se confirme, on a qu'une seule hâte celle de vite essayer son nouveau jouet, comme vous le dites si parfaitement bien.
J'espère qu'il apportera beaucoup de joie et je suis désireuse et pressée d'admirer vos prochaines oeuvres.
Amitiés.

Debbie said...

Je crois que tous les artistes ressemblent aux enfants dans les Confiseries Martine Alison. Si nous voyons quelque chose de joli, nous DEVONS juste l'avoir ........ je vais apprécier mes nouveaux jouets tant de ......
Amitiés.

Hope this translator makes sense.... as it's direct translation!!!!! :)

Debbie said...

Maree, I don't quite know how they did it, there were a few pigeons, but not like it was 10 years ago!

' I feel like a better artist... and that's a good feeling'!!!!!!! Even if its in my head ;/

Debbie said...

Hi Sandra

I was told that it's very different to work with, but I really love the amount of pigment it holds. It also is soft and had a magnificent fine point making the versatility exciting and challenging for a single brush. Thanks for your reply! Now off you go and buy your sable.... also a wonderful brush!

Debbie said...

Jane... I'm so glad I saw yours.... Didn't realise you could get other brands apart from the Isabey. Yours were the stimulus for my purchase.....Thanks a million! I will enjoy them.

Jean Haines ASWA said...

I am THRILLED you have these wonderful brushes. I have Isabey and W&N and would be so lost without them. They load so well ,are brilliant for large washes and so much more. Have a ball getting to know your two new best friends Debbie and I a also thrilled you had time to enjoy London! Even without all the pidgeons!

Debbie said...

Jean, in truth, you were the very first one who inspired me to get a mop brush a year ago.... but couldn't afford the Isabey at the time. Then this year when I saw a few other artists with similar brushes I got really excited.
London is a big place, I could have ended up anywhere but my guardian angel took me shopping. I'm thrilled I found this art supplier!

Cathy Gatland said...

Debbie, I'm so glad you found Cass (there is one near my sister's flat in London which I was thrilled to pop into at every opportunity) and these brushes. I'm going to the UK for a wedding very soon and will look out for them too... and I'm sure they'll help your painting take a leap forward, just because you'll want to paint a whole lot more! Enjoy!

Crystal Cook said...

I have been wanting some of these brushes for some time now. Fun new toys!! Glad you had such a great time on your trip. And expense, GAH! You're on vacation right? ;)

Cathy said...

I know precisely what you mean by being happy to find THESE brushes. These are the brushes that we generally use in France, and can find anywhere. I've lately discovered that you can't find them in South Africa, and I was very surprised. I thought all the watercolour artists knew them and used them! But they told me they just couldn't order them in the art shops in Pretoria where I asked... why? No idea! I suppose nobody buys them becaus enobody knows them in SA? Enjoy them !!

Debbie said...

Cathy G, It was a lovely surprise to have stumbled across this lovely shop. I think you have these brushes if I'm not mistaken.... enjoy your trip and your shopping.

Crystal, they are wonderful.... and the price.... have found out that they were pretty reasonable.

Cathy.... I think its the shipping costs that stop the stores from supplying them. It's best to order them online. But it's frustrating I know, not being able to buy good art equipment here. If you do find.... you pay a premium.

Thanks for your wonderful comments.