An Artist’s Thanksgiving

After spending Thanksgiving with family, I settled in to write a post that would be both enlightening and interesting, but thanks to the turkey-induced half coma, I figured I would just list a few things I’m thankful for, as an artist.

I am thankful for…Photoshop. Seriously, I would not have the first clue of how to change the colors of my images, resize them, or scan them in without this program. Sure it sounds silly, but after having reformatted my computer recently, I lived without Photoshop for a week. There was much flailing and hair pulling.

I am thankful for…tube paints. Believe it or not, this is a fairly modern innovation! Artists were mixing their own pigments up until the the 19th century. Though this sounds kind of fun on one level, I am notoriously lazy and give thanks for being able to find the exact hues I need in a handy dandy tight and cute tube of paint that is ready for my gentle squeeze onto the palette.

I am thankful for…illustration board. I love the stuff. It may not be as absorbent as pure cotton Arches, but I love this paper’s mixed media capability and the fact I don’t have to mount it on something because it’s hard enough to stand alone. There’s nothing more annoying than finding a painting you love with creases and dents in it because the paper was too fragile.

I am thankful for…the internet. I wouldn’t be able to talk to so many fine folks nor share my art with the world if it weren’t for the ability to mass communicate beyond word of mouth. I feel like the world is at my fingertips and that I’m more connected with kindred spirits who are many miles away. I would not be able to achieve much of anything as an artist without the internet (or at least not as easily!).

I am thankful for…Crayola. I know, I know! It’s pretty low quality stuff, but who didn’t grow up with the familiar yellow box with big child-friendly font? I need only smell the wax of my old Crayola crayons to get nostalgic. Crayola (and Twinkies) make me think of everything good and pure about my childhood. I can’t imagine a world without them.

There’s much more to be thankful for this season, but this is where I leave off and you take over. Tell me what you’re thankful for, as an artist, a writer, a crafter, or as just a person enjoying the spirit of appreciation.

One comment

  1. Hayley E. Lavik says:

    We did our Thanks thing back in October, but a few of the things I’m thankful for… the internet, for the immense amount of useful information and glimpses into period lives I would otherwise never have had for my work. No matter the amount of research I could do offline, I doubt I would find so many first hand resources and unique accounts. Now if only they all pertained to the ‘period’ I’m writing.

    I am also thankful for the internet for the wonderful people it’s put me in touch with, kept me in touch with, and kept as a constant source of encouragement. I’m also glad when I can do the same in return for them, in my own small part.

    I’m thankful for fountain pens, which have endured through classic design despite constant influxes of new technology. I love me my iPod for working ambience, but writing just does not seem to flow as well on a keyboard. I am, however, immensely thankful for my laptop, being able to keep my entire manuscript with me wherever I go, edit as many times as I need without constant rewriting (the messiness and time-consumption of which I am painfully aware, having edited/rewritten uncooperative first drafts of chapters several times)

    And I’m thankful for silence, that I’m lucky enough to have a place of quiet to retreat to, and the time to do so. I know there’s a quote out there somewhere about the immense value of silence on the creative mind, but I don’t remember what it is.

    But also I’m just thankful we had the chance to redo a Thanksgiving with family and lay a little balm on old memories of hospital visits following on the heels of the last such get-together.

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