Tag Archive for art supplies

The Blank Canvas | Betsy Schoettlin, Guest Blogger

“It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.”
Paul Cezanne

I’ve been buying art supplies for 30 years. Canvasses, canvas pads, tracing paper, acrylics, oils, mediums, brushes, pencils, pastels, graphite paper, smudge sticks, big easels, small easels, table easels, outdoor easels, the list goes on and on. I can’t even imagine how much money I have spent on my passion for painting.

art-supplies1a

And, up until now, I’d never touched a canvas with a brush. Or with anything else. For 30 years I have been buying and storing and then giving away, or otherwise disposing of, my art supplies without a single drawing or painting to show for it. One time I managed to get a sketch onto a canvas but was so dissatisfied with it that I erased it.

I’m not normally a fearful person. I regularly do things that are outside of my comfort zone, that stretch me beyond what I think I am truly capable of both physically and emotionally. Except painting. And yet, I keep buying art supplies.

art-supplies2

In my mind, I have all sorts of reasons why I haven’t been able to paint. But the real reason is because I am afraid. Not that other people would see what I painted and be unimpressed. I am afraid that, if I actually put brush to canvas, I will know, finally, whether or not I can paint. So much better to not have tried, to be ready to try, to have the option to try, to not know.

And then I found a few painting apps and a real hold-in-your-hand-with-a-brush-end “paintbrush” for my iPad. In the digital world I could “paint” right on top of a photo or a drawing. The iPad felt like sort of like a canvas. I could hold it in my lap. And I could “undo” my mistakes. It was nearly free, no wasted oils or embarrassing failed canvasses. No struggling to get a sketch onto the canvas. I started painting on my iPad and it was amazing and fabulous. I experimented and played, and erased and deleted and started again. And again, and again. And every now and then, something came out pretty well. SO exciting. And there was no pressure, it was just playing. But I still didn’t paint.

Last spring I placed a big order at Rex Art for more art supplies. Again. Gorgeous, silky oils in beautiful little wooden boxes, luscious hand rolled pastels and some new paintbrushes (you can never have too many). I arranged them in a stately old bookcase, with the brushes artfully placed in a vintage pitcher. They looked fabulous. But I still didn’t paint.

unusedpaints2

Art supplies arranged on shelf. So pretty & pristine.

Have you ever jumped into a freezing cold lake or off of a high dive or cliff? You stand there, looking down, knowing you can do it, watching your 10 year old niece do it over and over, and yet every fiber of your being is focused on preventing you from jumping. So, for just a second, the blink of an eye, you shut down your brain, create a blank space, stop thinking, grab hold of a bit of faith, and step into the abyss. And when you hit the water you sink and it’s cold and you’re not sure if you can get back to the surface in time to breathe and then you do. And the water is viciously cold, but it’s a different kind of cold than you thought, bracing, exhilarating, survivable. And you did it.

A few weeks ago, I got a postcard from our local art center. I went to the website and I stood there on the cliff, staring down into the icy water as I had so very many times before. And I stepped off. I signed up for “Dare to Try: A Painting Workshop for the Complete Novice”. That was Monday, September 16th. The class started on Tuesday, the 17th. Which really wasn’t a problem because, hey, I already had a crap load of art supplies, beautifully arranged in my bookcase.

To be continued……

Rex Artist, Alex Vidales, Shares His Latest Artwork

Alex Vidales’s Marilyn

Another fantastic Rex Artist, Alex Vidales, wanted to share how he uses our creative products. It makes our day when we get to see how our products are used, and our customer’s beautiful artwork. You can see Alex’s most recent artwork by visiting his website. Alex, great work! Please keep us up to date with your newest pieces!

Rex Artist, Elena Kariyannis, Shares Her Latest Artwork

Erocksny

Erocksny

We love it when our customers share their creative visions with us, and we get to see how they use the products we sell. Check out Rex Art customer Elena Kariyannis, aka “Erocksny” site, and her wonderful artwork!

Erocksny

Erocksny

Interesting Question from a Rex Art Customer

Here is an interesting customer inquiry we received recently….

Lee asked us:

Hi,
I came across your website and it seems like you might know what I need. I am a teacher and one of my students was the class valedictorian this year. I am making her a “book plaque“. It is basically a leather bound book, opened to the center and her speech is pasted on the two center pages. The rest of the book has been glued together with the corners bent and it has been painted with tea and coffee to make it look really old. I would now like to paint the entire book with something to seal it so it becomes “hard“ without damaging the book. Do you know what I would need to do that. Thank you for your help.
Lee

Our Reply:

Hi Lee,

Thank you for your inquiry. Great project, and it sounds very interesting.

From your description your first option would be to use a decoupage sealer like the Mod Podge shown here:
Mod Podge

Plaid Mod Podge

Plaid Mod Podge

Now, one of your problems might be that the tea or coffee could react with a liquid sealer because they are water soluble. You might need to apply several light coats of a spray fixative to the surface first to create a barrier, and then apply the sealer once a few coats of a fixative has been applied. Suggested fixatives would be the following:
Fixatives

Also, Mod Podge is designed to be used in a single coat or can be coated several times to create a thicker or harder surface. However, another alternative might be to use a Gel Medium like the following in either a matte or gloss sheen. The gel medium is thicker from the get go and would result in a thicker or harder surface once applied.
Liquitex Matte Medium
Liquitex Gloss Medium

Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Lastly, since your application is a bit experimental with the use of coffee and tea you should test the application first before proceeding to do the book as I am sure you do not wish to ruin all the work you have done so far.

We hope this information helps! Please do share a picture with us once you have finished your project!

Please let us know how we can assist you further.

Thank you,

Rex Artist, Michelle Dick, shares her artwork and favorite tool!

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - Shell

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Shell"

It is always wonderful when one of our customers, or Rex Artists as we like to call them, shares their artistic vision with us, and how they use our tools in their creative endeavors. A long time Rex Artist, Michelle Dick, is passionate about scratch art, and one of her favorite artistic tools is the Speedball #112 Flat Scratch Knife pictured below.

Michelle Dick's favorite Scratch Art tool - the Speedball #112 Flat Knife

Michelle Dick's favorite Scratch Art tool - the Speedball #112 Flat Knife

Here is what Michelle told us about her artistic passion:

I find my inspiration living on the Island of Kaua’i, in it’s natural beauty, and in its people and cultural heritage. Black and white, and the almost infinite shades between the two, have always been my primary means of expression. Before I discovered scratch board, I worked in pen and ink…. another medium that could feed my obsession for fine detail. For the last 15 years, scratch board has given me full rein to explore dramatic contrasts of shade, as well as contrasts in detail, and negative space.
I am self-taught, having set challenges for myself in this somewhat marginalized medium, and still find myself surprised and newly inspired with the results.

Here is some more of her fabulous artwork for you to enjoy:

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Nene"

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Nene"

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - Awapuhi: Hair-washing Ginger

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Awapuhi: Hair-washing Ginger"

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Star Tree"

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Star Tree"

Michelle Dick's scratch art

Michelle Dick's scratch art

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Anthurium"

Michelle Dick's scratch art image titled - "Anthurium"

If you are interested in contacting Michelle regarding her artwork please visit the NaPali Art Gallery.

Are you a Rex Artist? Do you want to share your favorite Rex Art tools, techniques and artwork to be featured on Rex ARTicles? Please send us an email with a sample of your artwork, background information, and a synopsis of your technique and we might just feature you here on our blog!

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support and 60 great years! We look forward to the next 60!

Fredrix Cotton Canvas Rolls and Pro Series Canvases | Save More Now!

Save up to 58% on Selected=

Save up to 58% on Selected Fredrix Cotton Canvas Rolls from Rex Art!

We are having an amazing sale on some of our best selling Fredrix products! Save up to 58% on our most popular cotton canvas rolls from Fredrix. Need a 12oz heavy weight, acrylic primed canvas roll 96″ wide for your next mural? We’ve got it, right here! Maybe you would like a medium weight, cotton, in a 73″ width, primed and ready to paint? Check out the Fredrix Yankee rolls. Here at Rex we have a massive selection of canvas rolls from America’s finest and oldest provider of artist canvas, Fredrix. Whatever your artistic needs we are sure to have a cotton canvas roll to meet your creative needs, and as always at the fantastic Rex Art prices you know and love! But hurry these sale prices will only last until April 30!

New - Pro Series Stretched Canvases from Fredrix - On Sale now at Rex Art!

New - Pro Series Stretched Canvases from Fredrix - On Sale now at Rex Art!

Maybe you want something ready to paint, but are looking for something above the standard every day stretched canvas? Introducing the Pro Series from Fredrix. These canvases are definitely a cut above the rest. Featuring:

So what are you waiting for? With our fabulous products, fantastic prices and warmer weather on the way it’s time to get creative! Please act soon our special sale on these products will end on April 30th!

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support and 60 great years! We look forward to the next 60!

Save 55% on Fredrix Red Label Canvases for a limited time at Rex!

Save 55% Off on Fredrix Red Label Canvases from Rex Art for a limited time!

Save 55% Off on Fredrix Red Label Canvases from Rex Art for a limited time!


We are kicking off the new year with the best prices of the year on Fredrix Red Label Canvases. Fredrix has been producing the best canvas products in the US since 1868. Their quality and reputation for canvas is unmatched. There are lots of brands of canvas out there, but when it comes to your artwork why not choose the best? We have arranged to offer these fantastic canvases with a special factory promotion only through Rex Art.

Now for a limited time you can take 55% off Fredrix Red Label Canvases, our best selling style of canvases. It is a great time to stock up and save! But act soon, because our Winter Fredrix Rex Art Sale is only for a limited time!

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support and 60 great years! We look forward to the next 60!

There is still time to get your Creative Gifts from Rex Art!

Cretacolor Ultimo Art Set of 36 - Wood Box

Cretacolor Ultimo Art Set of 36 - Wood Box

There is still time to get a fantastic creative gift hand picked by Rex Art, and delivered to your door in time for Christmas. We have a wonderful selection of art supply gifts still available – all at great special holiday Rex Art prices. We also are shipping most orders the same or the next business day.

Want to know if your gift will arrive on time? Call us, email us or check our Rex Art Holiday Map!

Want to know if your gift will arrive on time? Call us, email us or check our Rex Art Holiday Map!


Check out out our Rex Art Holiday Shipping Map to see if your package can still arrive in time. Not sure? Call us at 800-REX-ART2 or email us! Don’t miss out on giving that special person a cool, creative gift this holiday season because you were not sure what to get or whether it would arrive in time. We are here to help! We will work creatively to make sure your artistic gift arrives in time, and will be loved!

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support. From our family to yours, we wish you a joyous, healthy, and safe holiday season!

Rex Art Gift Sets | Everything you need for a Great Gift this Holiday Season!

Holiday Spotlight at Rex - Rex Art Gift Sets!

Holiday Spotlight at Rex - Rex Art Gift Sets!

The Rex Art Gift Sets are back and better than ever for the 2010 Holiday Season!  At Rex Art we know that giving an art supply gift can be a daunting task.  What brushes should I get?   I need an easel, if so, which one is good?  What type of paper should I get for drawing?  How many and what type of paint should be used?  What airbrush is best to start with? These questions and many others are the typical questions we get every Holiday Season from the average person that wants to give a great artistic, and creative gift, but they do not know what to get or even where to begin. First, we understand, and we are here to help you give a fantastic gift in almost any media whether it is oils, acrylics, watercolor, drawing, etc. Without further delay check out our Rex Art Gift Sets – Problem solved!

The Rex Art Oil Painting Gift Set - Everything you need to give a fantastic gift!

The Rex Art Oil Painting Gift Set - Everything you need to give a fantastic gift!

All of our Rex Art Gift Sets are custom assembled here at Rex Art. We only use the best products hand selected from our massive inventory of creative products. These sets are superior because we choose the components individually, and we only include the best of the best of our products in each media, which meet our strict criteria of quality, functionality, and value!

The Rex Art Drawing Gift Set - Everything you need to give a fantastic gift!

The Rex Art Drawing Gift Set - Everything you need to give a fantastic gift!

You are going be as thrilled to give our Rex Art Gift Sets as much as the person will be to receive them.

If you have any questions please do not forget we are always a phone call, 800-REX(739)-ART2(2782), or email away. There are no stupid questions and we are always happy to help you solve your artistic gift giving dilemmas.

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support. From our family to yours, we wish you a joyous, healthy, and safe holiday season!

Rex Art Supplies Launches Fredrix Pro Series Stretched Canvases | Save 10% Extra!

Rex Art Supplies Launches Fredrix Pro Series Canvases - Save 10% Extra!

Rex Art Supplies Launches Fredrix Pro Series Canvases | Save 10% Extra!

Fredrix has long been the number one manufacturer and producer of canvas for artists in the United States. Not a company to rest on their laurels they have introduced the Fredrix Pro Series of stretched canvases, one of the finest, and most anticipated products in their storied history. The Fredrix Pro Series Stretched Canvases are not designed for every artist or every artistic application, but when a top quality substrate is required they more than fit the bill. Simply put, the Fredrix Pro Series Stretched Canvases are the finest stretched canvas series ever produced by Fredrix.

The Pro Series from Fredrix all features:

In addition they are available in a large number of different sizes, and constructed with either a 7/8″ Profile Bar, 1-3/8″ Profile Bar, or an ultra contemporary 2-1/4″ Profile Stretcher Bar.

Here is what one of our customers had to say about the new Fredrix Pro Series 2.25″ Stretched Canvases:

This series of canvases are fantastic! It is very well constructed and feels very sturdy overall. The surface is tightly stretched and flat. I kept running my hands over the surface to feel its niceness. I have painted a large portrait (72″ x 60″) with Golden acrylic paints. The result is very satisfactory! I am very sure painting landscape or abstract will be marvelous also. Compared with some custom-made large canvases I used, this one is absolutely at the top. I wish Fredrix could make 84″ x 60″ also!

Everything has pros and cons. Since it has a lot of teeth on the surface and its large size, it eats brush fast also (due to the law of physics). I can see some brush hair remains on the surface. Portrait painters might wish a smoother surface. You cannot have it all. I think it suits palette knife painting the best (but it will eat knife fast also). This is not a complaint though.

I am so happy that Fredrix took this big step to introduce us this high quality new Pro series. I truly appreciate your outstanding customer service. I definitely will order more later.
Wendy F Houston TX

You know at Rex Art we are always about giving outstanding customer service, great products, and great prices. Right now would be a great time to try out the new Fredrix Pro Series Stretched Canvases because we are offering them at an additional 10% OFF from now through 11/30/10. Just click the link below to add the coupon to your cart or enter the coupon code at checkout.

Coupon Code: 1287701651

Take an Extra 10% OFF Fredrix Pro Series Stretched Canvases from Rex Art!

We would love to hear your thoughts on the new Pro Series Canvases from Fredrix. Please post a review on our site, or reply to this blog post.

As always our family at Rex thanks you for your support and 60 great years! We look forward to the next 60!