Monday, July 16, 2012

cost of living

I've had so many non-illustration commissions over the last two years --parade floats, puppet shows, mermaids, etc-- that the Winsor & Newton acrylic palette I've maintained steadily since 1996 went unused and dried up. With some new illustration work coming in, I had to start from scratch and purchase my entire palette all at once for the first time in 16 years. Ouch paint is expensive! Here's a comparison of my two purchases that day:

$200 of acrylic paint.

$100 of food.

Thankfully the paint will last longer then the food, and with luck I'll find enough illustration work to turn that paint into many more counter tops like this. And it does feel very good to have my tackle box full of shiny plump tubes again. I've missed painting. 

practical aesthetics

With my new food-centric life, I'm now in the grocery store and farmers' market 2-3 times a week. That's about 2-3 times more often then I was previously. This seems a reasonable amount when eating fresh. When I lived in Rome I noticed people would stop at the Campo de Fiori every day after work. Italians have tiny dorm size refrigerators they barely keep anything in because they mostly eat what they bought that day. This is common sense to them, so foreign to us.

Luckily I learned to enjoy the shopping. Partly it's that I like making a pleasing still life by filling my cart with produce. It's less fun shopping for unattractive, color-clashing packaging. The more beautiful my cart looks, the more healthy it is, really. And adding farmers' markets this summer has brought adventure and suspense to food gathering.

While I was getting the food part down, I was accumulating a mountain of plastic shopping bags I felt pretty bad about, as no trick could make me remember my reusable Stop & Shop bags. I read a blog that suggested buying beautiful shopping bags would make you remember them. I found these big sturdy ones, made of that flat plastic stuff used in bundle packaging. And indeed, I love them so much, I've never forgotten them. Aesthetics have practical applications.

Friday, July 06, 2012

good night, dreamers

I have a new blog. I can't even count what number this is, as I've left blogs littered all over the internet. This one is not of my own work, but collected videos I've been posting regularly on facebook in the evenings. They're all mellow, dreamy, hopeful, and beautiful. The kinds of things you'd want to fall asleep to. You can find it here.