Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year´s Eve

No, I will not publish any special New Year´s drawings here, I mean, how original could it be? A drawing of fireworks? Don´t think so. A watercolor of champagne glasses? Nope. New Year´s eve is a great day, a fine celebration, but to try to draw something "Newyearsevy" just to wish you all a happy new year feels a bit forced.

Instead I´m just going to show you what happens when I get a lot of time on my hands (17 days off work around Xmas and New Year´s - yay!). I found this little gem among my other art materials, a Winsor and Newton bijoux box of some kind. I never used it much, because the construction of it irritated me a bit.
Firstly, there´s a stupid little water compartment in it (hence the little cap, see image below), containing about the amount of water that would save an ant from dehydration. How did they imagine anyone would be able to paint with so little water? Even in an emergency situation? It doesn´t take up much space though, so I can live with it. But they could have left it out of the design.
Secondly, and this is worse than the water container, there are two metal rods inside that you have to squeeze in between the half pans to keep them in place, and these rods cover quite a bit of the surface of the pans, making it hard to pick up paint on the brush.
I love to be able to have watercolors with me in a small box like this, but it has to work properly and this one didn´t.

Now, with too much time, there´s always something you can do about badly designed art supplies. I threw out the rods, and discovered that without them there´s a whole lot more room in the box, so I could squeeze in two extra pans in it. I decided which order I wanted them all in, and then I simply glued them in with a glue gun. The box is incredibly small, only 8,5 x 6,3 cm (3.3 x 2.5 inch) and works just fine if I´m not out to make huge paintings. This little fella will replace my old customized box, which has served well until now (starting to look more than a little rugged, though).

Now that you know what I´m up to, except drawing, I´ll go back to slacking and eating all this unhealthy but incredibly tasty holiday food. Hey, it´s only New Year´s Eve once a year!

I´ll be back soon with some drawings. Until then - Happy New Year!


Cathy (Kate) Johnson said...

Hi Nina, and yes, I know just what you mean about not forcing artificial or chiche'd illustrations...guess I'm not in the mood either, though I like New Year's.

I'm delighted with your post however! I just gave my old Bijou box to my sweetheart, because I've done a LOT of work with it in the past and knew he'd love that. (And I have many other options...the curse of an art supply junkie...)

I'll send him the link to your journal so he can decide if he wants to customize, too! Thank you...and looking forward to seeing more of your work in 2007.

Lindsay said...

Nina, This post cracked me up because a few months ago, I bought this box. The first thing I did was empty out the pans and put in my tube paint. When I took the box out for a spiin with a niji brush, the brushes picked up the pans and they fell out of the box. So out with the stupid bars and in with a couple of pans (just like you!!) My glue gun glue does not stick to the enamiled surface so I have to figure out what to do about this. These boxes look much cooler than they work!!

Jana Bouc said...

I'm glad to hear that you were able to make it work for you but I'm also to learn it's not the greatest because I'd been thinking about getting one of those. You saved me the frustration. Thanks!

Laura said...

Happy New Year, Nina! I'm always impressed with your work and with your resourcefulness--this post about altering your little paintbox is a case in point. I'm really looking forward to following your progress in the coming year.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Happy New Year Nina! Hope you achieve what you set out to do and look forward to seeing what you create with these paints!

glassgirl said...


Lovely exlanation of art supplies and rethinking them. I also enjoyed seeing what colors and brands you use. I've been thinking about making up my own travelers box in an altoid tin, and have bee wondering what pans to buy...
Thanks for the info.