Art supplies in America (again)

I’m back in the U.S. for the moment, fixing a commission here in Los Angeles and teaching a small plein air workshop. Once again I ordered most of my materials here in the States as flying with paints is a hassle these days. In May I grabbed a whole set of Williamsburg’s oil colors on sale at New York Central, this time I picked up my set from Blue Ridge Artist Materials. They have some of the best prices I’ve seen on hand ground oil colors and they sell that cadmium vermilion I love so much for portraits.

Madison Art Shop has my favorite steel Italian easels on sale for $50 at the moment. I think they are the best field easels available for their durability, portability and, above all, sturdiness. I’ve painted in storm force 10 winds with one of these and a bag of rocks hanging on it.

I usually get the Silver brand brushes with the green handle and copper ferrule, but this trip I picked up a bunch of the (new?) Blick Masterstroke bristles which seem really nice so far, aside from the goofy name. They are on sale in the Blick stores (maybe online too) until October 11th.

Rather than fly with my Italian panels or canvas I ordered a number of different sizes and ‘substrates’ from New Traditions art panels. The gatorfoam I feel is too fragile for outdoor use, and one of the 1/4″ birch panels warped in a day (from the heat?), but the Dibond panels are really impressive to see. Though expensive, they are incredibly sturdy and very light-weight. I got the Claessens double-primed c66 on everything as I’m used to working with it. We also bought 50 or so of the Ray Mar Art oil panels which are cheaper (though still very well made) and also have the Claessens linen on them.

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