Art Challenge at Thanksgiving

It sounds like a recipe for a Thanksgiving tear-jerker: My spouse is in Virginia, waiting for our house to sell; the people I’m staying with are in the Caribbean, watching the UConn Lady Huskies play; I’m alone in Arizona without a Thanksgiving invitation.

The instant I knew this would happen, I began to plan for it. No turkey, nothing that makes me feel alone and sad. No need. I chose this way of moving to another state, and knew it could happen. Dinner will be a favorite chicken recipe, and I will go over all the things I have to be grateful for. It’s a long list.

art suppliesOne of the things I miss the most is not having my art supplies here with me. Today I came up with an idea–if I spent $50 on art supplies, what would I chose? How much art could I make? Off I went to Utrecht Art Supply in Tempe to find out. I had a few things with me–my journal would serve as paper, I have a few pencils and pens, I can borrow masking tape and some cheap, hardware store 1-inch brushes for gel medium. Here’s what I purchased:

— An 8-0z. jar of gel medium in semi-gloss Golden gel medium. Can’t live without it. It’s glue, it’s paper prep, it makes colors more transparent.

— Five small bottles of Golden acrylics in Titan Buff, Naples Yellow, Raw Umber, Interference Gold, and Cobalt Turquoise. Can’t resist that gold shimmer. I stuck to one color palette and added a contrast.

–A set of inexpensive brushes for paint, blending and gel medium application.

–A box of 15 Caran D’Ache water soluble neocolor crayons. I’ve never used them before, but I love crayons and the idea that these can be used with water is exciting. And it extends my color range.

–A kneaded eraser, a 6-inch ruler, a hardware store version of an X-acto Knife.

That’s it. Tomorrow I’ll start to see what I can create with that supply list and whatever I can use for art in the house. This morning I noticed that the dining room chairs have some interesting carved designs. A rubbing might be nice.

I’ll publish the pieces as I go along. And if you, too, are alone at Thanksgiving, join in and make some art. Send along a photo to Quinncreative [at] yahoo [dot] com, and I’ll post the best ones.

I also stopped at the library and picked up three great books, two world music CDs, and a DVD of a classic movie–Now, Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. What a great weekend–chick flick, art and no bickering relatives!

–Quinn McDonald is an artist, writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at (c) 2007 All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Art Challenge at Thanksgiving

  1. Pingback: Art on a Budget (tutorial) « QuinnCreative

  2. I like your ideas for your Thanksgiving alone. I’m glad you picked up some art supplies. Being able to make art again will certainly be something to be thankful for, I’m sure! Rest assured though, if you lived nearby you’d be invited to join the “Wolfy” pack at our table. I’ll think about you. Jane

  3. I was wondering how long it would take you to break down and buy some art supplies 🙂 And you said you picked up three great books; can I ask what you got? My husband and I don’t celebrate T-day (or any other American holiday) and he and I will be together on T-day (so I won’t be alone), but I applaud your preparations for being alone. Sounds like a fine day to me, making art, reading, listening to music and watching a Bette Davis movie!

    —Well, it didn’t take me long to buy art supplies. I have never in my whole life NOT celebrated Thanksgiving, but I’m not taking it as a huge disappointment–I could have chosen to go to a restaurant or cook a turkey breast. I just wanted to see what being grateful without felt like when it’s not connected to eating turkey. And the idea of having free time for art is wonderful. –Q

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