Santa's freight services delivered my studio easel while I was in Daytona. I assembled it this morning with the joy and care of a father assembling his kid's first bicycle. Why is an artist so excited about an easel? Much like my studio, it's my first. I've been painting for nearly 20 years and have never had either to call my own. The first studio I ever worked in was during my residency at McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC. The space was nearly 1,000 square feet, lit by skylights and came with two studio easels. My head was spinning like a Van Gogh sky for nearly two weeks. For someone who is used to painting in his kitchen and using the countertop for an easel, I was nearly paralyzed by my surroundings.
I hadn't planned on buying the easel. I was in Atlanta at Utrecht buying art supplies for the commission and noticed that it was 72% off the list price which made it $209! I had an online coupon that gave me $60 off on any order over $200. The on-line price was even lower...$199.99! I bought a pack of X-acto blades to put the total over the $200 limit and now the easel is only $140! Hell, if that wasn't a sign that it needed to be mine, nothing else was. Now that it's here, I can't stop looking at it, nor can I can't wait to paint something on it. That's going to be awhile considering my schedule. Nonetheless, it's here and it's mine and yes, I am going to put a big red bow on it, stand it next to the Christmas tree and act like Santa hand carried it from the North Pole. I might even give it a ride around the neighborhood in my wagon.
This is the final week of planning for me before I start painting. The images from the state archives were waiting on me and I'll be incorporating them into my layout the rest of the week. I'll gesso the canvas tomorrow, then again on Wednesday in anticipation of starting to sketch on Saturday. Can't wait. The butterflies are circling below and I'm anxious to get to the point where the paint is flowing and I settle in.