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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Best Thrift Store Find Ever!

'Reach for the Sky'        8x15      pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available  $150
Well maybe I exaggerate. The best find would be a full set of Terry Ludwig pastels. Actually I'd take a full set of any pastels. So maybe it wasn't the best thrift store find ever but it was pretty good!  Last night Michael and I were out for dinner and decided to pop into a local thrift store. You never know what treasures you'll find so I love thrifting!

I was poking around in the bag section (I can't help it but I am addicted to bags and shoes) when Michael came over to me with a bag of paintbrushes. At first glance I thought they were just junky cheap brushes although I'd be happy with those too. But upon closer inspection I could see through the plastic that they were good brushes! And the price was even better.....just 20 cents for the bag.  It turns out that there were 31 brushes of various sizes and types including some sables and other really nice quality brushes. I could tell they were well loved and cared for. Twenty cents!!!

20 cents for the lot!

I had to use one for today's painting. I decide to use one of the cheaper bristle brushes to do an alcohol wash underpainting. Using one of my California reference photos and a scrap of Uart paper. I blocked in some Eucalyptus trees using Derwent Inktense sticks.

The block in stage

After the alcohol wash
The stiff brush was perfect. It allowed me to push the wet pastel around. I was left with some interesting drips as well. After the alcohol wash dried I continued the painting using soft pastels. I used mostly Terry Ludwig pastels with a few Diane Townsend soft form pastels.

I need to spend some time organizing the brushes to see what I have. I feel good that I am now their owner. I'd like to think that their previous ownerwho took such good care of them would be happy.


Sharon said...

I did find pastels at my local thrift store. Last year I found a set of 24 Nupastel...never been used. and a set of 60 extra fine soft Mungyo pastels...and the only pastel that had been even slightly used was the white one! Happy Days :)

Nathalie H.D. said...

Wow, twenty cents for a set of good brushes, that was a good day!
Love Sharon's story too, it means you should never stop looking. I love thrift stores too.

I love your work, visit here regularly even though I don't comment. I love the way you explain how you work. It's very generous of you. I'm into oil painting as an occasional amateur, not into pastel, but I'm always interested in following you.

Your eucalypts here remind me of Australia where I lived for 6 years - they're native and can be found all over the place there. Happy memories.


wonderful work in pastels

Chris Lally said...

I think you were rewarded because you have such a generous spirit. Not many artists willingly share their creative secrets on their blogs. I'm sure there are more art supplies out there just waiting for YOU! Hope you find them soon.

robertsloan2art said...

Wow! 20 cents? I'd have picked up a bag of glue brushes for that, at least I'd have glue brushes! That's incredible. So cool you got a jar of GOOD brushes for practically nothing. Beats my best-ever thrift store bargains, though I did pretty good on clearance bargains. Managed to get a set of 200 Winsor & Newton pastels for $300 when they were discontinued, a full range wood box set, then got tons more open stock in random grab bags and some small sets at about a dollar a stick. That and some good gift sets on Clearance were my biggest bargains. It's always a thrill!

I love eucalyptus, so today's painting is a delight. You captured their scale! They soar so tall and graceful, with such a distinctive silhouette. Very cool underpainting, good demo of an underpainting. I didn't realize Inktense dissolves well in alcohol, very cool to know that! Love the finish!

One thing I do watch out for bargains is finding used pastels on eBay and in the WetCanvas Swap Shop. People give up the medium and have well organized mixed-brand collections that are worth a lot and often come in good storage containers sorted by hue and value. It's a lot of fun and after a while I could recognize most brands from feel and shape of the sticks, sort them into texture categories rather than by brand.

Anonymous said...

That is a deal! I need to find a thrift store like that. That is interesting about the Inktense blocks underpainting. I'll have to try that, I love Inktense' bold color.