One of the best things about working at an art supply store is that you are literally surrounded by art supplies. Surprisingly enough, quite a few of them are actually at your disposal…

When we get in shipments of canvas, inevitably some of them will be slightly damaged. A little warp here, a blemish there. We can’t sell them at full price, and rather than reduce them and take a hit, we call them in as damaged and get a full credit for them. Then they’re free to anyone who wants them.

There are also a lot of supplies – paints, markers, pencils, etc. – that have been damaged by customers. Or products that we have written off for store use, such as for making display signs. These tend to accumulate in boxes behind the counter.

Every retail job has its boring times. When the economy sucks, artists are among the first to be affected, and they don’t buy as many supplies. Which leads to more and more boring days. When you get bored enough, sometimes you take some of the “damaged” supplies and make something. My coworker calls this practice “breaking out of art jail.”

The other day was dreadfully slow. I decided to take a giant canvas that had been sitting around forever and do something with it. I first applied a nasty off-brand yellow ochre acrylic with a palette knife and decided it looked like a cliff of some sort. I attempted to use some blue india ink to make a sky, but wasn’t quite happy with it. I mixed in some glazing liquid and some silver acrylic and played with it until it looked like clouds. I sprayed it a little with a bottle of Windex just to see what it would do. When all of this was dry I went back over it with a black permanent marker. This was the result:

 

 

I’m not sure if it’s done or not. I’m going to say probably not. If we’re slow tomorrow (and we very well might be) then I’ll mess around with it some more and see what I can come up with, and upload another pic. But this is where it stands as of now.

 

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