An escalator can never break, it can only become stairs -Mitch Hedberg

Cyr Lumber in Davisville is a hotbed of art talent; the guy behind the counter does great dog portraits and the lady in the paint department paints these wonderful little designs on turkey feathers; The paint lady is Rihanna Frost, and I would link to her work but the name Rihanna is ungoogleable. Adding ‘Feather’ doesn’t help a bit because the famous singer Rihanna often hides her naughty bits with feathers and that’s broken the internet.

Rihanna Frost pointed me towards Aura paints as a way to smoothly and affordably prime backed artboards for drawing. I’m trying to make my original drawings classy and nice enough to sell.

The problem is that all my original drawings are done with cheap unsellable materials:

Why do I work with cheap unsellable materials?

1) Everything is scanned onto the computer and vectorized, so the originals are unimportant.

2) I’m busy! Being on the move all the time it’s hard to break out quill pens and brushes

3) It’s tiptoeing-through-the-daisies artsy to just draw and not worry about it.

4) Specialty art stuff is expensive and hard to come by here in this frozen tundra deep forest winterscape that is rural New Hampshire, I have to hike twenty miles with snowshoes, no I don’t.

Drawing boards with raised, hollow backs (like canvases) for hanging wires are classy AF, but they have to be primed, and gesso has a weird tooth to it for painting so I need to figure out a smooth primer for drawing. Not wanting to order gesso after gesso off the internet until one works, I headed to the hardware store to talk to Rihanna. Rather pulling a ripcord on question (Hardware store people scatter before my art questions like I was the Mongol hoard and no deodorant), Rihanna was kind enough to really get into it, explore it, think it through and be super helpful, which was great.

Rihanna was wrong.

Check out this catastrophic art failure

Check out this catastrophic art failure

It didn’t work. The Aura paint rejected the India ink like jet black water off a ducks back.

I had some black Aura paint for framing so I added Flowtrol to it to smooth it out and tried to use a tiny brush to emulate quill ink lines but it was no go, the lines are too chunky and thick, it lost the calligraphic quality and I gave up on it. That was burn-down-the-malt-shop frustrating.

Also, doves in roses, meh.

So just for the heck of it I tried a different thing. Here’s a genuine doodle:

Wait- what’s the difference between a doodle and a drawing? To me, a doodle is a mindless, fun, stress-free drawing for no particular purpose, genuinely abandonable at any time . I did this one in a ski lodge killing time while my kid was taking ski lessons. Doodles are a lot of fun for me, If I’m good in this life then when I die I’ll get to spend eternity doodling while sororities of angels cheer wildly.

A purposeless artwork just for fun, waaaat?

A purposeless artwork just for fun, waaaat?

See those wrinkles in the doodle’s paper? In a misbegotten effort to turn this into a sellable artwork I tried to glue the doodle down to an art-board. I pressed it like dried flowers from my lost love but no go, and now like my lost love, it’s got wrinkles. Since the artwork is done with sharpies on Staples grey cardstock it‘s not a quality artwork anyway, but still, grr.

Finally, late in the week I got a commission to draw a trout for a fishing tournament t-shirt and knocked it out on a real artboard, and it looks much better:

deep sigh of relief

deep sigh of relief

However, there are still issues: How the hell can I hang that board? I can’t, is the answer, it’s got to be framed, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. WHY DOESN’T ANYONE SELL BACKED ARTBOARDS PRIMED FOR DRAWING INSTEAD OF PAINTING, ugh, okay, I’m off to rant and rave and storm around the house like a tornado in a trailer park.