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September 2013



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Free art supplies...

Those of you who get my free art tips from my website (http://cathyjohnson.info, if you'd like to sign up!) just got #82 this past week. I used to try to offer a new tip every other week, but with the new book and our rehab projects both taking lots of time, life's been too crazy to be all that dependable!

Anyway, if you read that one, you may have noticed the next tip will be on MORE free art supplies, or making do with unusual objects. I'm working on the section of the book that discusses waxed paper, paper towels, string and other oddities, so this is much on my mind just now!  (You can click on the image above to find out what that's all about...)

And here's the bubblewrap bee I did yesterday for the book:

bubblewrap bee

It was fun!

The economy may be hurting, but no reason why WE must feel constrained and fearful, as creative beings. OK, so you can't order the $300 Kolinsky sable brush this week. Neither can I! But we CAN still make art that's unique and much, much less costly.

I have no idea when I'll be able to get the new tip out, though hoping for the next few weeks...meanwhile, you might like to read #78, earlier pieces on make-do art supplies here: http://www.cathyjohnson.info/tips/tip78.pdf , or "The Humble Sponge," here: http://www.cathyjohnson.info/tips/tip69.pdf or "Found Art Supplies," here: http://www.cathyjohnson.info/tips/tip67.pdf

Funny, I've written several longer articles on this subject for both The Artist's Magazine and Watercolor Magic over the years...it's an issue of ongoing interest to me, it would appear--and I hope to you, too, because it helps us break out of the box and look at the world around us anew.  I find keeping a fresh, positive outlook keeps me happy, and to paraphrase St. Paul says, I know how to be happy, whether rich or poor.

It's by staying creative, in all aspects of my life, and by appreciating what I have at hand.


I'm curious, and I could use your advice, by the way. I have numerous articles on art how-to, going back close to 20 years. They're longer than my tips, but may or may not have the original illustrations. I'm wondering if you would be interested in having one of them available, occasionally, edited as necessary? All have been published elsewhere, but magazines have a very short shelf life!

What say you?


Lovely the way you made the bubblewrap into a honeycomb!
Thanks, Val! I liked the way it worked this time, too!

Yes, post the articles!!!

The more Kate Johnson info the better, as far as I'm concerned! I'd love to see your articles! And I love the idea of bubble wrap for the bee hive! What a cool idea.....but of course I wonder how you saved the bee....did you do it last? Is the tutorial on your flickr? ---Carol C

Re: Yes, post the articles!!!

Hi Carol! Just figuring out how and where to post them...maybe at a Squiddoo site, or as PDFs.

I may end up making some into an eBook or CD (there are SO MANY it would take me years to do them all one at a time. ;-P)

The tutorial IS on Flickr, yes--it's here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy-johnson/2952378303/ Glad you enjoyed it!


Re: Yes, post the articles!!!

I can easily convert the files to pdfs on my Mac, so let me know if I can help in any way!

Re: Yes, post the articles!!!

Oh, thank you, but WordPerfect makes it really simple to convert, too...very efficient!
i love making use of found objects. this has kept our family in "artcrap" for years. i'd love to see more and more applications, since the next generation seems to have the art bent, as well.

one of the blessing and curses of having artbrain is finding potentials in so many things around us. it makes for interesting travels, but tends to make piles of "stuff" in my life. *sigh* i love my piles o' stuff...
OOOoooh yeah. I'm driving my poor husband nuts! I'll have to say, usually when I explain to him WHAT I plan to use this or that for, he understands. What's really funny is when he asks me for something I've stashed...hmmmm, found a use for it now, have we? ;-P


Your Articles


It would be wonderful to be able to read these. I am unsuccessful emailing you Kate, even when I hit reply to a comment that you leave on my blog. Has anyone else mentioned this?

Re: Your Articles

Hi Shirley--once in a while something bounces, but not usually! Did you try kate@cathyjohnson.info?

Glad you like the idea of the longer articles...I'll have to figure out where to post them or in what format!


It was fun, CathyKate, to read the details on your flick page about how you did the bee. And I'm up to read ANYTHING you've written-- your pieces are chock full of information that we can use always.
Thanks, Annie, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


I'm delighted that your Creating Nature in Watercolor is doing well. I'm enjoying my copy very much!
I would also be delighted to find copies of your articles posted here or wherever you decide. Wonderful, generous idea. Thanks!
Thank you, I'm delighted too!

I just really like to get mileage out of my work, and that represents SO much...

Bubblewrap Honeycomb!

The bee is great!

I don't have access to many art magazine where I am -- the economy's always been bad here, and imported magazines with a niched market rarely make it in, so more art and art articles are always great!


Re: Bubblewrap Honeycomb!

Well good, I'll consider it my contribution to art in your corner of the world!

Re: Bubblewrap Honeycomb!

Heheheh! It is indeed! Those and the tips!

We get your Northlight books from a specialty bookstore here, although I think they only stock about three or four copies at most at a time, so it's good I'm on your flist as well. Having to order them from Amazon can be freakishly expensive. :D

Re: Bubblewrap Honeycomb!

People have shared pretty generously with me, the least I can do is pass it on! And yep, shipping can be KILLER, can't it!