Today sucks and here's why:

So I thought I'd take a fun little trip to the good art store this morning and try to pick up a brush marker and an 11x14 pad of the strathmore mixed media in blue. I have a 6x8 pad but that only gets me one inktober square per sheet, and I've decided I do like the blue tint enough for a large pad. For whatever reason, michaels (boo, hiss) has the bottled liquid watercolor but not the markers, and the good art store has the markers but not the bottles. I think last time I ordered everything off dick blick because I don't remember this being such a hassle. Having the bottle + marker combo just adds extra flexibility. I have the black, sepia and indigo colors (solid basics, can't go wrong) but lately I am vibing on magenta as a primary for some reason? Not a fan of hot pink but magenta is darker, therefore completely different, and lately I am all about it. MAGENTA. So I got a bottle of magenta liquid watercolor at michaels (boo, hiss) earlier, and I thought I'd pick up the matching marker this morning.

Well, despite the impression I got from the website, the good art store didn't stock the individual markers, nor the 11x14 pad in blue, and I wasted a whole bunch of time wandering the store fruitlessly looking at all the random things there are to look at and didn't get out until noon. Which is when everyone and their dog decided to show up at this popular shopping center area. I wanted to shop at the nearby swanky grocery store as a treat, but there was a line across the store to checkout so forget that, and then I nearly got run over in the parking lot twice trying to find a coffee shop (who guns it in a busy parking lot? people here are nice in person but insane behind the wheel). Cookie shop? No coffee. Bread shop? No coffee. Jesus christ, why no coffee? So I'm hangry because I had no breakfast and there's way too many people in all directions and I must GET OUT and back to a less urban area. I've used up all my people tolerance. I pick a place on the way home and I miss the google driving instructions and I get routed through downtown where there's a farmer's market so it is PACKED and everyone is trying to get right where you're going and I have no coffee and I am hungry and I just want to get out without an accident and I feel like I'm back to being a shitty beginner driver and I'm down to my very last nerve and I finally, finally get back on a main artery in one piece. Then I get to the independent coffee shop I picked because I didn't want to go to starbucks and guess what? It was terrible. :-( Laughably terrible. I'm not a foodie - if I can tell it's terrible, it's very bad indeed. I overpaid for a pretty pathetic breakfast sandwich and mocha and I would have been happier with something from mcdonalds. On the upside the place had stacks of used books to read and one of them was a choose-your-own-advenuture titled "Punishment: Earth" which made me laugh. I sent a picture to spouse telling him that this summed up my day perfectly.

So I guess that's worth something. I'm going to save that photo so I can reuse it for bad days in the future.

Now I will be cowering here at home for a while until I get some chill back. Too much urban chaos. Must recharge batteries. I'm out of some food though so I think I have to venture out for the usual grocery place later today. Or tomorrow. Tomorrow is good.

The funny thing is, for such a dense urban area you'd think there'd be loads of social activities and groups and such to choose from. There's a bulletin board at the good art store and I always check it to see what's going on locally. Usually it's just business cards. When I moved here I had big hopes for an urban sketching group or something. They used to have classes at the good art store, but they've rearranged the space so I guess they won't be restarting for a while. But they never had any meets for inktober, no urban sketching, no drop in life drawing, even before the pandemic. Bizarre. I guess coming from alaska I assumed the east coast would be hopping with social art gatherings. I thought for sure there'd be an inktober meet or a couple urban sketching groups. Drink 'n draws, surely? It truly baffles me that there isn't. There's so many people here, surely so many artists? Maybe it's all on facebook, right? Ha ha. Yeah, sure, all the cool art kids are on facebook keeping all their cool art kid meets to themselves. Gah.

They had a new brand of plein air setup on display (u.go - it's on amazon). Boujie stuff, like $130 for a little 6x8 pochade box, and that doesn't include the $165 tripod they want you to buy to put it on. Plein air kit tickles me. I figure there's two kinds of customers for this stuff, maybe. 1) rich people who want to purchase an artist identity for themselves or a young relative, but nothing low class like drawing, so they go straight for plein air oil painting. 2) actual super pro artists whose time is too valuable to spend jury rigging their own kit. I think there's a lot more of #1 than #2. It just strikes me as very very funny that they make all this expensive plein air stuff and give it display space in the store and there's a bunch of rich people buying it to play boujie bob ross. Real artists like the dinotopia guy, James Gurney, do lots of outdoor work out of little homemade setups mounted on basic tripods. He shows you his whole kit in his blog, it's really cool.

It's just funny to me that someone must be buying the expensive plein air setups but there isn't a damn urban sketching group to be found. DRAWING. THE EASIEST THING. Oh there's probably a watercolor society around here. Everybody wants to be a fancy fine artist. But where are the urban sketchers at? You know, the poors? There's so many monuments around here and no urban sketch groups? Basically a crime. Makes no sense.

It's too late to do anything about it here. I figure after we move I will either find a local urban sketch group or start one myself. I'm hoping the hippie church might be able to help with that.

There were lots of neat little sketchbooks and such at the art store. I had fun looking at everything. I'd like to get out and draw some of the monuments and such before we leave, so I need to prep for that.

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