Birthday Presents & Painting Tools

So I know it’s totally cheating to open presents a week+ before your birthday. I also know that at almost let’s-not-talk-about-it years old, I should have some self-control.

But when that promising box from Jackson’s Art Supplies showed up, I couldn’t resist.

As a watercolorist who has a hard time perceiving myself as anything but an amateur, I’ve been content to pick up my brushes here and there from Michaels and Hobby Lobby. But a few years ago, I treated myself to some tubes of Winsor & Newton’s gorgeously saturated paint…. Then my husband gave me some “grown up” watercolor paper for my last birthday…. And now my sweet parents have dropped some Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes in my lap.

Suffice it to say, I’m a wee bit spoiled.

There was a lot of squealing as I unwrapped what are essentially the Tiffany & Co. of watercolor brushes. The smaller sizes came in individual tubes perfect for preserving their shape. The size 6 came in its own plush-lined box, complete with a card bearing the signature of the brush maker who assembled it. As my friend would say, the whole experience was “creakingly posh.”

The design and quality of this brush series were established in 1866 when Queen Victoria commissioned Winsor & Newton to craft the finest watercolor brush in the world in her favorite size, no. 7. Named for the brush that started it all, Series 7 brushes feature a head of Kolinsky sable hair, renown for its resiliency and suppleness. Each brush is hand-assembled by an artisan with at least 10 years of experience.

I have yet to road-test these fine instruments. Obviously, you don’t need tip-top of the line tools to craft beautiful works of art. But as I’ve learned from surfing, the right tool (aka, board size) for the job can be the difference between a struggle to catch even one wave and a session full of rides. So I’m very much looking forward to seeing what these slick little beauties can do.

Now if anyone knows of an art supplier that sells additional artistic talent, let me know. I feel like I need to notch up my skills to be worthy of these beautiful tools!

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