A Wednesday List of Ten Things I Like.

This is not a top ten list, but rather a totally random list of things I like. listed in alphabetical order of course, and complete with links where possible.

1. Beach Toys. Summer in Prince Edward Island means going to the beach as often as we can. With two kids we find an endless supply of beach toys is essential. They keeps the kids happy and busy, and luckily they are cheap because the inevitably lost beach toys need to be replaced.

2. Big Rock Beer Traditional Ale. I recently tried this beer and I was pleasantly surprised by its great rich flavour. A very nice beer.

3. Brown packing paper. As an artist I find having a roll of heavy weight brown wrapping paper essential. I use it for wrapping paintings, of course, but it also comes in handy as a drop cloth or for rough sketching. I also use it for adding texture to oil paintings.

4. Gallery wrapped canvas. I’ve painted on all sorts of surfaces and supports, and I really like gallery wrapped canvases. They have a wide stretcher and the canvas is wrapped around the stretcher and the staples are hidden at the back. If you paint the sides by extending your painting over the edges you won’t have to frame the canvas, and you can save a lot of money.

5. Masking tape is another item every studio needs. Use it for packages or for masking when painting or for making masking-tape balls to throw at the wall when inspiration is lacking.

6. Night lights are a great thing when you have two small children. My daughter likes to have a nightlight in her room, and I like them too because our floors seem to always be littered with toys, and there is nothing worse than stepping on blocks in the dark.

7. Palette knives. I use palette knives for mixing paint, and I love to use them when painting with oils. I just trowel on the paint, and I use the knife for pulling paint off. I use the tip of the knife for drawing by pulling it through the paint.

8. Stand Oil is one of my favourite painting mediums. I add it to oil, and I make a varnish with it. It has a thick honey-like quality and adds gloss and slows drying time. Here is some more information including a recipe for varnish or glazing mediums.

9. Tea Hill Provincial Park is a park located in Stratford, PEI, just a few minutes from Charlottetown. It is a beautiful little park and since it is on the south shore the water is incredibly warm. At low tide, it is a very long hike to get to warm water that covers your knees, but kids don’t mind. On the way there are puddles, sandbars, and hermit crabs.

10. Tonka toys. These are well-made toy trucks that any little kid will love. Virtually indestructible, they hold up very well to heavy abuse. And trying to to come up with exciting ways to destroy them will keep many little boys occupied for days.