Art Studio

Moving to a New Home? Take Good Care of Your Art Supplies

Guest Post by Writer Jessica Brody

If you’re an artist, you likely have a ton of supplies around your house. Depending on which mediums you like to use, you might have everything from tubes of oil paints to boxes of pastels to loose colored pencils rolling around in a desk drawer.

Normally, this isn’t a problem. It may seem like to chaos to non-artists, but you probably know where everything is. Many artists have the same issue.

But if you’re selling your home and facing a move soon, you might be wondering how to transport your supplies so that everything is safe and nothing gets lost.

With a little preparation, you can craft a solid plan to move all your art-related supplies with no problems. Here are a few of the best tips on how to do just that, brought to you by Kate Benzin Art.

Oil Paints

Pare down

As with any move, the first step is to pare down your belongings. This is always hard for any artist because we tend to be attached to our supplies. But there’s a silver lining. You can make room for new things!

So go through and throw out any old or used-up paint tubes, paint brushes that have seen better days, and anything that doesn’t need to be saved.

If you come across supplies that you’ve never had the chance to use, ask yourself if you really need to keep them. You might be able to donate them online or to a local library or school.



Any move, no matter how big or small, requires boxes, so prepare for the transition by starting to collect boxes of varying sizes.

Ask your local craft supply store if they have boxes in the back they’d be willing to part with. They probably have plenty of big boxes and even some small ones that might be perfect for loose items like paint brushes.

Make sure to have plenty of packing tape, bubble wrap, and newspaper on hand for keeping your supplies safe.

It’s also a good idea to inventory your items as you put them into boxes. Write down everything you put into a box on a piece of paper and tape it to the outside of the box. When you’re in your new home and looking for your favorite scissors or brayer, you’ll be able to find it without rummaging through each box.


Pack smart

When you’re busy getting ready for the move, you’ll probably have to pause your art making temporarily. In that case, many of your art supplies can be packed up well in advance of the actual move. You’ll need to make sure, though, that they’ll be in an environment that’s neither too hot nor too cold so they maintain their consistency.

You’ll also want to box up small, fragile items like pencils, brushes, charcoal, pastels, etc., in small boxes and wrapped in bubble wrap. They can then be placed into larger boxes for the move, but having them well cushioned is critical.

Don’t forget to explore online for the best moving companies near you to assist you in a successful move. Finding someone who will take as much care with your supplies as you do is a must. You can read through customer reviews and explore online ratings to connect with professionals who are up to the task.

Paint Markers

Re-purpose hanging shoe storage for paint markers


If you have a large cabinet or shelving unit for your supplies, get it nice and neat and then take a photo to remind yourself of where everything should go after the move. Use plastic bins to keep like items together and get all your supplies organized perfectly.

Moving your studio or supplies isn’t an easy task, especially when it’s done in tandem with putting your home up for sale and moving all your household items. However, if you stay organized and prepare a plan, you’ll be able to tackle it with no problem.

This article is brought to you by Kate Benzin Art, creating original paintings in acrylic and mixed media. If you'd like a custom portrait of your pet, contact Kate at!

Beauty Overload
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Making Art After 50

Making Art After 50

Guest Post by Writer Jessica Brody

The best hobbies for creative people are ones that elevate their sense of joy and purpose. Making art definitely fits the bill.

Even if you’ve never considered yourself to be a creative person and just want to try something new, starting an artistic hobby can boost your self-esteem and help you reduce stress and anxiety. It can even allow you to create a fulfilling new career!

Keep in mind that you might try a few different methods and mediums before you find one you like, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s encouraged.

If you’re having trouble getting started, take a look around at my website for some inspiration. I started painting in my 70s.

Here are just a few ways you can practice an artistic hobby at any age and how it can benefit your wellbeing.

Get Involved

One of the many wonderful things about art is that you can find a creative community in just about every town in the country. Whether you’ve recently started to try your hand at being a maker or just want to learn more about different art methods, it’s a good idea to get involved with the local art scene.

Making Art After 50

Look online to find museums, galleries, social media groups, art events, and community projects that you can support and learn from, and look for online-only groups as well. Not only is this a great way to meet other creative people and socialize, it will be beneficial when you’re ready to start promoting your work.

Build New Skills

No matter what type of creative activity you want to pursue, or whether you choose to share your work with the world or keep it to yourself, practicing it often will allow you to build new skills that awaken different parts of the brain and help to improve cognitive function.

Not only that, finding a hobby you truly enjoy that you’re also good at can be a major boost for your self-esteem and confidence.

One of the wonderful things about art is that even after you find a method you enjoy, there are many ways to keep learning and evolving, so you’ll never get bored.

Start a New Career

Whether you’re a painter, printmaker, crafter, or something in-between, there are several ways to create a career out of your hobby. Once you have your creative skills built up, it’s just a short jump to monetizing them.

With so many resources available online these days, it’s never been easier to build a small business. The key is to remain organized, follow all the steps, and do the required market research so you’ll have a better understanding of your competition and potential customers.

Making Art After 50

Each state is different when it comes to the legal requirements for becoming a business owner, so go over the guidelines for startups in your area to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Also, make sure you’re ready for the demands that a hobby-related career brings.


While creating your own business is an amazing way to make the most of your hobby, simply enjoying the path it takes you on is pretty great, too.

Making art has long been a way to introduce stress-relief, meditation. mindful thinking, and trauma healing to people of all ages. You can often get some benefits right away.

Try a few different mediums to see how they make you feel. For instance, if you work primarily with digital tools, use a physical paintbrush now and then for a more tactile, engaged experience.

It’s important for creatives, especially older adults, not to limit themselves when they feel drawn to more than one outlet.

Finding and practicing a new artistic hobby over the age of 50 can be daunting, but art has no age limit and no real rules. Look for local creative opportunities, find inspiration online, and try several different methods so you can explore every artistic avenue available.

Making Art After 50
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Pastel Supplies Galore !!

Every pastel painter has preferred brands for each stage of the painting process - different brands for different purposes.

Some pastel brands make soft pastel sticks. Others make hard sticks. Both types are used for different reasons. Soft pastels are good for making broad marks. Hard pastels are good for doing details.

The Variety of Pastel Supplies

In my adopted home Indonesia, the selection of art supplies is limited. Actually, that's not universally true. Both oil and watercolor painters have a pretty big selection, but pastel painters don't.

To clarify, in oil painting, I can achieve different effects in a painting by changing brushes. But in pastel painting, I achieve different effects by using different brands of pastels - or even different pastel tools, such as sticks vs pencils.

Not only do the pastels themselves differ, but painting surfaces for pastels vary as well. Pastel surfaces need to have tooth to grab the pigment the painter lays down, regardless of what kind of pastels are used.

Pastel painters often prefer one brand of pastel surface over others - personal preference.

Pastel Pencils

Who Knew?

When I started with pastels, I didn't realize how many supplies would be important to have and try. But pastel teachers explained why they chose particular brands in their pastel tutorials. And of course, I wanted more pastel supplies.

I soon realized that the quality of my paintings would be restricted based on what I was able to acquire in Indonesia.

Amazon and a Trip to Chicago

Well, I was planning a trip to the Chicago area at some point during the year. So I began ordering pastel supplies to have shipped to my brother's house and decided to make the trip sooner rather than later.

Here is the problem I faced. I wasn't sure which brands would be my preferences. I wouldn't know that until I returned home and actually started using the products. What to do?

Most teachers had suggested buying a small supply of each brand in order to figure out which ones I'd like best. Doing that wasn't possible for me because of my overseas residence. And who knew when I'd make another trip to Chicao - or elsewhere in the U.S.?

You might be thinking that I could order supplies and have them shipped to me. That's true but comes with problems. Shipping products to Indonesia -

  • is very expensive
  • takes a very long time
  • can be delayed in customs


I could accept the expense, but I'm a very impatient person. So the second and third problems were unacceptable to me.

As a result, I decided to invest a lot of money into something that might end up making me some money. If I couldn't make some money, at least pastel painting would be a great hobby instead.

I ordered just about all the products that my various teachers recommended. Keep in mind that each teacher had different recommendations.

Pastel supplies in suitcase

I saw the validity of each teacher's advice, so I went crazy. I stopped ordering when I became afraid that I'd have more than what would fit into my two suitcases.

I'm now sitting at my brother's house with both suitcases full of precious treasures. And I've accepted that if I don't make money with my painting, that's okay. I'll have a wonderful hobby that I love.

Pastel supplies in suitcase
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Creativity Calls

Creativity Calls

Creativity can knock on your soul when you're young or old - or at any point in between.

When creativity calls, don't hesitate.

Answer with enthusiasm.

Recognize the Teacher

We've all heard the saying 'When the student is ready, the teacher will appear' - or words to that effect.

But will you be able to identify the teacher?

Will the teacher be a person - or perhaps an event instead?

You may have to be bold and look carefully everywhere to figure out who or what the teacher is.

My Own Teacher

In the mid-90s when I was in my mid-50s and living in Jakarta, Indonesia, opportunity presented itself to me. It wasn't obvious, and I might not have recognized it if I'd been timid or not in the perfect frame of mind.

An acquaintance phoned me in the middle of the night looking for a place to sleep. Danielle (not her real name) was having trouble with her roommates and needed to get away from them. I told her to come right over.

The following morning, I had a brainstorm. It just so happened that Danielle was an experienced artist, so I offered her a place to stay for as long as she needed with the condition that she be my art teacher.

Oil painting

Danielle agreed, took me shopping for supplies, showed me how to mix oil paints, and then gave me one piece of teaching: 'just play with the darks and lights.'

On My Own

Danielle stayed with me for several weeks, and I'm eternally grateful to her even though she didn't take on the role of teacher. I had to teach myself all the in's and out's of painting with oils.

I'd never taken any art classes in high school or college - not even art appreciation. Without any previous instruction, all my painting was done by trial and error. I loved it, though, and painted pretty consistently for a short while.

I was happy with what I produced but then began working as a tour director (another opportunity that I grabbed even though friends and family tried to discourage me).

Being on the road much of each year made it difficult for me to continue painting. Whenever I got into a painting groove, I soon had to break my rhythm and head out to lead tours.

My oil painting stopped - at least for the time being.

Creativity Calls Again

Now, after more than 20 years of not painting, creativity knocked again.

This time though, I felt moved to paint with pastels instead of oils. That doesn't mean that I won't pick up my brushes again at some point and do some oil painting, but for the time being, I'm really happy with the vibrancy of pastels and how pastels are so personal.

Pastel strokes

What I mean is that pastels are almost like finger painting. I hold the colored pastel in my fingers and make strokes with it. Then I might even use my finger to blend the pastel on the paper. Very personal.

And yes, my fingers get very dirty with pastels. A good dirty.

Even so, cleaning up after a painting session isn't nearly as much work with pastels as with painting.

Technology to the Rescue

Technology has made my life living overseas so much easier than before we had ATM cards, international credit cards, Skype - and so much more.

And technology has even made my painting life easier. I now devour online pastel video tutorials. I've found a site called Patreon that provides a place for teachers of all kinds and eager students to meet.

Of course, in my case, I'm following several art teachers who specialize in pastel styles that I aspire to learn. I want to develop expertise in painting animal portraits. People who want portraits of their pets will want a realistic interpretation of their beloved animal, so I've subscribed to some artists who do great animal portraits.

But I want to develop a painterly style as well. And I've found a couple of pastel artists that have wonderful painterly styles.

Watching tutorials of both groups of artists provides me with great inspiration to work on developing my own style for both realistic pet portraits as well as paintings that are more impressionistic.

And the Results ?

Give me a few months. Right now, I'm at my brother's house in the Chicago area. I've ordered pastel supplies and will be heading home in another week. When I get there, I'll break out my new supplies and put my learning to the test.

Come back here to see future results.

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Kate Benzin Art

Don’t Be Like Me!

Don't let someone else's idea of what is possible influence what you do with your life.

A lot of people who know me would say that I didn't do that. But I'm here to tell you that I did exactly that. But I guess it's never too late, and I'm finally following my artistic calling.

Let Me Explain

My mother made Wonder Woman look like a wimp. My mother could do everything. At least, that's how it seemed to me as a child growing up. I even believed that well into adulthood. I could only aspire to do half as much as she did.

So when my mother said that she couldn't do anything artistic, that she didn't have an artistic bone in her body, I was certain that art was not something I should even think about. After all, if she couldn't do something, there was no way I could. After all, she was Super Woman.

Kate Benzin Art

But Art Kept Knocking on My Soul

Yes, somehow, I had a yearning to learn how to paint. And one day, an angel came into my life and helped me to summon the gumption to give it a try.

An artist friend was staying with me indefinitely. She couldn't afford to pay me for rent or food, but that was okay with me. I just asked that she give me some lessons in painting.

She took me shopping for art supplies and then gave me the only piece of advice that she ever gave me. 'Just play with light and dark,' she said.

This was many years ago, but I still remember her surprise at my first oil painting. She asked how I knew to paint the strokes in particular directions. My answer was that it just felt right.

Another time, she commented on what nice movement my painting showed.

Creativity can be yours.

No More Lessons

That was it. I didn't get any lessons from her, but she got me started. That was the greatest thing she could have done.

I painted in oils for a few months for a few years. Then I took about 20 years off because I started working as a tour director and was on the road much of the year.

Now that I've retired, I have time to paint again. I'm working in pastels now, but I might pick up my brushes to paint in oils from time to time.

Please join me on my painting journey and release your creativity.

Let your creativity flow
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