Date: 30 August 2015. Little Things (hobby
It's the little things that make this life afloat great.
And by little, I do mean SMALL! One thing I have done each morning
for many years is clean my eye glasses and computer screen. The day
looks brighter without smudges and to that end I've got a little
glass atomizer from
Specialty Bottle that works perfectly.
You see it all started back a few years ago... oh, say fifty
or so. For nearly as long as I can remember I've drawn pictures of what I
see. A cruising fellow (Professor Burke, former Maths professor at the
University of Florida in Gainesville as I recall) gifted me a set of
colored pencils and that kicked off a lifetime of fun with art.
Each of us
who live aboard our boats find time to fill. Sure, we could be
fixing something or improving one system or another. Instead, it is
wonderful to have a hobby that translates well to life on the water. There
are many hobbies. As for me, I like little things.
Specifically, I now paint inside small seashells. For at time my boat cards
read "She sells seashells by the seashore" and indeed I do so on
occasion to this day. However to paint onboard Seaweed with oils required a bit of
Side Note: The
Intriguing Possibilities (boat cards)
article touches on boat cards and their value.
dry slower than either acrylic paints or watercolors.
I've tried to paint with
watercolors with minimal success. There is no one on the
planet who can make mud of acrylic colors faster than I.
Decades ago I was gifted a set of oil paints. Lessons came
later from a commercial artist on sabbatical. He was traveling on his
sailboat called Seven C's. The family's last name was Clark and there were five children,
plus the mom and dad. Thus, the Seven C's. It was a crowded
boat, especially during school hours. (They were
Calvert home-school kids.)
any even, Dick (the artist in the family) gave me lessons on
sketching, perspectives and painting. I do like drawing
though I've not done any of late.
I love oil painting.
The one bad thing about oils is that they take a long time to
dry. It can be a couple or three days before the paint is dry
and that's a problem when there's no place to leave a canvas
Recently I learned about
Liquin. It is an additive that is mixed into the color and
makes the paint dry faster. I'm trying it, and so far am not
as comfortable as I would like. I'm used to the paint
remaining wet longer. The added time gives me an opportunity
to fix stuff that didn't come out the way I imagined it.
Still experimentation is
Having a hobby afloat is a good thing. Many of us out here,
especially the soloists, are avid readers. I am too. My Kindle is a
wonderful addition to my happiness quotient.
So too is
painting. These are a few of my oil paints:
Oil paints come in tubes. I
find them a pain in the posterior to use. For me, it's better to
have my pigments in small glass vials. The lids are plastic and it's
easy to get out just what I want.
Specialty Bottle Company
My very favorite place to buy
the glass vials I use for my paints is on
Specialty Bottle. They are a great company, and I've been
real happy with the orders I've placed with them over the past
For small vials and bottles,
this is the page you want:
Also, as long as I'm
spending your perfectly good money, go to the
Clear Boston Rounds page and buy at least two or three of
the atomizer bottles. I keep rubbing alcohol in mine and use
it to clean my eyeglasses. Alcohol will remove the salt from
I use my atomizer with
rubbing alcohol to clean the windows in my pilothouse too. Spray,
wipe and you're done.
Specialty Bottle has lots of
cools stuff you didn't know you needed. Wander around and have
fun. As for me, soon I'll order another half-dozen atomizers.
They are handy to have, inexpensive and great gifts for fellow
boaters. I've given away my next to last bottle so will
replenish my supply with the upcoming order of miniature paint
Side Note: I may switch over to see-through
containers with plastic caps from
Specialty Bottle for my
screws and bolts. I believe they would be an upgrade over my current
system of using old pill bottles. The bottles could easily be stored
in spice racks on the inside of a locker door too.
I'm a miniaturist which is a
fancy way of saying I create very small paintings. Here is one of
mine that shows the size. I'll grant you that this is smaller than
the norm. Most are almost twice as large.
For such small seashells I use specialty paint
brushes. Some I make myself, as I need a single strand versus a
The toothpick on the right is one of my miniature paintbrushes.
It's a one-time use item.
And for the youngsters
among my readers, that is a dime next to my little painting.
Every painter uses a palette. Mine was originally the
cutting board from our boat. It's had some hard use over the years
and brings back many happy memories. I imagine that piece of teak
could tell tales of all the paints I've added and scraped off over
For me, having a hobby that easily moved aboard was a good thing. I
get a great deal of pleasure pulling out my paints and having at it.
The failures get tossed over the side.
the seashells is always a fun activity too. It's one of the reasons
I enjoy swimming and diving so much. I gather a few shells to paint
while admiring the pretties.
pay for canvases and such. My shells are free. Perhaps you've seen
my collection? I keep it scattered on beaches worldwide... help
yourself. There are plenty.
Here are some paintings that are not yet finished:
Whatever hobby you have, with a bit of ingenuity it probably will
transfer to your boat. I'll grant you that painting a huge canvas
would not be practical aboard a 23'er such as Seaweed. Still, my small seashells are
fun to paint. I've adapted and find this a new challenge.
The boat you
chose to live aboard needs to have a place for your pleasures.
in mind when you boat shop. If a hobby brings you happiness or
profit, figure out a way to bring it aboard.
As of right now,
I've still not found the Ideal place for my bottles of paint. Not yet.
In the meantime I stow them in a plastic box gifted me by Mabe years
ago. The blue box was at one time a medical kit. It makes me feel
good to paint, so it's serving the original purpose albeit tweaked.
And too, I remember my friend who gave me the light blue case each time I pull
your craft, plan to bring it aboard with you.
I'd love to hear what your favorite crafts and hobbies
And, how long have you been creating, crafting, etc?
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Channel Markers of Life,
From Carrabelle to St. Pete (via
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