Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whut I lurnd in skool 2day

As I work on these Off The Highway daily paintings, I've been making a list of the specific things I'm learning. Thought you might want in on the process. It might just save you a few steps.
Probably the most important thing I'm learning is to Let It Go.
I'm not talking about personal baggage here (that's a post for another day). I'm talking about the stuff in my non-painting hand. Let It Go. Put It Down. At one point in my painting frenzy my left hand held 4 brushes, a palette knife, a wad of paper towel and a big blue blob of paint which I quickly wiped off on my nose. It's not like I don't have 2 tables, a stool and - egads - an honest to goodness brush holder that swings off my easel to put these things in. I'm not sure if my psyche is hanging on for dear life or what. Lesson: put that stuff down.

Which brings me to the Proper Place. That place is not the clothes dryer (laundry is what I do when I don't know what to do), not the bathroom sink counter (where I got another glass of water to delay making a decision), and certainly not balancing on the edge of my palette where my brushes will certainly land in either a) the wet paint piles on the inside of my palette, or b) the floor, carpeted of course, which I recently uncovered, being quite certain I would never, never drop a paint-loaded brush. Lesson: put brushes, paper towel wads, painting knives and paint blobs in their proper place so you can find them when you need them.

I learned that Nebraska skies are some crazy kind of blue for which I may never have the recipe. Lesson: spend more time in the hammock staring at the sky. Call it "homework".
If it ain't right, it ain't right. I'm on the 10th day of this project and have had to surrender on just one painting. That's pretty good. I tried, honest I tried, but that one little piece had me beat. No amount of fiddling or adding paint was going to fix it. Lesson: know when it isn't working, wipe it off and give it back to the universe.

I've learned I do not like my #6 filbert "Brand$&##@*$Name" synthetic bristle brush. I paid good money for that thing, but it simply does not hold it's shape well and leaves nasty marks in the paint. It's outta here. Lesson: just because a piece of equipment has a fancy name, and even if you paid a good sum for it, if it doesn't do the job, get rid of it.
The last thing I'll share is this: Wearing gloves keeps your hands clean. They do not, however, keep everything else around you clean. Paint comes off your gloves onto your pants, your furniture and your doorways just as easily as it does your hands.
That's a tip I'll share for free.


Karine said...

100 days!!! Go, Patty, go.

I also have a tendency to pile up extra brushes and other paraphernalia in my non-painting hand. I thought it was just me!!! I have a theory that the other hand needs SOMETHING, so it doesn't feel left out. It's a balance thing....

Mavis said...

Hey, me too!

I don't have carpet, but everything else you said is true, about needing to hold something in the other hand... and in the mouth, too!

Thanks for the reminder to "Let it go, and put it in its proper place!"

Dustin said...

Ha! Great post! Keep 'em coming.