31 May, 2013

Oil bars, new brushes and horoscopes

I read my horoscope every day. In fact, I read them for each member of my family , at the breakfast table. I do this not because I believe in astrology, but because they make me mindful of how complacent and set in our ways we can become. Horoscopes often suggest a better way to behave, react or address situations ,treat people etc and I like that positive spin. (well, the one I subscribe to does!)
Yesterday, my horoscope suggested that I tie up loose ends on a project that has ben bothering me. I could have related that to any number of things in my life from taxes to laundry, but I chose to relate it to a commission that has been rather challenging. To quote Sir Edmund Hillary, I "knocked the bastard off " yesterday. ( Who comes down from climbing the world's tallest mountain and declares" We knocked the bastard off"? Seriously! One step for mankind etc is the kinda thing I would have prepared). I did an unusual thing....I persevered. I wiped a few sections off several times, but in the end,  all that work has paid off and I am happy with the result.  The relief of having completed a particularly difficult task.(I have been working on it intermittently for over a month) is quite heady and I felt elated for the rest of the day
I shall have to wait to show you what it looks like in a few weeks once the client has ownership of it.

I also took possession (via my postman, Flash Gordon...true story. His name is Tony, but we all call him Flash.) of 4 new brushes and some oil-bars that I purchased online. The oil-bars are exactly that, oil paint mixed with wax. I love that I can make marks, draw, add a spot of colour etc with them but that they are fully interchangeable with my normal oils. They blend with medium and clean with solvent and are like crayons for big people. Another quiver in my arsenal of paints. ..and MESSY!!!

My new brushes are a bit of an experiment. John Crump uses these DAS 1180 brushes and makes beautiful marks. I have yet to find a brush that is firm enough to hold the oil paint and flexible enough to make calligraphic marks. My local art store does not have a huge variety of brushes and I think this is one arena where one has to experience the brush in order to see if you like it or not. Brushes are very personal things. I have a collection of over 100 brushes....some are good, others expensive mistakes but none are my best brush ever. I have some cheap hog bristle brushes, expensive mongoose, a sable , house-painting brushes, a pastry brush(!) some taklon brushes, some watercolour brushes( but used for oil)......the experiment continues.

So, new toys and a job done. A pretty good friday .

Pollarded tree and sunset
45 x 30 cm
oil on canvas

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