But first, let me set the scene: sunday morning, helpful husband has taken fractious teen and tween out mountain biking with the express purpose of leaving me free to paint. I am alone and ready to paint. I'm in my happy place. If allowed, I would have squealed. I know I was humming.Life was good.
Before I start, I decided to loosen up by priming some panels that need their last coat of gesso. Gesso, for those gesso-virgins amongst you, is a paint -like material that is binder, chalk, gypsum and pigment and is used to prime canvas and /or boards before painting them.It dries fast and is opaque. This stuff covers well. If I gessoed them, they would be ready for paint in a few days time.Perfect timing.
I picked up the pot of gesso by the screw lid, turned towards the panels .......and in doing so, the lid came off and the pot of paint sailed through the air, angling to the left like an cliff diver attempting a dangerous twist before plunging into the sea, hit the concrete floor and distributed half the contents of the pot in an arc of destruction. The angle of distribution was directly towards the large cabinet that holds all my completed, framed works. It also houses the corner where I lean large canvasses against the wall to dry. The area was crowded with works like a train station at thanksgiving or Durban beach on boxing day. Standing room only.
People. It was chaos. My world went very dark, very quickly. I had to prioritise. I grabbed the phone and took a few photos in case I needed to claim on insurance, then I dashed off to fill buckets with water and grabbed rags. I came back and triaged the room. Carnage.
- completed works and framed works
- works in progress
- equipment hit in line of fire
- floors and walls
It felt like it took forever. It felt like the paint multiplied in volume the longer it lay arounds. The splatter range made me wonder if the tub of gesso had had a pulse. Have you any idea how far paint can splatter?! It beggars belief, but let me just say, FUCKING FAR!!!
It did hit a lot of paintings and I did have to scrub it off. I hope I saved them all. The varnished ones were easy, but the ones in progress were not as lucky. Funnily enough, one splatter pattern on a landscape did give me an idea. I was too annoyed at the time to be grateful, but I did file it away in my pissed off little brain for later.
And yes, dear ones, it was my own fault for not having screwed the lid on the gesso pot the previous day. Lesson learned.
My hair still has gesso in it. At least it blends with the grey .
The moral of the story is: put the lid back on the tub and be grateful for lessons learned when the lid comes off. Silver linings and all that.