I love playing with paint. Taking a blank fresh sheet of paper, or empty canvas, squeezing the paint from the tubes, and watching as each brushstroke brings me that much closer to the image in my mind. I adore the ephemeral nature of watercolours. I have a stash of acrylics, left from various projects and folk-art classes from my teenage years, but I struggle with them, making them do what I want. Oils have fascinated me for a long time, but I’ve avoided them. I mean, only REAL artists use oils. That’s for serious painters. People who know what they are doing. I went so far as to load up a cart over at Eckersleys, and then chickened out. Why bother spending $150+ when I was just going to be crap at it anyway. If I couldn’t make simple acrylics bend to my will, what hope would I have with oils.
But then we were on holidays, and we went shopping. And out the front of the newsagents, was a table. Art supplies 50%. A little set of oils called my name, the brushes joining in the chorus. I looked at them. I walked by. I came back. They were cheap to begin with, so I knew the quality wasn’t going to be brilliant. But now they were on sale. $1.75 for 16 brushes. $3.50 for 12 paints. What did I have to loose? A $1.50 canvas rounded out my little kit, and I walked out clutching them like the nerdy kid coming from the comic book store on pocket money day. I had oils.
I pondered, and wondered, and the perfect project can to mind. I pulled out a pad of canvas sheets that had been in a birthday present a couple of years back. I set up the children with their easel in the sun, and as they happily painted, I tentatively wiped a small blob of paint on to the plastic plate serving as a palette. Another, and another. I selected a brush, and started mixing, suddenly realising why a palette knife is included on the list of essentials for oil painting. That stuff is hard to mix with a brush! The consistency is so different from watercolours and acrylics. But it worked in my favour as I started laying in the not-quite-mixed colours. The texture and feel of the paint curled around the creative part of my soul, and I was lost. The smell of turps cloying in my nostrils, I stepped back, and started the cycle with the next colour. A new favourite has been found. I have requested art lessons for my birthday. A friend has requested a “LittleWhiteDove” original. I do hope she isn’t counting on using it as part of her super fund…
Today, as much as I would love to paint, it’s Friday, and Friday means admin day, especially since I am working tonight. A last minute invitation to afternoon tea with my grandmother tomorrow sees me scratching my head for a last minute DIY gift. Maybe a pin cushion? Or whip a charm pack or jelly roll into a lap quilt? I got one new fabric design nutted out in it’s basic form yesterday, and have set it aside while I work on the rest of the range, before coming back to flesh it out. I have a custom fabric design that I need to get out and ordered tomorrow. I’m stalking the postie for a bead order to complete a bracelet commission. I had hoped to get started on a collaborative project my mum suggested this morning, but as the day progresses it looks less and less likely. If I can get the commissions out the door, and the binding attached to the star quilt I’ll be happy. The weekend is promising to be busy as always. Soccer, parties, afternoon teas, visiting roadtripping. We’ll be looking for Monday for a break. Or maybe not. Four and a half hours to go. The downhill run starts now. Have an awesome weekend. Let’s do this!