Have you heard the news? Turns out Swine Flu wasn’t just some mass-media generated story to whip us all into a frenzy of fear — it’s back. Which means that I have got to stop licking things. I’m a licker. I like to eat with my fingers (and then lick them clean) and when I read books and magazines I lick my fingertips to turn pages. God only knows what crazy germs I’m sucking up all day long. (Hopefully this habit has given me the immune system of a Ukrainian ox.)
Until recently I was an unrepentant brush licker too but Skot Olsen set me straight (“Unless you’re looking to get rid of all those pesky teeth and that meddling tongue, and the jaw bone that’s always getting in the way.”). Um, no, not so much.
Problem is, all sorts of oral fixations aside, I need to point and re-point my brushes as I paint, or clean little bits of this color that got on it when I was painting that color. Which is where socks came into it. I’ve started cutting the feet off old white cotton socks and putting them on my wrist and man, do they do the job. I can clean the brush tip or roll it back into a point very nicely without having to go pick up a paint rag (or stick the brush in my mouth — haven’t done it for nearly five months now!). Just gotta remember not to wipe my nose with it or I get a big multi-colored Groucho mustache.
It’s this “I like having it all right here next to the painting” thing that got me using little styrofoam meat trays as paint palettes — they’re super lightweight and I like to mix up just enough color for the area I’m working on and then I can stand up and move around and get really close and just ignore everything else — totally mobile, no arm fatigue. (The only problem is I’m a vegetarian so I’m always having to beg friends to save their meat trays for me.)
You can kind of see from the color mixes that each palette was used for something specific, I don’t put out an “organized” array of colors like I suspect one is supposed to, it’s more intuitive and based on what I feel that that day/night. (Another way of looking at this might be “my mind is a jumbled mess.”)