Brushes

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Where do you store your brushes when you have been painting? Please don’t store them with the ends of the brushes facing downwards, in water or turps, its a bad habit and can ruin your brushes.

Brushes are not cheap. They come in various sizes, shapes, types of bristles and handles.

They range from the tiniest brush with a good point, to very large flat headed brushes which could almost be used by a painter and decorator.

Types of bristles can be made of sable, hog hair, squirrel and other animal hairs. If these sable is the softest and easiest to get good results with. A brush with strongĀ  hard bristles can be used to roughy cover large areas and block in colours.

For me a synthetic hair works best. It tends to be flexible yet durable. The cost is usually slightly less than sable.

Going back to storage.. Gently clean your brushes under luke warm running water if you can. Sometimes if the brush is still loaded with paint I will swirl the head of it round in the palm of my hand while rinsing it under the tap. This releases the paint. If I was using oil based paint I would use a little substitute turps and rinse the brush in a jar of the first, then to clean it thoroughly I would use a bit of washing up liquid in the palm of my hand and a tap running warm water and just rinse the brush till the water runs clear.

Once the brushes are clean dry them on a little kitchen towel. This also helps to assess if all the paint has gone.

Place your brushes with the brush heads facing upwards and all the bristles smoothed back into the correct shape of the brush head. You can use your mouth and lips to repoint delicate brushes. By storing them this way they will dry better, the brushes will not end up bent almost in half, and the bristles will not end up glued together with paint. Brushes are a valuable commodity and correct storage will save you money by not having to buy as many replacements.

 

Old painting, or new idea?

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This is a painting from a few years ago. It was based on the idea of nerves in the brain -synapses, electric currents sparking ideas. I honestly dont know where it went. I do know it was a medium sized acrylic on canvas.

My art life has flitted from idea to idea, like this painting I try to generate new thoughts, I love to experiment, come up with different feelings and emotions.

Why should art always stay the same. Why not do different things?

My old self

This is from about 20years ago. It’s me and my old cat. It’s an acrylic on canvas. One friend criticised me for being too splodgy. It’s called Familiar friends.

When you look back at any picture of yourself it can be shocking how much you have changed. The lines on your face increase. I’ve got many more blemishes now. If I take a selfie it tries to blur out the imperfections and I look like I’m standing in fog!

I love this painting. I had dark hair and I was slimmer!

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Icy

You know it’s cold when the ice that was put in the sink on Friday night is still frozen in the sink on Sunday.

This is what had happened at the “an, exhibition of Blue”, which I was helping invigilate yesterday.

The exhibition space is in part of the old Spode Factory which has been converted into artists studios. The building used to be full of pottery machinery and pottery kilns. I imagine they did not need much insulation in those days. Now, however, thin walls and single glazed windows together with thick concrete ceilings high up which allow all the heat to rise make for icebox conditions in the winter.

We also did not know where the switch was for the space heater that sits next to the lift. So guests and artists alike stood next to or inside the kitchen where a small electric fan heater was trying to defrost the ice in the sink! People tried to sit on the couches to keep their feet off the freezing concrete floors. I’d been there three hours before one of the other artists at Spode found the heater switch in a cupboard! I did feel foolish for not looking.

Even though it was cold we got a good turn out. The exhibition will be coming down soon but it may be possible to get one of the exhibitors to show you round if you are interested.

Card illustrations

I did these cards about a year ago. I had taken photos in a friends house because she wanted some home made cards.

If you would like to do something similar all you need I’d a thin black ink pen and acrylic paints thinned down to watercolour consistency. They work as well as watercolours and it saves having to find them out from whatever cupboard I’ve got them in!

I basically drew outlines then filled them in with the paints.

I’ve only done a few more of these. Maybe I will paint more in future.