Hope In The Most Unlikely Of Places

I wash my paint brushes in the bathroom sink of my studio. Once I finish a painting session, I scrape off my palette, pre-wash the brushes with mineral spirits and a rag, and then walk around the corner to the bathroom sink to complete the cleaning process. Predictably, the aforementioned sink is located just to the left of the toilet. I keep jars of brush soap stored on a shelf directly above the toilet. For some time, the thought occurred to me that between the toilet, sink and shelf, this may very well be a triangle of disaster. I feared that either the soap jar or a lid might fall from the shelf or sink and plunge into the toilet signifying an avoidable mess and confirming my psychic ability to forecast my own blunders.

Just the other day, as I was rinsing my brushes in the sink, the inevitable happened. I carelessly placed the soap jar lid on the edge of the shelf. Through some physical working of imbalance and gravity, the lid managed to leap off its perch without warning, diving straight for the toilet. It happened fast, but not so fast that my heart didn't sink while a voice inside my head taunted, "I told you so!" But then, something unexpected happened. Instead of splashing into a pool of toilet water and waiting in a floating pattern for retrieval, the lid hit the side of the toilet and shot out onto the bathroom floor, unscathed from the waters of doom!

I felt relief, though not the kind you might typically experience in a bathroom, and hope was restored again.

Things They Don't Tell You In Art School... But Should

I am priming four new canvasses today. My priming process requires three layers of Gesso. Before I apply each layer, I carefully examine the canvas to make sure the surface is clean. One thing they failed to explain to me back in art school, I would like to pass along to you, is the wisdom of wearing a long-sleeved shirt during this course of action, especially if you are male.

Inevitably, when I prime canvasses, I will find at least one lone hair that has plunged from my arm to the canvas, eventually smothered but still quite visible in a layer of fresh Gesso. Naturally, this development requires immediate extraction from the thick, wet mixture- a messy and sometimes challenging task (especially if you have just clipped your finger-nails). Removal, however, is essential because I cannot, in good conscience, deliver a hairy painting to someone. So remember, dear artist- hair nets and long sleeved shirts are not just for the lunch lady.


...and before he knew it, Yellow Ochre was quickly encircled by six hostile paint dabs looking to mix it up. He knew he had to act fast to make it out in time, with his true hue still intact.