Artist Roads 

Ramblings about Travels, Trailers & Paintings


Washing Brushes

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

 The rest of the household is sleeping as I  warm up the water and gather brushes left in paint water overnight. Way too long for someone who knows better. An artist "sin" to leave them that way and I am a big culprit.

The morning coffee is starting to seep that nutty yummy smell across the kitchen and I fold lengths of paper towel and place it next to me on the counter. Brushes, how long have I been doing this? Maybe 35 to 40 years. Working the paint out, cleaning the handles, laying them on the towels to dry before I put them away in their little storage buckets in the studio. Warm suds and water- there is a certain therapy to that. Looking out the kitchen window at a still early dawn and the trees around the pool area. This is my life. Kids and husbands and dogs and old farm cats. Birds in the corner tree like a condo complex with too many residents. Paintings swirling in my head that sometimes never get painted, and others that intimidate and make me wish my skill set was bigger.


A quick run at the laundry before the A/C and the afternoon heat of our weather changing drought ridden California. Coffee and yogurt with granola and raisins. It's Sunday, and I flash on a moment in church years ago, my hands still small, where I am folding, folding, folding the service handout. Rubbing the paper and seeing if I can make it feel  like fabric. You almost can by the end of a long service, and keep yourself quiet and as still as you can be next to the watchful eye of a parent. Dad gives me a mint and a pen with a new index card to draw on. I wonder if he even remembers doing that? At 85 this year, he has gone backward into speaking only of complaints and his time in the military. Almost as if our raising and the man who taught me to saw and hammer and change the oil in my Datsun pickup- never extisted. I've actually tried to bring it up, it's kind of a lost time for him. Perhaps he just assumes I know that he loves us all- which I do, but it would be nice to hear him say that our childhood is part of his memories. Inside myself, I feel sad that he seems to hold on to such short happenings, and the main part of his life- that with my Mom- is lost to him. Like a suppressed hurt or a drifting leaf in the stream. I don't want to be that way. My interaction with my family, the laughter, the play, the learning we have done, is all so vital to who I am. Their understanding of my artwork and my heart.

I've brought them with me on so many jobs- all of them. I hope that it is all good memories overall. Built on love and family.

The brushes are done. My fingers are wrinkley from the water, I apply lotion and smile at the coconut smell that drifts up from my skin. Remembering a weekend in Palm Springs with Rob when we bought it. Time for another day.....

Categories: Artistic Explorations

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