Thursday, August 29, 2013

Have Brush Will Ravel?

What do you do when you procrastinate or even just forget to clean your brushes for several days?  

Recently we lost an uncle and somehow it just did not seem appropriate to paint and even more not to blog.  Giving myself a few days did not mean it was a good idea to walk away from my brushes and leave them to their own drying in my very warm studio.  Today, when I ventured out to return to work, I was thinking what a dork to not clean up last week.  

Saturated in dried paint, I got the brilliant idea to soak them in my turp bucket, knowing this isn't going to be pretty!

In the bottom of the turpentine bucket is a little scrubbing rack and I really have learned it is not the best thing for my brush bristles.  When others have cleaned up for me, (others being my sweet husband,) they over use this scrubber and it leaves the bristles all ragged and raveled, and usually hard to repair.    


They make wonderful brush soaps than can do a better job cleaning and help the bristles form back their original shapes too.  

Hard to understand that some of the best clean up for oils is soap and water, but it really works.  Works well on people too, but bath soap is much cheaper in case you are inclined to feel the urge to take a bath.

My brushes were in an awful mess and every time this has happened to me, I vow never again, but then I guess I will never learn.  I never learned my multiplication tables either, therefore I am an artist instead of all those real jobs that make money.  I digress...

 Once you fill the brush with soap it quickly begins to melt the oil paint.  This can take several attempts to get them clean....felt like about a hundred, but I am sure I exaggerate.  

All clean and back in their place in my studio.  Whew!  Onward and upward, back to hiding behind the canvas.  This photo doesn't really show how clean the brushes turned out, but it does show the pretty view from my studio window is, so that seemed more important right now.  Life goes on....

RIP Uncle Clive, your smile was infectious and you were never anything but kind to me.