Sunday, July 29, 2012

Smeared Canvas

I remember years ago, I'd been working on an oil for about 6 months. Maybe longer. It was about finished. About at that place where there wasn't one more thing I wanted to add or change. And I was fixing dinner for the family when I noticed it was - quiet. That kind of quiet every mother decides to stop what she is doing to investigate.

I looked at my easel and saw a smeared canvas. All of those colors so thoughtfully laid were now a slate of muddy green. And below it were the crawl knee toes and hand prints of one of my boys. I followed them through the beige carpeting of the dining room, living room, and up every stair to his bedroom. Apparently, being an artist at such a young age was exhausting work.
I remembered using crayons and creating a mural on the freshly painted and dried pink walls of my bedroom walls and then calling my Mom to come and see and proudly announcing, "Isn't that a doozy?" And looked into those pools of blue and washed him up and let it go and loved him. It took awhile to figure out how to clean the carpet. Turns out plain old vegetable oil worked great with a thorough sudsy cleaning afterwards did the trick. That was when I stopped using turpentine and started using oil to clean my brushes. Conventional thinking.... I don't have much use for it.

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