That brush doesn’t look like much but it is my most valuable tool. I’ve had it since college. I think that I must have gotten it sometime in 2001. It started as a brush for oil painting and then it turned into an acrylic brush when I converted to acrylics. It is my “eraser” paintbrush. You see, it’s not very good at laying down beautiful strokes of paint anymore but it is most excellent at removing paint and giving a fabulous rough texture stroke when removing paint if I ask it to. It does all sorts of neat things as long as I don’t ask it to do smooth and shiny.
I almost never “draw” my compositions out before I start painting (shhhh… don’t tell anyone); I just start painting. This paintbrush helps me reposition my composition over and over (sometimes more than I care to admit!). It’s a very forgiving and understanding paintbrush as it helps me hide my mistakes (or turn my mistakes into “happy accidents”). It’s almost dead and I have been fretting for years already over what I am going to do when this paintbrush does finally die. I peeled back some of the paint off of the handle and was able to make out a few numbers and piece together the brand and I ordered a shiny new model of my old paintbrush. Look at the difference!
I’m going to have to figure out how to ruin this new brush so that it does what I need it to do. I should spend some time telling a beautifully creative story about how the seemingly ugly and broken things in life end up turning things beautiful (wait… that was pretty good, wasn’t it?) but I just thought that I would share an unexpected tool and personal technique. This is an ode to my ugly paintbrush as she nears the end of her life and my gratitude for her being with me as I experimented with, dreamed in, played with, cussed at and still realized my passion for art (painting in particular). I admit, I’m feeling a bit insecure right now; I have never been without this paintbrush as a “professional” artist. I just hope that I can continue as always after she has brushed her last “ugly” stroke.