Sunday, September 17, 2006


Wildcat Ski Run in Summer, 2006, Oil on Panel, 16x20

I am a little bit afraid to use my new paint brush. This brush cost more than my wedding ring. Ok, ok, I only have a plain gold band because we were financially strapped when we got married, and I didn't really care much about having a diamond. But still.

I have been working up the nerve to spend 205.99 on a sable brush for quite some time now. It seems a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on a brush, but it has become necessary due to the higher demand I have had lately for larger paintings. Applying color to a 24x36 panel can be pretty frustrating and can quickly turn into busywork when the brush is only an inch wide. Not that an inch and a quarter will make much difference, but it's a start. I like the sable brushes though. After much experimentation I much prefer how the glaze looks by using a very soft brush, and sable does just what I want.

For some reason, though, I just couldn't bring myself to spring for the largest sized brush, size 28, which was 239.99. Somehow, at the time I placed the order THAT seemed totally ridiculous, as if 205.99 wasn't.

However, I suspect that a size 28 brush is in my future. I don't think I can help myself now that the flood gates have opened.


James Wolanin said...

It's always exciting to get a new brush! I'm jealous!

Chris Rywalt said...

I was told by a gallerist, in no uncertain terms, that I should invest in better brushes. I believe this.

However, my work isn't selling. I can't afford to spend $200 on one brush. I can't afford to spend $50 on one brush.

That said, I spent $60 on a sushi dinner over the weekend. So maybe my priorities are just screwed up.

There's also the small matter of how poorly I treat my brushes. I'm very bad at keeping them clean. I tend to be just like a man when I paint: When I'm done, I want to roll over and go to sleep. No cuddling. No cleaning up.

Fact is, I don't own anything nice -- car, house, TV, clothes, paintbrushes, furniture -- because I wreck everything. I'm a careless slob.

Tracy said...

Hi James, I must admit to being a bit excited about it too! It was the first thing I opened in the box of supplies and I was hoping for a few bells and whistles, or gold, at least, but it is just a regular looking brush.

Hey Chris, I justified this purchase because I did pretty well at the Cape Cod show so it seemed like a good time to indulge a bit.

I used crappy brushes in college and I also didn't do a very good job of cleaning them, but it worked because of the way I painted then, stiff and splayed brushes were perfect.

If you don't want to spend money or clean brushes, then change your painting style to accommodate your bad brush habit:-)

Actually I am not entirely kidding.

Chris Rywalt said...

If I can invent a style which includes brush hairs stuck in the paint, then, hey yeah, I will.

Susan Constanse said...

Sticker shock

Tracy said...

Chris, let me know when you find that style-I have yet to do a painting where I DON'T have to pick out 2 or 30 brush hairs, despite my fancy schmancy brushes.

Susan, I know, I know...

amber said...

I think it's great that you spent that money
Art supplies are what you make money with
your painting is great your colors have inspired me to be a little bolder with my choices thank you

steven Larose said...

I wish I was an Artforum "fine artist" so that I could say: "Spend good money on good tools and it will help you make good art." However, as an above average tradesperson, I can only say that effeciency is noble goal.

meno said...

My eyebrows are still stuck to my hairline over the $ spent on one brush.

I am interested to hear how you like it and if you think it was worth it.

(When we were married, we spent $200 for both our rings. Now i have a better one because several years ago, i threw mine into a large body of water in an act of catharsis.)

Tracy said...

Hi Amber, Thanks and you inspire me too. I always want to get back to figurative work after I see your work.

Steve, Both are good bits of advice I think. However, I think you fit into both categories, not just one.

Meno, That's about how much both of ours cost too. We always thought we'd get new ones, or I would anyway, but it's pretty low on the list. Besides the original one has all of the meaning. I will update on the $200 dollar brush on Thursday.