Taking Good Care Of Things

Just yesterday morning, I covered my painting brushes again with oil. I had ran out of linen oil, and gave them the only one I had at home, which was coconut oil. To my surprise, the brushes had drank it all by the evening. How is that even possible? Do the brushes feel what they get and enjoy when it is better, softer, tastier?

Having the idea of taking care of paintings (& creation in general) in mind, I left the bed before sunrise, put the dressing sack on and poured myself a nice big cup of creamy coffee, I would like to say; but another, realistic – real – version of me knows, that taking care of several things means leaving the bed rather in rush to get the story done before the baby wakes up.

That keeps it modernly short to highlight the serious points.


As the artist gets older, receives more wrinkles (honorary badges for experiences), becomes more precise with bony fingers, it mostly means better materials become available for use. Because they cost more. And they might be harder to get.
The study years are spent thinking way less about quality than the years to come.
After some time, the soul wants to residue on a better realm.

For some reason, I have not noticed such persnickety among art lovers.
Known fact, the old masters used anything from fruit boxes to bed sheets.

But now, I think every artist becomes a bit more responsible for their works on walls.
Also I have experienced clientele (I still hate the word! They own pieces of my soul!), who come back with worry that the underframes have changed their posture. Those have been the early works. Nothing catastrophical. Change the underframe, straighten it with a wire or a piece of wood. Who has time for that?

If such a poor thing has happened, I’m glad only in Estonia, I’ve taken responsibility, paid in time and money for having chosen the cheaper or easier road (a right thing to do when building works are on every other road), asking someone I know to put hands on or gave instructions what to do. In a free world, I deeply recommend avoiding such overwork by thinking about the possibility beforehand.

It is rather reasonable to pay more for something that lasts. You don’t want to let your painting be dragged by every clam. Now, I use the best of frames and the best of linen, so such things have not happened. But: give them worst scenario weather and they will try to run away, dance in the rain, and cause an architectural piece, changing into conceptual art….

One can have a lot of personal traits, but I deeply recommend considering the materials before buying the painting: modern era: make fast, sell fast, is not the ideal that makes art last. The safest is to buy only (not mixed) oil on linen (or canvas or cardboard). No water-based and oil-based colours mixed together (who does that?). Unless you need an effective crackleware under the decorative frame for an evening at your place.

Otherwise, as always, things you love last. You check them from time to time, do so rather with groove as a routine; get yourself a wonderful last century squirrel tail brush that you can have – if you are lucky – from an antique shop, to remove the dust so the painting can see that you are still there, loving in return.
Otherwise it is like a mirror, it wants to see you, too.

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