Australian Fine Artist

The Big Clean-up!

Longevity and Maintenance of Paints

During the last semester in painting class my tutor Jon wanted to show me a colour to mix for a shadow in a still life I was completing with his guidance. I hadn’t noticed how I had neglected my paint tubes until I saw him struggling with one of them! Ooops I thought, He can’t open it, and when he did he couldn’t get the paint out! Hugely embarrassing.

I promised him that I would go through my paints at the first opportunity and clean up. Which I did today. Everything came out of the painting kit and I have even done a stock take for new colours I need, which thank goodness is only a few as I will now be mixing a lot more after having such good guidance on that this year. Anyway, I digress. Each messy tube has been opened, some with difficulty, and the lids and tops cleaned, the paint all moved to the tops of the tubes and I have made sure you can get paint out of every single one of them!

I must say at this point that in some ways going through all these paints was a trip down memory lane. I read the labels on some and realised I had bought them over thirty five years ago! The old Winsor and Newtons had no safety labels or anything on them and I know I used them in my late teens. Wow get good paint and it REALLY LASTS!!!

Back to the cleaning bit – I have a newer rag in the kit, replaced my old turps bottle for rinsing brushes and have a “new” palette of sorts. It is actually a tray for an oven but it fits into the kit and is bigger than the last one so I am happy.

Monday will include a trip to Seniors to replenish stocks and I will be ready for a great summer of painting and for next year’s painting studies. I am planning on making painting my major for year 2 of visual arts so am really looking forward to my next step.

In finishing, it only took a disapproving look from my tutor to push me into action to fix what I should never have let happen, so thanks Jon. I have kept my promise and will “try” not to let my paint tubes get into such bad shape again!

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