I’ve been painting over ten years and a realization dawned on me: I am unattractive when I paint.
In movies artists always appear so… beautifully artist. There is a studio full of only art items which seem sporadic but interestingly placed, as if it were the mark of a real painter to a have a 400 lb easel in the middle of a large room with windows taller than a man. The smears of paint on their hands and face look purposeful, contained, the way one would expect paint to look on an artist. The hair is even sex-i-ly dissheveled. How does anyone look that messy-good when they paint?
I wear an old bath robe when I paint. It’s blue and it’s fuzzy and in the places where something hasn’t dried on it in a crusty way, it’s even soft. I like to wear cushy socks and old painting clothes– which are usually derrived from the undessirables which didn’t fit me well or were comfortable but in shamelessly bad taste to wear publically. This robe is awesome. It’s a napkin, it’s a rag and a towel when I need it for all my painting and accident needs. Perhaps that’s the rotten foundation of my artistic “look” just before I paint.
Oh, and the paint that gets on you when you’re painting? It’s not going to be some seductive smear along your jawline. It’s going to be some ridiculous blob of color on your nose and under your fingernails. People might even think you have a health issue. You may be like me and use your mouth to hold a paintbrush and forget that you used that same handle to dab some blue texture and discover, perhaps an hour after painting, that you have painted your lips and teeth blue. Will your significant other point that out though when he sees you? No, he’ll look you in the eye and carry a conversation with you with a straight face and continue on with what he’s doing. He will even allow you to answer the door looking this way.
My art follows me everywhere, it doesn’t stay contained in its room anymore. I find myself setting up small campsites of art for my different projects in different places around the house. Some days I sweep them all back into their room and on other days they explode into other rooms. Sometimes I just want to sit in front of a fire when I paint. Or have a movie churning up the silence behind me. Even my dedicated art room is lined with books and haphazard ideas, but it’s never looked like the “studio” I see in the movies.
Hum. Where am I going to hang all this stuff? I’m running out of walls
I wonder how many other crusty blue robes are out there painting.