Paint-Stained Hands

Aldous Huxley once wrote….
The Secret of Genius is to carry the Spirit of the Child into old age,
which means, Never losing your Enthusiasm.

I love the practice of Painting at every stage, from blank canvas to the finished painting and everything in between.
That’s why I do it. Its my job and sometimes I have to pinch myself because its so much fun.
When I was 6 or maybe 7 years old I developed Mumps or Chickenpox, I don’t remember which illness it was at the time.It was the 70’s and many of us of a certain age will remember what it was like to have one of these diseases.Weeks missing from school, high fevers,spots,pox and puffy cheeks,eating was almost impossible.You stayed in your room, no tv, curtains drawn.
While nursing this particular illness my Grandfather Smithers came by for a visit with a Gift for me.It was an Oil-Painting Set.
It was one of those Color by Numbers Kits.
I was instantly hooked opening all the tiny little pots bursting with thick ,buttery colour. Sticking my tiny fingers in, Feeling the Paint, Smelling the Linseed Oil.Needless to say I didn’t follow the numbers and made my own marks on the little Canvas ,
inevitably getting Paint all over my hands.I was so excited.
I generally don’t have good recall and usually rely on others to fill in the blanks but I have a clear vivid memory of that day and I’m so glad I do as we only had my Grandfather for another 4 years.
It took me almost 4 decades to fully understand the simplicity and joy of that experience and how it would shape me as a Painter.
Painting is about Feeling.Its about Emotion. Its Empathetic.
Today as I work on a number of New Paintings in the Studio I’m grateful for this memory as yet again I get immersed in Paint.
My hands are Older now,some popping veins, a few wrinkles,dry and chapped , a symptom of the work I do and the chemicals I use to mix the Paint.I don’t mind though .Getting an idea from my heart to my head and through my hands and on to the canvas fills me with enthusiasm every time.Oh! and there’s always good hand-cream, the Life-Saver for this Female Artist with the Paint-Stained Hands.

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