a painting space

by this time i settled on a single painting space, a place where the tools and activity of painting most often came together.

the kitchen is my favorite room, and that's where the tools gradually accumulated.

the light through the windows is very fine, and at night the halogen ceiling light is bright and adjustable. the cats often hang out there, and the stone floor is perfect for water sports. i can work sitting or standing — either set up is easy to arrange.

i have a stainless steel sink and granite countertop nearby, plenty of water, and a place to plug in the cd player.


at first i just left tools there, stuck on the shelves. as tools and paints accumulated, i began looking for organizing implements: stacking the paints in their flat tupperware tubs, putting the brushes in pasta containers, keeping palettes and miscellaneous supplies in a cardboard book box under the breakfast nook benches.

my wife and i sometimes ate in the kitchen, and my wife reads the papers there in the morning. this got me in the habit of cleaning up after every painting session, which is now the way i prefer to work. painting became a slightly bounded space, detached by ritual cleaning, like a short walk to and from a workshop.

later i saw a pattern to the set up, and saw within the pattern my preferred way of working.

i had painted so much that painting was made of a cluster of habits: this is how i wash my hands, this is how i prepare the paints, this is how i lay out the paper, make the sketch, choose the brushes, make the first wash.

i was starting to get above the basic uncertainty, how does all this work? i went to paint when i had an idea or painting i wanted to do ... with a vague sense that i knew how to do it.

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