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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tools of the Trade



All of my brushes tell a story.  They come from different parts of the world...and I was there.
 
(Partial Repost, October,2009)



You have to hold them just right, you have to slow down your brush stroke, you have to mix the pigment-to-binder-to-water just so.  This style of painting is called Delft in Holland, Faience in France and Maiolica in Italy.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Of all the brushes I own, these 2 brushes are the most special.  The brush on the left was given to me by artist Alberto Lunghini of Ferrara, Italy.  If you join the locals on their evening Passeggiata you will go right by his beautiful ceramic shop. 

The brush on the right, with only a few hairs at the tip for very fine work, was a gift from the head painter of one the oldest companies in Holland.  The company has been making hand painted tiles since 1594. 
 
While I was at the factory, I noticed that each painter worked with a slightly different, although similar brush.  You can't buy this brush.  Is is made by each painter.  And this is how:
 
You must befriend your Butcher.  If he likes you he will give you the ear from an Ox.  You can then pull out a few of the hairs from the ear, then find a whole bunch of hair from a sable and then you have to figure out how to attach all of this to a handle.  Or, you can wrestle your cat for his newly caught mouse and proceed as above. 
Now you know why that brush is so special.
 





My Father taught me how to take care of a fine artist brush.  These brushes will last me for the rest of my life.  I won't have to make friends with the Butcher (unless I want to) nor do I have to steal a mouse from Stanley, our gentleman cat.
 
 
Have a great remainder of the week my dear
Blogging Friends.
 
Gina


18 comments:

  1. Dear Gina - I know that it's true that a brush that's well cared for will last the rest of your life because I still have several of the brushes my father used!

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  2. Gina, I love your brush recipes, and promise that I also take very good care of all my brushes. Selecting a new brush requires me much contemplation. (However, no butcher trips yet.)

    xo

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  3. Gina, your working tools make such interesting images in themselves, each one having its own character and what a story they tell.

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  4. Awe Gina, you gave me my first morning smile. My husby and I have some wonderful paint brushes also, though none quite as special as your 2 faves. Guess what? I went into the city yesterday and purchased 4 clear adornment balls, going to get a few more today and then decide on how to move forward. I shall share later, if any turn out magical;') Happy day to you~

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  5. Dear Mark, Do you use your Father's brushes? You have so many treasured collections, I'm not surprised that you take good care of them,

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    1. I do use my father's brushes occasionally, though he often painted in oils, whereas I prefer acrylics.

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    2. Then, you are ready to paint a few glass Christmas ornaments.

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  6. Dear Frances, Because I paint on ceramics, my brushes wear out easily. I'm always so afraid that I will run out that every trip to Italy finds me in my favorite shop in Deruta, a few new brushes. But I do treasure the old.

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  7. Dear Rosemary, Yes, these brushes are different. They are designed to hold a lot of paint (the reservoir part) yet give a fine line. Having a reservoir makes it possible for the painter to continue painting without reloading the brush as often.

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  8. Dear Mary Howell, Yours will turn out magical, you will see. Use lots of paint, load up your brush as if you're painting in oils and if you don't like what you have painted, it go right over it and try again. Please share.

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  9. Dear Gina,
    I so enjoyed seeing your brushes and reading about their histories. I have a simiar reverence for my hand tools and brushes: many are handmade, gifts from beloved mentors or customized for my hand... I think, as I'm sure you do, I'd be lost without them!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    Replies
    1. Dear Erika, Everything you say is true. I would be lost without my brushes...the memories are priceless.

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  10. What a wonderful post! I am always intrigued with other people's tools they use to create their work. Your brushes are priceless! I have a few handmade ones from Italy...both given to me by other artists. I love to collect specialty brushes that have wonderful stories behind them. Fabulous post Gina!

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    1. Dear Theresa, It is the brushes, given to us by other artists, which represent special meaning. As an artist you understand better than anyone how very precious these gifts have become.

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  11. Dear Gina,
    This is a post, close to my heart. I am very fussy with my brushes. My oil painting brushes, need to be kept very clean..and i also dip them in linseed oil then give them a soft wipe with a cloth.. it helps keep them smooth. I am slowly collecting my water color brushes.. have some various sizes..but seem to just use two or three mainly.
    The brush you described made of the hair from the pig.. reminds me of the book " The girl with the pearl earing" dont know if you read it. They also made a film of it. I cant recall now, if it was Van meer, the artist..
    A lovely post Gina.
    love all your brushes.
    val

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  12. I noticed I stopped breathing while reading this post. The story of the paintbrush given to you by a Dutch master is a true spellbinder!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge,
    Merisi

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  13. Dear Val, You are correct, we need good brushes and that means taking good care of them. It is the brush with which I apply liquid gold that takes the most care. Any dust or tiniest foreign speck ruins the gold.

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  14. Your comment made me smile Merisi. Have been enjoying Vienna through your eyes. ox, Gina

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