Some call it ‘being thrifty’ or ‘economising’ or ‘stretching a dollar’. If you’re particularly good at disguising words, you could even term it ‘parsimonious’. Whatever you want to call being stingy, I call it a pain in the neck. Because when it comes to painting, I am.
From my perspective, painting is not a cheap pastime to take up.
It’s a good thing I didn’t wake up two and a half months ago and think, “That’s it. Enough of this shilly-shallying; I’m going to follow my dream of building and flying my own supersonic jet through the stratosphere – I’ll even start a blog about it to keep me motivated.” Because my miserly little heart may well have stopped right in the middle of pushing the bare minimum of blood around my body.
So what does being a parsimonious painter look like?
Here. I’ll show you what it looks like:
What we have here, readers, is a bunch of paint that’s dried and gone hard on a palette because, Tightwad here (that’s me) couldn’t bear to clean up / throw out the paint she’d worked so hard to mix.
All the colours I use to paint with are predominantly mixed using just the primary colours and white. With this as a starting point, my painting sessions are 80% colour mixing, 10% painting, and 10% throwing up my arms in despair. Needless to say, there’s a lot of effort devoted to colour mixing, and that means I am always loathe to see any paint unused.
Tired of using up my precious painting time scraping the dried remains of paint off my palette, I’ve come up with a solution of sorts: I try to use any left-over paint from one painting, in another.
Remember the pot plant in my Toothbrush Painting? Rather than throw out the blue I’d worked so hard to mix, I altered it with a dash of red and used it as the base work in a new painting. I also took the red used when finishing my String Painting and did some ground work on what will be wine glasses.
The deep brown in my bread (that blobby thing in the bottom left) and wooden spoons came from a bad batch of black I mixed while working on the leaves of my pot plant:
And now that I’ve progressed that to a point of limited but relative satisfaction, I’ll be using the left-over green to make a salad or two.
Some call it ‘multi-tasking’ or ‘resource efficiency’. I call it pushing the acceptable boundaries of frugality. But sometimes I call it clever.