Thursday, September 4, 2008


My friend Matt can create watercolor paintings like nobody’s business. I have great admiration for the way he can control watercolor paints because that is something I’ve never been able to do.

My mom has bought and completed more than a few paint-by-number kits. It sticks in my memory that she has actually done DaVinci’s Last Supper. Tacky, I know, but it does confirm the secret code theory that’s been circulating these days.

Far from being the “fine artist”, I’m at my best painting walls. I abhor the prep work, though. Taping off all the baseboards, outlets, radiators and light switches is not my cup of tea.

I do insist on quality paint. There’s nothing worse than painting with thin, cheap stuff. When we first moved in to our flat two years ago, we painted the whole place with a type of paint you mix yourself. You buy a bag of paste, add water and color. It worked okay for lighter colors but we wanted to do some walls in a deep red. The red ended up looking more purplish and chalky. So, we decided to bite the bullet and buy a more expensive ready-mixed brand. Coating the walls with that stuff was sheer pleasure. It was worth the price.

If there’s one skill I wish I could add to my repertoire it would be the ability to create stunning works of visual art, painting included. Alas, I don’t think it’s “in the cards” for me, though.

A lot of what I know about painting, I learned from Troy. In the world of painting, I married up. Not only does he have a lot of knowledge about painting, he does a really good job at it, through the whole process. It never fails that he is the one that does the clean-up; washing out the brushes, wiping up spills, picking up drop cloths. I’m a consummate slacker when it comes to painting. I like the actual painting and you can even get me to do some prep, like taping. But once the wall looks all purty, I’m done.

When we moved into our current apartment, our landlord gave us permission to paint the whole place however we wanted. In Spain you can buy this cheap paint goop that you mix with color and water. It’s a bit crazy, but it works out pretty cheaply. We had fun mixing our own colors. Nic got a sunny yellow, Meg got a pinky purply sort of color, and the rest of the house is kind of café au laitish. Except for the red. We painted our bedroom red, as well as one wall in the living room. For those, we had to buy real honest to goodness premixed paint, because the cheap stuff did not cut it when it came to red.

I have to say, knowing that the cheap paint goo exists is dangerous because sometimes I daydream about new and exciting color schemes!

1 comment:

curlyheadedtuba said...

Believe it or not, difficulties with red hold true with frosting for cakes as well! And for black. If you try to mix them on your own, you get an odd (and funky tasting) red-pink-purple and a dark blue-gray.

Neither tasty nor attractive!