Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{simple things}

Simple pleasures

I bought this little pot of brush cleaner a long time ago.  Long before I called myself an artist. 

I always loved going to the art shop and buying myself what I like to call '$50 worth of cheer'.  Essentially I'd spend forever browsing the shelves, touching things, picking bits and pieces up, reading labels, and eventually I'd buy myself about $50 worth of supplies. I never really knew what I was doing, what I was buying or what I even needed.  But I loved those trips to the art shop.  I still do. 

In the early days it felt brave even going into an art shop. It was like a wonderland to me, but I felt so intimidated and unsure of myself.  I knew nothing about anything to do with art.  My yearning and passion couldn't be subdued though, and over time I got better and better at being brave.

I remember buying the brush cleaner.  I didn't know if I needed it, but it seemed like something a 'serious artist' would have.  It seemed to me like a 'serious artist' would take good care of their brushes, even their cheap ones.  So I took it home and I did just that.  I took good care of my brushes, washing them with a little brush soap after I used them.  It turned out to be good stuff and my brushes have lasted me well through the years. 

More importantly every time I use it I'm reminded of how far I've come.  I remember the brave steps I've taken and the journey of discovery I've been on.  It reminds me of everything I've learned through exploration, investment, risk-taking, dreaming and action.

Such a simple little thing.  A tiny pot of brush cleaner.  Yet with so much meaning and so much story.

I finished up this pot a few weeks back.  I haven't been able to throw out the tub.  I'm going to clean it up and put some special treasures in it. Maybe a letter to my future artist self.

If there's one piece of advice I could share with anyone who wants to be an artist it's this: treat yourself like an artist, buy yourself things that make you feel like an artist, spend money on your artistic dreams and hopes, give yourself permission by honouring yourself as an artist.  You so deserve it and you'll be amazed what comes of it. Trust me. I know!


  1. That advice is true to many things in life....having a vision and then walking in that while it comes to life.

    Great post. x

  2. Really enjoyed reading this - very inspiring!

  3. I loved reading this post Cathy and the advice you recommend is good for anyone who wants to be anything, not just an artist. If you start treating yourself as what you want to be, the rest will truly follow...

    For the record, as someone who has done some formal art studies, I was told it's ALWAYS a good idea to take EXCELLENT care of your brushes, as you have been doing. They will last much longer which is very helpful as many good quality brushes are very pricey, at least they were when I was a student! and, yes, I even take care of my cheap brushes too ;)

  4. Beautifully said, my friend. This REALLY resonates with me.
    And who couldn't love $50 of cheer?
    Great stuff, Cathy. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Oh so true... but so hard sometimes. I need to remember to make that investment in myself!