I am certainly not a great painter. I do surprise myself sometimes with a decent painting or two. My immediate reaction is to go out to buy new paint and brushes. Surely, they will lead to even grander art work. The “New” does not always get you to your goals.

It is often the experimentation and creativity that springs from having to use the resources around you, limited as they might be. The left overs of your trade.

Jean-Francois Chaigneau’s book “In the Studio” drives this point home. He cataloged photographs of great artists like Braque, Picasso and Chagall at work in their studios. All about them, in their often primitive looking studios, were scatter well-worn brushes and tubes of old paint. The faces of the artists show the angst and passion as they created new work using old art tools.

I once took classes from the artist Allen Reamer. He always began his classes having students make color charts. Ones that laboriously combined first the primary colors then renditions of these one at a time. It seemed to go on forever, but you learned how to make new colors you did not know existed. 

These lessons play over and over again in all walks of life. New business clients are gained, wars won, and great culinary dishes are all created from the scraps of resources.

I remember that our lead sales person at a major brokerage where I once worked kept his prospects on sheets of paper in a three-ring binder. The rest of us thought the next piece of tech equipment would put us over the top. He knew that it was the time and effort working with existing tools that created wins. 

As tempting as it is to buy the new, squeezing the last drops from paint tubes and straitening the bristles of old brushes can yield great work.


p.s.  Ok, OK, maybe I do still have the website bookmarked…. dty