Old Paintbrushes and the Art of Splinters

A Splintery Work in Progress by Michele Bledsoe


I had been painting for quite a while

before I reluctantly acknowledged

the sharp, needle-like pain

at the base of my thumb.

I poked at it a couple of times..

Yup. It hurt..

and I started painting again.

Eventually, I realized it was a splinter

from one of my favorite

worn-out old paintbrushes.

After my husband removed it..

I picked up my splintery brush

and got back to work.


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Painting Under a Deadline and the Art of Being Oblivious

r m painting


Recently, my husband and I took part

in a group art session where we had about an hour

to create a painting.

When time was up,

Richard created a beautiful painting of an octopus

and I had painted a small leaf in the corner of my otherwise blank canvas.

Usually, I do not participate in this kind of event..

I am a slow painter.

Oblivious to the passing of time,

and unconcerned by the expectation to finish my work..

I picked up my paintbrush

put my head down

and disappeared.


Paintbrushes, Pencils and A Love That Lasts Forever

Still life with Creature by Michele Bledsoe

Still life with Creature by Michele Bledsoe

I love to draw.

When I was a child

all I wanted to do was stay up all night long

and draw pictures.

45 years later,

not much has changed..

except sometimes I am holding

a paintbrush instead of a pencil.


Little Brushes and the Magnificent Inefficiency of Painting Slow


I use small paint brushes.

Makes no difference how large the canvas is,

I always use the same little brushes.

Maybe that’s not very practical or efficient..

but the experience of art has nothing to do with such things.

Those who are aware of my methods often state the obvious:

“If you use bigger brushes, it won’t take you so long to finish a painting.”

It does take a long time.

I am a slow painter

but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love the act of painting..

the experience of it.

So, I linger over my work.

I savor it.

Every little brushstroke

slowly adding layer after layer

of analogous color…

I want it to last.