Angela Otts

I just got done painting a canvas for my daughter, and the place looks like a tornado went through. I have paint all over me and my drawing table, easel and paint tubes. I’m not very neat at being an artist.

More professional artists have storage places for all their supplies. I have drawers and boxes of things but none of it really caters to me when I paint.

I have seriously been thinking about renting a studio space. I can keep my home domain in good condition by messing up a place that’s meant for artists.

I’m still mulling that over.

When I was a kid, I liked to draw, and I had papers all over the house filled with scenes that I captured. I’d tack them to the walls and tape them to the windows. My mother, I’m sure, was a bit frustrated with the new décor of the house. But she let me display my creations.

My son bought me a nice artist’s apron. It’s black. The more paint an artist has on it, the more productive they are. It’s pretty clean. I forget to put it on. And the other hindrance to wearing the thing is that I can’t tie the strings behind my back. I’m having trouble with the muscles in my upper arms and I can’t manage to get behind my back enough to tie the strings.

The gift was a good idea because my kids know how messy I can get doing projects. I’ve even painted in my nightgown in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. I can recall my paintings with the dried drops of paint. I don’t see them until they have hardened for posterity. Right now, I’m staring at a yellow blotch.

I keep telling myself to designate a painting outfit. It wouldn’t matter if I was paint splattered, because it would be my official outfit as an artist. I could wipe my paint-ladened fingers on any part of me.

A friend of mine, who is an aspiring artist, had some really neat tennis shoes on one morning when I saw her. But they were sort of odd. One shoe had bright magenta dots on it and the other didn’t. I suspected it was a new trend in novelty sneakers, but I was wrong.

She laughed and explained that she had been painting in those shoes, and her miscues hit her shoe.

“I haven’t evened them out yet,” she said.

I can relate to that. My blue, furry slippers had specks of different colors on them.

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