I was just thinking…………

…….about the colours and hues, tones and shades contained in my ever-growing collection of paint tubes. The opaques and translucents, gouaches and watercolours, brand names and series. The favourites and reliables, well knowns and new ones. To me they’re delicious – better than food! Painting is actually how I control my weight! Really!

For my style of painting, a full palette works for quite a long time before I need to replace it so I anticipate that rare chore with relish. Out comes my large fishing tackle box with its many drawers stuffed full of squished and twisted little tubes, all sorted into compartments of tone and hue. Squeezing out the little dobs of pigment re-acquaints me with my delicious cache of colours.
I’m hooked, I admit it, and like a quilter is drawn to a patchwork shop or a chef to a gourmet deli, I can sniff out an art store from miles away.

Now I know we’re all told that we can get away with half a dozen basic pigments and mix everything we need, and I’m sure the Old Masters would approve of the frugality of that piece of wisdom. But really! Where’s the fun! What better way to lift your heart and get your pulse rate going than to step inside a well-equipped art supplies store! Mmmm…..the smell of the place. Fingers twitch, eyes light up, mouth begins to water as I spy those rows of tempting tones. Racks of smooth, sleek little tubes holding every shade and hue imaginable, (except the very one you’re after of course). What’s new? Any new colours? Any new brands? I have to try them all. I know I don’t ‘need’ them, but I cannot resist. No use fighting it. I get such a buzz out of that little paper bag full of goodies to play with as soon as I get home. And anyway – there’s that weight thing I mentioned earlier!

The art supplies store that I frequent is just a couple of doors away from an Italian coffee shop that has THE most scrumptious fat slices of the best ricotta cheesecake in the world. It’s to die for – and so is their coffee.
So I’m in Subi – as it happens – and I’m hungry. My taste buds are at work along with my wicked thoughts as I sidle into the only parking space available – as it happens – right between the art shop and the Italian café. And there I am on the pavement, right foot grounded, left foot wavering between the two shops. The expression on my face so pained the other pedestrians are wondering about an ambulance. I turn towards the coffee shop. Hesitate. Ohhhhhh. I turn towards the art shop. Noooooo I’m hungry. And I can see the ricotta cheesecake in the display case. It’s beckoning. Hmmmmm – but the for the price of that snack I can buy a new pigment and……but I’m Hungry!
But you’ll live…………get the pigment. Ohhh OK, and so I head into the art supplies store! No calories – No guilt.

See? I told you! Painting is a form of weight control!

(Trouble is, by the time I come out of the art store, I’ve spent enough to be taking home several whole cheesecakes!)

Lori Spencer