Confessions of a Brushaholic

Susan favors huge sash brushes when she paints!

Susan favors huge sash brushes when she paints!

Susan Plouzek, Oakwood Artists’ League

I am one of 40 artists at Oakwood Artists’ League. I have collected many brushes over the years; artists’ passions for supplies can start out innocently. We try new techniques, processes and products in our quest to create art. By now, some of us have enough art supplies to stock a small store! I suppose that is true with any enthusiasts; readers, gadget geeks, quilters and so on. That is what makes life interesting – trying new things.

My story seems typical of many professional/trade artists. After the crayon phase, I began painting in oils. By the time my children came along, they deemed it a challenge when I said, ”Don’t touch”. So somewhere after a disaster involving a new rug and some Phthalo Green paint, I put the oils away in favor of colored pencils.

Eventually I took the opportunity to try acrylic painting. Old oil paint brushes cannot be used with acrylics. I’m certain that’s when my fascination for brushes began. Finding the right brushes was challenging in the beginning. Did you know there are brushes for oil paints, acrylic paints, watercolor, colored pencils, gouache, inks, encaustics and egg temperas? Brushes come in many shapes, sizes and functions: flat, bright, round, filbert, hake, angle, quill, stipple, mop and liner. Brushes range from teeny-tiny to house-painting sizes. There are names for them like “The Ultimate Rembrandt Master,” “Super-Duper Mop,” and “Zen.” Each one claims to do a specific job. They’re made of badger bristle, boar bristle, weasel hair, squirrel hair, sponge, foam, synthetic, silicone and blends; how can a person decide? After many good and bad choices throughout the years, I favor a huge sash brush and my painting knife resembles something that could stucco an entire house. Is it any wonder that one could be a brushaholic?

Many of us are getting ready for Art at the Lakes on the March 7. Please come and support our first responders, eat a yummy lunch prepared by our own firemen, enjoy the great music and see the wonderful variety of art.

On March 10 Terri Pate will teach us how to make gourds. There is something for everyone at Oakwood Artists’ League!