Making Mud Puddles and Fingerpainting for the Masses

I was talking with somebody the other day about making art. The subject of brushes came up, and I started talking about how I don’t really prefer painting with a brush. (Of course, I like a can of spray paint even less, but that’s a topic for another day.) I actually prefer to finger paint.

There’s something about touching the paint. There’s something about getting the feel of it in my hands. There’s something about moving it around the canvas (board, paper, or whatever) that I really like. I guess I really like the control of the paint, and so that’s why I really like using my fingers the most.

Somehow, as part of this conversation, we also started to talk about mud puddles. When I was a kid, I loved to play in mud puddles. They were fun for me. I think for a lot of the same reasons-I loved moving around the earth, feeling the earth move around in my hands. I liked getting my hands dirty and “digging into it” as it were. I feel much the same way about paint.

A brush, sometimes anyway, is a bit too tidy for me. It’s clean, it’s neat, it’s control in a different way, maybe, but it’s too removed for me. No, I have to say that I much prefer my mud puddles and getting paint on my hands, getting my hands dirty when I make art. I think that’s why I loved playing with pastels so much. It’s just like instant color, smudged around on paper, fingers in the mix all of the time. Smush, smudge, smear, spread, all with your fingers. Brush be damned!

Yeah, that’s something I like about paint. I like to get my hands dirty about it. Do you like mud puddles too? Is art really supposed to be about getting our hands dirty? (Isn’t it?)

Until next time…

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