May 31, 2023

My studio friend, Amy lent me her sharpener today. It’s an excellent sharpener. And now all my pencils have lovely conical points. They’ve been dull for weeks, and I’ve made do. But working with a sharpened pencil makes the world of difference. I’m not sure why I do that, why I work with blunt pencils and paint brushes with splayed out bristles, why I let my tools get so rundown before I tend to them. Are they a sign of my hard work or laziness? I know the work is easier and yields better results when my tools are in shipshape, so why the neglect? And it’s not just in the studio. At home, my toothbrush has to look like wheat in a windstorm before I replace it. Here is what I know. A sharper pencil means greater control and a smoother finish. So, I’m getting myself a really good sharpener. As my favourite handman, Rawlie once said while painting our old wooden staircase white; “the work is only as good as your tools.”


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