For every one book that I've illustrated, I wear through several dozen paint brushes. But one brush has lasted for at least 12 years, and it just keeps on keepin' on. It's a Windsor and Newton flat #10, and it cost about $29.00. Surly, at the time, I must have got it on sale because I never pay any more that $4.00 for a paint brush, though every now and then, I'll splurge and go as high as $8.00, if I'm in a good mood.
This weekend, I decided to use part of my prize money to get some more good brushes. I set out Saturday morning along with my 4-year old son, and zipped up to Jerry's Artarama. We both grabbed the little hand-held baskets they pass out as you enter the store, and were pointed in the direction of their top quality oil paint brushes. Now, all brands of brushes have a slightly different feel, so I decided to experiment and purchased a variety of brands, and sizes. I completely disregarded pricetags because I knew my mind wouldn't let me buy an expensive paint brush if I knew how much it cost. That day, price was no option because in addition to having my prize winnings, I had just received the first-half advance from Dutton for illustrations on Ron.
So my items are rung up, and the total came to $250.00. Ouch, I did kinda flinch, but I bought my brushes regardless. But once I got home, I decided to compare prices to those where I normally get my supplies online — Dick Blick (another blog for another day). I discovered that I had just paid twice as much through Jerry's Artarama so, needless to say, I was back on the road headed north to get a refund. Turns out, when I got there, I had forgotten and left one of my bags at the store. They returned the bag to me, and started scanning each brush to credit back my MasterCard. Thing is, I didn't recognize any of those brushes. They weren't brushes that I had picked out. Turns out — I forgot — my son had his own shopping basket. He had picked out his own top-of-the-line paint brushes, and they ended up in my purchase. Little bugger.
Unrelated question: Is it a black thing; a man thing; a pretty person versus an ugly person thing, but does anyone else have trouble cashing advance/royalty checks? The bank —and I've been through several — always gives me a hassle about cashing my advance checks, making me wait 5- business, or more days before I can have access to the funds. Always!