Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wring out your dead!

Here is a piece I am putting in the show in Charleston. I have been down here painting for several weeks. The show will be at the Ella Walton Richardson gallery on Broad street. I painted this out on Kiowa island. That's about half an hour below Charleston on the coast. It is a beautiful gated community. Lots of alligators. It seems a little odd to me that such an expensive community would be filled with enormous monsters that bite. They would, I think, never be tolerated in New Hampshire.

Below is a tool I keep in my paintbox.

This is a tube wringer. An artist friend I know stopped by the studio and showed me one. I had seen them advertised and never bought one. Well OK, I cheaped out and bought a plastic one. It didn't work and I threw it away long ago. This time I bought the metal one. Its a great little tool. It does a fine job of rolling the tubes and squeezing out every last drop of paint. I go through lots of paint, I think this little gadget paid for itself in six weeks. It also does a nice job of crimping the tubes when I am tubing my paint. Remember how to do that? Tubing paint is here.
I actually keep this in my paintbox and wring the tubes at the end of the day. You don't want to wring em too hard though, if you do it will rip the tube a little at the bottom and they will ooze paint.


Debra Norton said...

I thought you were going to say you wring alligator tails with it!

Unknown said...

This is what I bought myself for Christmas, and it is the best $24 I ever spent! Make sure the lid is on tight before you wring. Don't ask me why I know that......

Jim Polewchak said...


I'm going to experiment with loading the paint into the tubes with a small grease gun, and am also looking at a local confectionary supply store to see if any of the tools that dispense icing might also work. My firefighting days of using "field expediency" methods to best achieve a quick solution are at work. I'll just have to guard myself against trimming a cake with titanium white.

Mary Beth Brath said...

Great information! Thank you.

When I was at Brazo's Bend Park in Texas there was a sign that read "run up hill if chased by an alligator". Well...the terrain is totally flat!! said...

What a great little tip there. I've been happy with my plastic tube squeezer but I can tell this will work far better and make me even more happy.

No skin Stapleton! So, it's the old latex skin job over an exoskeleton. Expensive but nice

Beautiful painting, as was the first one you showed us. You must be having a blast.

Jim, in one of my various incarnations I was process/operations manager setting up expedient processes for manufacturing. So loading the paint from one large container into another large container just to load it into smaller container - cleaning it out between colors- is not efficient. Make the paint, whichever color, put it in the tube - that's the most expedient for small batches (Stapleton has some experience with this). Now if you are going to make at least 15 tubes on one color at a time; then you might want to have one grease gun (or whatever, if that works) per color. But don't believe me, have fun trying it out for yourself.

willek said...

Nice picture, Stape. I have heard nothing but good about those wringers from many different people, but I have yet to spring for one. I have been using my teeth for wringing and crimping which I find works quite nicely.

You are wise to be out of New England at this time. For the past few weeks there has been no snow, no sun, no leaves and no color. Time to work inside, I guess.

Jim Nolan said...

You are a remarkable man - your knowledge base extends far beyond art. I was surprised to see you mention Kuru. You probably know it was identified in Papua-New Guinea among members of the Fore tribe. BSE, C-J Disease, and Kuru are all the same disease entity caused by transmission of prions. There is another variant affecting sheep which is called SCRAPIE. I know there are a lot of sheep in New Hampshire but I don't think artists use any of the by-products????? The name comes from the fact that as the disease progresses the affected animal scrapes itself against rocks to relieve itching.

Mary Byrom said...

Willek, you are totally wrong about painting in New England now - its been awesome! Just get over to the eastern edge of the continent. Big Surf! Paint a wave! And I'm heading to Baily and Orr's Island tomorrow or Sat for more of it. Here are pictures of some of whats been in my front yard...

And Stapleton, a postcard for you..."Wish you were here..."

Unknown said...

Excellent painting Stape, I enjoyed a nice long look at it. It's neat to see how you approach something different than a New England landscape.

By the way, thanks for the reccendation on the Caddell book. It really hammers home some important aspects of design in a really simple and practical way. He is the first author I've found who is willing to show the wrong way of doing something with actual painting examples. Do you know if his other landscape book is worth a read?

willek said...

To Mary.. I humbly stand corrected. The pictures on your blog are terrific as are the watercolors. The sea coast is a great place to go right now. Regards. WillEK

Stapleton Kearns said...

The alligators are wily and difficult to catch here.I have been using black spectacles and a cheap fedora for bait, I have had no takers at all.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Next Christmas, a Gloucester easel!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think you need a war surplus sausage caser. Diesel.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Run in tight circles and curse in Aramaic, it works for me!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I agree it would be a nuisance cleaning the gun between colors. Also you have to ladle the paint into it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Funny. I never thought of you as having teeth!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Wish I could paint it with you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I think that is by far is best book. The used copies of his others book are inexpensive and that might make you want one. But I think that is the book.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you;
There is of course no use to that knowledge other than impressing retired pathologists.