old habits die hard.  last night as i was drifting off to sleep, i remembered one of my own.  almost as a rule, i forget to clean my paintbrushes.  it's something i'm no stranger to. in fact, i've lost sleep over dirty brushes before.  they are, after all, the kind of tool that an artist might invest good money in. some may even venture to say that a quality brush is the mark of a good painter.  now with watercolor, it doesn't matter so much.  it's all water cleanup. you can't really ruin your brushes if you try.  but with oil paint, it's much more complicated.  if you leave the brushes laden overnight, the next day you return to a bunch of hard plastic tips, rendered useless by the painters carelessness, restlessness, obliviousness or forgetfulness. last night, by the time i remembered my faux pas,  i was too zonked to attempt a valiant rescue in my underwear.  luckily, i left just enough paint globbed on to the ends that my brushes, miraculously, didn't dry!  i was able to salvage my tools and get right to work on phase two of "half-a-painting-a-day". awesome save.

today was christened by two very important landmarks of the season.  first, it was the annual edison halloween parade, the one day of the year when the entire school full of kids k-8 tromps through town in every-which-kind of ridiculous getup.  it is a true spectacle, a joyous occasion, a reason to laugh out loud and (even though you usually don't buy into those commercial holidays, or junk food for that matter) throw a spray of candy, just for the kids, in celebration of life.  

second, i saw my first two trumpeter swans.  there is a brilliant ecstasy in their flight, long necks outstretched, white feathers glistening, reflected gold in the waning sun.  through the winter, their flocks keep the valley in steadfast company, in the cold and rain and mud, warding off any weather induced gloom with comical honking and an elegant demeanor. i'd say it's about time.

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