In my senior-year independent study painting course at Virginia Tech I was given a small studio all to myself in Henderson Hall, the old infirmary-turned art building which has since been renovated. When I moved in I found an old, lonely wooden easel just waiting in the corner of my new studio. I've always been an aggressive and somewhat sloppy painter and I remember wiping my brushes off on the sides and front of the easel. It came naturally. Upon graduation, my professor Ray Kass told me the easel was mine-- I could take it home. The first easel I would call mine, and the only easel I have called mine.
It has traveled with me to my parents house in Manassas where I lived for a year following graduation, to the Arlington Arts Center where I maintained a studio for 4 years, and now to my home studio in South Arlington. I often think maybe it's time to get something more functional but when I look at the layers upon layers of built up paint I get a little nostalgic. It's my history.
Are you an artist with a personal connection with one of your tools? Please share!