I went through a phase of not caring if I got paint on my clothes. It was a badge of courage, so to speak, and I wore those sleeve-drag dips of colors and thumb-print smudges with pride. That is until I got paint on something I would rather not have sacrificed to the gods of creativity.
So I ordered lab coat through Amazon. I thought a lab coat would work better than an oversized shirt or the restaurant aprons I had used in the past. A lab coat is long enough and it’s not bulky. There was less of a chance an unrolled sleeve was going to drag across a palette while reaching for something.
You’d think something so basic would not really have an effect on the actual creative process, but it does.
As you might expect, my studio experiments are more calculated while wearing a lab coat than they ever were wearing my 25-year-old denim big-shirt. It’s not like I look at myself in the mirror while painting. I do see my arms and so forth out of the corner of my eye, but it’s more like an assumed mantle of discovery where the experiments and processes are carefully examined and reasoned.
It could be part of that age-old Apollonian / Dionysian conflicts the Germans were so fond of. A foundation of reason, the scientist, as opposed to ecstatic unrestraint of the mystic.
I can be both, but not at the same time. Maybe the object of my process is to get to a place where they can coexist in the same body at the same time.