It was just like any other day, wake up, coffee, e-mails, head off to work and right after I clocked in it hit me…
“Jaya, your favorite brush has been discontinued.”
Before we insert-volcano-eruption-emoji-here lets back up a few years.
Once upon a time I bought a new brush. It wasn’t just any brush, her name was “Umbria” and she was the most magical brush in all the land. She was soft and firm, she had a handle with a good grip, she was pretty and most importantly she allowed me to paint faster than ever before. She was the best brush I’ve ever used and I dubbed her “my magic wand”. Throughout the years I bought more magic wands so my students could test them out before buying one of their own. Immediately after trying out the brush they would bee-line to the register to snatch one up for themselves. Soon, multiple magic wands waved in my classroom and everybody was able to paint with beautiful, feathered brushstrokes! It was a wonderful time. Everything was perfect and nothing could go wrong with Umbria at my side.
Until…She was gone.
(Insert-volcano-eruption-emoji-here) What else could I do other than conduct myself with grace and dignity? I felt that I handled the situation well by throwing a full-blown art diva tantrum. Since I don’t swear in my blog posts I will censor myself. “Why the *BLEEP* would they *BLEEPING* discontinue the best brush in the whole *BLEEPING* world?! Do they even have a *BLEEPING* substitute?! This is so *BLEEPING* stupid!” I demanded that my poor coworkers immediately drop what they were doing and help me figure out a potential substitute. We grabbed all vendor catalogues and began frantic-calling distributors trying to scrounge up any remaining magic wands across the United States. It was like searching for a unicorn.
“Jaya, what about this one?”
“NO! That one won’t work! The bristles are too long! Don’t you understand?! NO! This one won’t work either! The bristles are too short! Why are you even showing me this brush!? Give me the catalogue!!!”
I could have given Goldilocks a run for her money: this brush is too stiff, this brush is too soft, this brush is too small. Thankfully, my coworkers know what a spaz I am so they were all too happy to laugh at my pain and get caught up in the Jaya whirlwind. After a few minutes of agitated page-flipping we found a new brush that could possibly hold a candle to Umbria. The new “Sapphire” was ordered.
After a morning of what felt like herding cats, we were able to wrangle all the magic wands that our distributors had and they were on their way. We now had a monopoly on all the best brushes in the entire world and I was reserving each and every one for my classes. My blood pressure started to lower and I could officially begin the day.
Moral of the story: When a manufacturer decides to discontinue something you love, cherish, and have on all of your class lists, handle the situation with grace and dignity. Like me!
8 Replies to “The Magic Wand”
Keep us in the loop on how Sapphire measures up compared to the unicorn brush.
Yes! I love my Umbria brush! Have you tried to dissuade the manufacturer from discontinuing it? Maybe they need to hear from an artist!
Not a bad idea – I think I just might do that!
I’m happy that you found your ‘Elder Wand’.
Great story Jaya! Reminds me of my lesson I do for kids called: Epigram for a Dead Paintbrush (a dramatic assemblage activity). My condolences for your loss.
PS: coming to Triton or San Jose story anytime this summer?
Thanks Liz! What a great idea for your students! Yes, I WILL be teaching in the Bay Area this summer – check out my class at University Art in San Jose on July 23rd – Hills, Valleys & Horizons is going to be a fun one! I’d love to see you in class again 🙂
Your writing is as great as your painting! Loved the brush story and glad you were able to find another one that does the trick.
I continue with Zentangle and will be teaching a short class here at the forum. People seem to be taking to it and I hope they do. I find it calming and satisfying.
What is that painting on the floor?
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