Not Unrelated

The leaf at the foot of the stairs was batted down from the second floor, one step at a time, by Smithers in the early hours of the morning. It must have been the most fun Smithers has had in ages. She probably reached the bottom step and wished the flight went on forever.

Smithers is also responsible for the color scheme on this spread. I dipped my brush in a Windsor & Newton half pan in the dim light of the evening, and took a brush stroke on the page. I’d been aiming for burnt umber but I got aquamarine! Noooooo!

For a moment my mind could not resolve my inability to remember which colors were which in my palette—I’ve been using it for more than 10 years. I replace the pans as they are used with the exact same colors because I am comfortable with these colors. How could this happen??? I actually returned to the pan for a reload thinking perhaps it was a bit of aquamarine on top of the umber…nope.

How did this happen?

Then I recalled Smithers sitting in front of me the week before. Looking me in the eye, looking down at the closed and dry palette, using one deft swipe to send it crashing to the floor. It fell from the height of the coffee table, so what harm could it do?

I groaned, “Smiiitherrrs.” As I picked it up from the floor, I noticed one of the paints (not the pan, just the dried paint) was sitting on the floor next to the still closed palette.

Apparently, Smithers is magic. Ha…she wants me to think she is, but I can appreciate physics and force enough to understand the dynamics that allowed the palette to eject a small block of dry paint, and then come to a rest face down and closed.

I picked it up and put the paint back in its proper pan. There was a white hole where my burnt umber should be.

Kind reader, I crawled around on my floor in multiple sessions over the next three days searching for that missing chunk of paint—swearing at the rotten cat the whole time.

I’d resigned myself to ordering a new burnt umber half pan for the set, when I discovered the aquamarine pan had two lumps of paint! AHA!

It took the top chip out of the pan and put it back in its proper pan with a small feeling of relief washing over me, and a heart filled with forgiveness for Smithers…that sweet little scamp.

Last night was the first night I painted with my recovered palette and the paints were in the wrong place!

Smithers might be magic.

Both the burnt umber and the aquamarine had been dislodged from their pans in the short fall, they had then switched places COMPLETELY in the air so that, upon coming to rest, the burnt umber was in the bottom position of the aquamarine pan.

That is quite a feat of acrobatics in such a short distance.

Since I am currently under the influence of the Olympics, I believe I need one of the snowboarding judges to tell me what type of twisting madness was involved.

Not unrelated…everything is a little interconnected and fun to watch.

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