I have never understood the fashion of people walking around in paint covered clothes as artists. I understand the occasional sleeve edge or mark. House painters or dry-wallers, I get it, but the crazy covered sweatshirt seems very intentional when I consider my own working style. If you saw me working in my studio, you would barely see me move, much of the time, and my clothes are generally paint free.* However, there are times when I am moving, when I am doing a pour or working with lots of containers and tubes, on every available surface; then, things become a serious mess.
What I regret is trusting myself to be neat and careful, when if I stop and think, I will remember that I exhibit neither of these qualities, especially when actively experimenting with something on a painting surface. I only remember when I have neglected to put my old jeans on instead, or remove a brand new pristene pair of shoes. The worst is acrylic paint that I only notice when it's fully dried and permanently damaging some lovely pair of wool slacks with an edge line right at the crotch. I am wearing such a pair now free of blemishes, and at low risk because I am typing on a computer today.
* Now that I've taken up oil painting again, I am going to qualify that statement. In fact, I do get paint lots of places when I work in oil paints. It just stays oily and wet and smudges everywhere. I also made myself an apron that covers nearly all of me, and that is hugely helpful.
Hannah Burr is a contemporary artist and author. Originally from Boston, she lives in Ann Arbor MI.