dirty hands

I painted the second last picture published here on the blog, the elephant in orange, with the brush that you see in today's picture. The brush is pretty rough, pretty large and round. This translates into: Difficult to do details, and nice structures due to the brush's rough hair. The brush helps to stay "generous" and free when painting.

Here's a detail.


Thus, the tool is defining the result. When composing fragrances, my tools are pipettes and a balance, and the raw materials. In my composition work, with very few exceptions, I always use the undiluted raw materials. Sometimes, they are a bit hard to weigh in as you only need super tiny little bit of -for instance- a powerful aldehyde. I mention this because there are different ways to compose. Some use pre-diluted raw materials. My fragrance brushes are rough and heavy. To be honest: I do not know whether it makes a difference, but I guess it is part of my style. In an analogy, I might say: It helps staying "generous" and free when painting with scents.

In the brush picture you can see more: a dirty hand.  When painting, you get dirty hands. (and dirty rooms and shirts....) When creating perfumes, I quite often get dirty hands, too. And when packing and making shipments ready and piling up boxes and fiddling with palettes: Dirty hands. Does it matter? You bet. It makes a difference because you get involved, soaked with scent, covered in sweat when lifting boxes, and you go home with a shirt that tells what you have done all day long. I have long working hours, but every day I am feeling blessed: What I do, everything, I do for myself. And my clients. What a difference compared to turning burgers or piling up soup cans or filling excels or ... The price to pay for that: Constant uncertainty as the next pay check is not guaranteed. I guess it is a choice.

The brush picture shows you more, in the background, out of focus, but nonetheless very important: Aluminum cans. These are post- production cans, with not much left, fragrance raw materials, that I use for creating and all sorts of experiments. My perfume "organ", my collection of scents, is spread out everywhere, a complete chaos, but I know pretty much by heart where the bottle of vetiver oil stands. Again: It is a matter of style. I cannot get organized there and I don't know why, but I feel this is important.

8 thoughts on “dirty hands”

  • Hi Andy, I can very much relate to your feelings! And I have the same feelings at work where sometimes the pile of books in the office and academic papers is getting out of hand. But I can still find everything :-) And it is as you said - the generosity of spirit that helps us find way through this. Cheers, KM

  • Words I live by: "A creative mind is rarely tidy". And that goes for work spaces too! :-)

  • hotlanta linda 5. August 2015 at 4:03

    You go with the flow, which gives you a freedom from too much worry Yt is neat and organized always, but it never gets in the way of dreaming good things, the flow still thrives through organized channels as well as your more wild ones lol! Toto's song Africa, what else?

  • good morning, Konstantin, nice to read from you!
    Have a great day among your papers and books. Here, the number of paintings are slowly getting out of hand. I need more room :-)

  • I always refer my work space to as "mess room". In the best sense of the word, Melissa ;-)

  • What else, Hotlanta Linda? Africa... :-)

  • I spent many years exchanging boredom, clean hands and my life itself for a steady paycheck. It was a choice and I don't have a lot of regrets, but I admit your life sounds much more fulfilling than mine. I envy you your passion and drive.

  • I have been there for many years, too. I could never go back again,and 'd prefer hunting goose and moose in Alaska instead...


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