Maybe somewhere in the world there are painters who look after their paint and screw the caps back on tightly. I am not one of these- and I suspect I wouldn’t have very much to say to them if I met them-so every now and again I have to spend a couple of hours cleaning my tubes. I don’t actually clean the tube but the cap and the threads at the top of the tube so I can get them closed properly.
After that I roll the ends up to squish all paint to the top. You can actually get little keys to do this, one of those artist products that art supply shops are full and that give the artist an excuse not to paint. “Oh I can’t do a THING until I have my tube keys/fan brush/colour shaper/hooberdooberie!”*. I did have some of these tube keys but I predictably lost them and now I just roll the tubes by hand and try to resist the impulse to buy products beyond canvas, paint and traditional brushes. Keep it simple.
When these tubes are new, smooth and plump and pristine and they are like young boys marching off to war with a spring in their step, confident and bright-eyed and idealistic. Now they are veterans, crumpled and smeared, but still good to go and like anything that has experienced life, much more interesting to the eye.
*Before you rush out to your nearest art shop, a hooberdooberie is NOT a new painting aide rather it is a catch-all phrase for the names of things I can’t quite remember at this moment.