Tools & Talismans #41 — Alexandra Eldridge

These well-used brushes that belong to Alexandra tell a story about her painting but also about how she uses them to transform a blank canvas into “something”. Yet another story in this series about how our tools allow us to create our work and move forward with our ideas.

I still have some brushes that I've had since high school. The bristles are messed up and worn, the heel is barely holding on except for the masking tape I keep applying and truly, a new brush might be just the thing, except . . . I know how these brushes move across canvas or wood, and I know how they'll handle the paint, and I know how much paint I can load, and I trust them. Trust. To be able to count on something to create. So incredibly valuable.

These objects are with me everyday in the studio.  I have an altar that I touch in with each morning. Quan Yin, Goddess of Compassion speaks to me first of all.  Also a glass heart to remind me that all must begin and end in heart-felt Love. And then my precious brushes, used over and over transporting color to change nothing to something. A pencil, the basic tool to create the bounding line. And a stick of incense to fill the studio with it's sacred scent.

Alexandra Eldridge, artist


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Do you have an illustration project that you think my style might be a good fit for? Looking for illustrations for your website, book project or have something else in mind? Please let me know, I'd love to talk about your project with you!