Weird things that Army Wives experience

Most of my Regular readers know that I am an Armywife. But some don’t so I’ll tell you anyway. I’m married to an Army officer. But just being married to one, doesn’t make you an army wife. It is a whole other ballgame.
There are a lot of rules and compulsions(Even if they say ‘It isnt compulsory’), most of which the latest generation try to disregard/avoid. We have welfares, ladies meets, formal parties, social evenings and a lot more. But the most challenging part is, packing up our stuff and moving every 2 years. You get 3 years if you’re lucky.

But why is that difficult? Well, You cannot have a stable job and even if you manage to keep one, it’ll be an online job or a teachers job. These are honestly not much if you think about it. I have met lots of armywives who are very well qualified.

I’ve met engineers, ICWA’s, CA’s, doctors, financiers, lawyers and the list goes on. A majority of these wives are now teachers; the rest have turned into artists, photographers, fashion/travel bloggers, writers and so on. We have to make the best of this entire situation.

So, when I moved to this new cantonment in Rajasthan, I instantly hated it. It was dry and boring but the cantonment was in the middle of a dense dry forest. The only thing I liked about this place was that it had a swimming pool. I enjoyed my daily routine of swimming every evening. I was staying in a small guest room, eating food from the officers mess, which I soon got bored of; The staple- dal, chawal, roti, sabzi. I, a south Indian, simply hated it.

Only one week after we had moved there, my husband was detailed elsewhere for a couple of weeks. I was so bored.
One evening I left for my usual evening swim schedule and found that the pool was closed for maintenance on an odd day because there had apparently been a swimming competetion for kids that morning. I drove back to my room, changed into cardio gear and went back for a jog. Ugh, Rajasthan, it was so hot, I couldnt jog. I then settled for a brisk walk. What I didnt notice earlier while I drove were the numerous peacocks. I had walked about 2 kms and had seen atleast 20 peacocks. I then saw a herd of deer. After a while I came across a board which said ‘Keep away from wildlife, Preserve nature’ with a picture of a Leopard on it. I started freaking out. I remembered an incident that had happened in the previous place. Just a week after we had moved there, a family of Leopard was spotted near my husband’s workplace.

I turned around and started running back to our room. I had 2 kms to go. I saw no one on the streets. I panicked but I didn’t stop. I kept running. Just when I had about half a km to go, I saw something that made my heart stop. I stopped. I saw two hyenas, one on each side of the road, looking right at me. I had only seen hyenas on animal planet before. I closed my eyes and said ‘Oh God’. Just then I heard a car horn behind me, the hyenas moved back among the shrubs. I took my opportunity and ran like I never have before. I didnt look back, reached my room, bolted the door and didnt go anywhere for a week.

Things did get better once my husband got back. I braved the streets again, with him of course. I learned from the other wives that the hyenas dont bother you, unless you bother them (and they said this with a little shrug). ‘Beware of monkeys’ they said.

So what makes life better in places like these? It is the company you keep, the friends you make and if you’re lucky, you get friends who remain for life.
And when you look back on these stories, they’re HILARIOUS.

How to clean Paintbrushes and their maintenance

We all value things that we’re passionate about. For an artist, it is paint supplies. Of all my paint supplies, I value paintbrushes the most. My magic wand as I call it…. So, I’m going to address a very important issue- Paintbrushes and their maintenance.

It is very important that you learn how to clean your paintbrushes. I spent months painting in oil paint, not knowing how to clean my paintbrushes, resulting in dirty hands and clothes too. I had no idea how to get rid of the paint from my brushes. Honestly I tried washing it with warm water and soap and as a result had destroyed too many of them. Mind you, paintbrushes are expensive. So, lets start with the first.

  1. Oil Paint – First wipe off any excess paint left on the brush with a paper towel or a rag. There are a couple of options to clean oil paint off your brushes.
  •  Paint thinner/ Turpentine: You may also get this as distilled turpentine which is less harsh on the paintbrushes
  • Kerosene: This is less expensive. I used this when I didn’t have enough money to buy the good stuff.

You should know that both the turpentine and kerosene have a really strong smell. So to those of you who cannot stand that smell or are allergic to the same, I recommend buying odorless paint thinner. This is slightly more expensive compared to the usual turpentine.

Once you wash your brushes in turpentine, you wash them again in a clean separate  container full of turpentine and then wash it with warm soap water.

2. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is water based and can easily be washed off with water but you need to make sure you don’t let the paint dry on the brush completely. Once you let the paint dry on the brush completely, getting the paint off the brush is a difficult task. I use turpentine if the paint has completely dried but I try to make sure that such a situation doesn’t arise. In any normal circumstance I wash the brushes once with soap and warm water in the end.

3. Watercolor

Wipe it off on a paper towel. Just wash it in water once and then dip it in another container containing clean water.

Well, now that you know how to wash them, you also need to know how to dry and store them.

  • Dab the paintbrush with a tissue or an absorbent cloth.
  • Rest them on a flat surface over the tissue/absorbent cloth until they dry.

Note: Do not place your paintbrushes standing in a paintbrush holder before they dry or else water will seep through the ferrule and the bristles will fan out or shed as the glue holding them together will peel off. Do not rest your brushes standing bristles-down ever(wet or dry).

Follow these simple methods and you will have no more issues with paintbrushes.

Do come back and read my blog next week. I upload one blog post every week now. My next blog post will not be art related, it will be about some of my crazy travel experience. You can find the subscribe button on the top right sidebar of my website/blog. No spam, I promise. You will only get an update when I publish my next blog post.

If you have any questions/suggestions, mention it in the comments below.

Have a good weekend.

Happy New Year 2018

A new year is upon us and there’s a lot in store for all of us. I had a terrible start, I had taken ill on New Year’s Eve and have just recovered. The way I see it, by Gods grace the year can only get better. And it is, We finally have a house allotted. I’m waiting to move in and set up my art studio. You know what that means, I’ll have another art studio tour video on YouTube before the end of next month.
This year I’ll be uploading one video on YouTube every week- that includes art tutorials, time-Lapse videos, product reviews and a lot more.
On the blogging front I’m going to add one new blog post every week. That’s right and it’s going to be more personal along with Art , kinda like my very first blog post.
I managed to do quite a bit in the last few months. 2017 was a big learning experience for me. I attended a lot of art shows/exhibitions/festivals. I learned a lot about social networking. And I overcame my fear of approaching new people , especially the beautiful beings in our beautiful world of art. Seriously you guys, talk to like minded people and you’ll see there is so much to love in this world. Stay away from negativity, and the people who embrace it, Stay away from pessimists(the force is strong in those). Surround yourselves with positive people, read inspiring stories, be inspired, take out time for yourself.
To all my readers out there, if you have any suggestions or requests as to what kind of topics you want me to write about in my blog or what topics you want me to cover on YouTube, feel free to post it in the comments below here or on my YouTube channel and I’ll address them in the best way possible.
This year I’m going to make a lot of art that I haven’t tried before. I don’t just want to stick with what I know. And I’m going to take you along through that journey . Stay with me.
Love and Blessings,
Wishing you all a joyous 2018.
Sylvia D’Silva.