Dead ants in yellow watercolor paint. A half-eaten No. 3 sable brush. It’s a sad, sad mystery.
I first discovered a few ants crawling on my paint palette last week. This week, as i was holding my brush to pick up some yellow paint, i was shocked to discover tiny dead ants half buried in it. It had never happened before. I can understand why the yellow sun birds kept visiting our yellow bell plants, but why do these black ants like only the yellow paint?
Next, i picked up my favourite No.3 brush to paint finer details of the painting “God is Love“. As i loaded it with water and pigment to paint the stigmas, i found i couldn’t load the brush to a fine point. Puzzled, i took a closer look. To my horror, i saw that the brush had jagged bristles that looked ‘half-eaten’ and several had already fallen off onto the paper! Since i only have several brushes, i used whatever i had to finish up the painting. This affected my subsequent ‘wheelchair’ painting too.
I still haven’t solved the mystery of the ants and the brush. I read that moths can destroy brushes, but in our country, we hardly see moths. Do ants or even unseen cockroaches nibble on brushes too? Now, i am at my wits’ end trying to figure out how to avoid future damage. Strangely, i have never encountered such problems since i picked up watercolor three years ago. Until now.
Incidentally, the ants are called ghost ants because of their transparent legs and abdomen. They are only 1.3-1.5 mm long. If i paint them any lighter they would be invisible except for their dark heads and thoraxes. I never knew i had to study and scrutinize ants under a magnifying glass till today.
But… Praise be to God! I enjoyed painting his tiny little creatures. 🙂 By R