I came across this Technique Tuesday “hack” recently when I discovered the amazing alla prima portraits of Felicia Forte on Instagram. A student of hers brought her a bag of dried beans one day and suggested that she use them to hold her dirty brushes in place while painting. I saw that post and said “Eureka!”, most probably out loud, and then ran upstairs to my pantry where I had stored many bags of dried black beans (a must in any Cuban American kitchen). I chose to use an old but cherished mug which features a ghosted image of my Mom and son as my new dirty brush container. My Mom was the one who taught me how to make black beans the traditional way–so it seems only fitting.