Sunday, 2 October 2016

I Paint A Canvas

Back in the spring I had a sudden urge to paint.  The urge came out of a therapeutic conversation - something to do with my inner child, something, it being therapy, to do with woundedness.

I sometimes find it hard to write because I'm a poet, and so I judge anything I write with a critical eye, even stuff like shopping lists and diary outpourings meant for my eyes only.  I needed a new, uncritical mode of self-expression.

I told a friend about the urge and the next time I saw him, he gave me a set of acrylic paints.  Everyone needs a friend like this.  Being well-brought up, I had no choice then but to respond to his kindness by going to buy some canvasses and brushes.

My first attempt involved painting my inner darkness.  It turns out that my inner darkness is a sludge-greeny-brown colour.  Halfway through, sick of brown, I got out the orange, and, enjoying its orangey-ness more than expected, ended up looking at the work of my inner 5-year old half an hour later.

I sent a photo of the painting to my friend by way of a thank you letter:

Painting #1

I received an unexpectedly kind and non-judgmental response, mentioning a Star.  Even though I know that the sun is a star, I hadn't thought of it like that.

Still having quite a lot of orange left, I embarked on Painting #2:

I took this canvas to therapy, proud of the depiction of my inner 6-year-old's free-ranging spirit.  "Well," said TP, "That's a fine Picture of Hell if ever I saw one.  I'll see you next week."

For Painting #3 I decided to restrict myself to blue and yellow.  I'd like to say that this was an artistic choice, or even a therapeutic choice, but it was a choice determined by the colours of the free samples of paint available in the local art shop.  I decided to name this painting before anyone else could get in there first.

Painting #3 - Free Samples

Painting #4 occurred when I had a vase of sunflowers on the table.  I also had candles on the table and it was a lot of fun dripping molten wax in lines across the canvas, watching them set, then putting my fingers into the paint and spreading it around.  I'm not sure what this is called, or how old I was when I was painting it, but maybe someone else will tell me.

Painting #4


  1. Liz, you made me smile this morning.
    My favourite colours are lemon and lime, ideally combined in 3D as marmalade. Sadly supplies have run out, so no smiles there this morning.

  2. Thank you, Paul. I think I might try painting with lemon and lime next - or with marmalade.