Thursday, August 23, 2007

Paint it black.

IMG_6202_1I've been looking at the canvasses again and how a couple of them have things sketched out on them already. Grandma painted sailing ships and roses, mostly. And I was thinking that I'd feel kind of bad painting right over them, even though I really don't feel like finishing them for her. I've always taken issue with the lack of variety and imagination in her paintings, just as she's always taken issue with the fact that my style has never been hers.

I painted her a picture once of a hummingbird in dots of really intense coloured watercolours and her reaction was that she had to teach me how to paint and to shade things. When I replied that I already knew how to shade things, her reply was that I didn't do it right. I really haven't painted much since, not so much because of the criticism, but more because I've just never gotten the hang of it.

The painting was eventually framed and placed on the wall in her kitchen above Kalmalka Lake, just below a framed copy of a poem grandad wrote for her. As I grew a little more discerning, I was able to pick out more and more flaws in my work until I came to really dislike it. Still, I would kind of like it back, even though it's most likely that my uncle threw it in the trash several years ago.

It always seemed that everything I did she had done better so that instead of taking an interest in things, she was always finding ways that she'd outdone mom and I. I never figured out why she was always competing with me. What could she possibly gain from it? What could anyone from that side of the family possibly gain from such petty rivalries?

But you know those huge wigs that women used to wear with fancy decorations in them? I was thinking of painting one with a ship in it. That or waves of spaghetti, a ship and meatball whales. Or squid. Everyone loves squid. Tesellated squid. Squid knocking down buildings. Squid in phone booths. One day you'll break the glass only to discover someone's replaced the fire alarm with a squid.

See how hard this is for me?