“Would you like some blank Canvases?” by brother, Seb McEwen, asked. He is moving and he’s given me his stock of canvases, as he has nowhere to store them. My answer was an instant ‘YES’! It wasn’t so much the money I’d save, it was simply canvas envy. To have all those canvases to do anything I wanted. Create anything, any colour, any time. It’s like walking into a stationers and fondling the naked crisp paper, the multitude of eager pens and piles of empty note pads that need filling. The elegant virgin folders, slender rulers and smooth pencil cases.
By Sebastian McEwen – Asparagus Island Oil on Board 100 x 80cm
Seb, wouldn’t usually have had so many, but a local factory gave them to him. A local frame making company sponsors a local artist. I love that!
But then, as I looked at my corridor stacked high, the fear struck me. What would I paint!? Could I cover all those canvases with good pictures? Could I be original? Was I worthy of owning them? I had an attack of the blank canvas. It stares at you, challenging you, goading you. “You think you can do it? Go on paint something, we need a laugh!”
Writers’ … Everyone’s Blank Canvas
This blank canvas is what writers face all the time. What can you say that’s entertaining, interesting and creative? What can you write that is worthy of someone’s time to read? The white sheet driving you to writer’s block?
And in a similar vein, we all face the blank canvas when we ask ‘What shall we do today?’ In a world of opportunity and variety, what will we choose? For many of us we limit our choice, we have a job where we do the same thing day in day out, year after year. How strange when we only have one life, we don’t insist on variety.
Is that why we look back on our childhoods with such fondness? When making choices, challenges and new experiences was something we did all the time, a habit. Those first times of exploration and experimentation. We relished the novelty of it, the excitement. So today, when I look at my pile of canvases I am reminded. Make the blank canvas your habit. Clear your diary for the day, or maybe for the year ahead, and start again. What’s on the bucket list? What haven’t you done in a while? What would make you smile? Load up your palette with vibrant colour, deep hues; apply with rich texture, and define your light and shade. Pick a fine brush and with playful imagination, fill your canvas.