Waxing Lyrical, Literally

Blank canvasses are just as bad as a blinking cursor on a white page. It seems whenever I don’t have the materials to paint, that’s when I feel like painting. And as soon as I go and buy the materials, I don’t feel like painting anymore.

So I didn’t. I melted crayons instead.

Lined up, ready to drip

I think last week’s Lego post got me in childlike, playful mood. It was fascinating to watch the wax flow down in irregular patterns onto the canvas, the darker colours taking longer to melt than the lighter ones—a swampy symphony of blues, purples, and greys blending into each other like falling notes from a Crayola keyboard.

It’s raining crayons

I can’t claim this artwork as an original idea. There are numerous examples online of a bluish palette of crayons dripping rain while a man and woman in silhouette stand sheltered underneath an umbrella – many a lot better done than mine.

When I realized I should probably buy some new crayons

But I don’t know how many have used the silhouette of this Jack Vettriano painting as the token lovers under the rain. I’ve been a fan of “Mad Dogs” for a while, which perfectly matched my yellow room and takes its name from British singer Noel Coward’s strange song, “Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun.”

Maybe it’s odd I’m relocating this couple from an idyllic beach with no sign of rain despite the presence of umbrellas (or parasols), to a torrential downpour typical of Vancouver where that umbrella is no longer an accessory—it’s a necessity. But it’s interesting to change up the context now and then, to look at something old and beloved in a new way.

And as one art blends into another, I then waxed poetic about my wax picture:

A wet, cold blue

pressing into you like

quick

sharp

pins

will teach you

more about

staccato

than any half hour piano lesson

 

so don’t be so detached

 

stand under it, umbrella down

 

listen–

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Waxing Lyrical, Literally

  1. Love It. We have to start by imitating before we can produce original works. I’m starting by learning how to colour. I was inspired to colour with my non dominant hand while watching my primary students coloring. I didn’t know how to judge if a piece of work was well done or not. So i decided to produce some art myself, with my left hand. When I started coloring with my left hand I realize that indeed it was a hard task when those fine motor skills are still developing.

    • thanks Anna, it’s actually really easy. I just glue gunned some crayons to a canvas (wrappers on). Then I took a heat gun to them one at a time so they melt and drip onto the canvas (I’ve heard blow dryers can also work). Make sure you heat the crayons in the centre rather than the tip or else wax will fly every which way – and hold the canvas at an angle so it flows down better. The silhouette figures were cut out, painted, and stuck on earlier so I had to cover them up to keep them wax-free. The wax hardens pretty quickly which makes for a cool 3D effect, but be careful because it also breaks off easily once it’s dry. And that’s it. You should try it!

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