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




will teach you

more about


than any half hour piano lesson


so don’t be so detached


stand under it, umbrella down





The Yellow Room

Last week I wrote about spaces that famous authors have lived and wrote in. I said I would invite you into a former writing space of mine, so here it is:

I knew happiness whenever I entered my Anne of Green Gables loft with yellow paint that complemented the Jack Vettriano hanging above my bed. The angled skylight amplified the sound of West Coast rain drumming me to sleep many a night; the south-facing window offered a cropped view of paragliders sailing effortlessly through the skies above Victoria’s Dallas Road. They say different spaces make you feel different ways, and I felt home when I turned the knob of that bedroom door I was almost too tall to walk through. I remember the morning sun streaming through the blinds, making patterned rainbows on my wall that could be the subject of an Impressionist painting; the smell of the ocean when I opened the window and let the salty Pacific air waft through my fairytale space in all its glory. I even had a little writer’s desk that looked towards the ocean that I couldn’t see as much as I could sense. I couldn’t have asked for a better space. I think I could almost endure windowless, dreary basement suites for the rest of my life because I had one year in that yellow room—a room of my own, thank you Virginia Woolf. It made me want to write in it and about it, although I wish I had written less fact and more fiction. I got through grad school pouring copious cups of tea for myself while poring over books, articles, and notes that ate up all my energy for creative leftovers, every last drop, and what little I saved I brought to the ocean to contemplate, rejuvenate, and forget.

Okay, so I tend to be a bit melodramatic when I write for myself (this was an excerpt from my journal), but from looking at the room, does it not live up to the image I painted of it? I think so. Oh how I miss that yellow room, that space that apparently I grew so exhausted in writing academically that I gave up on writing creatively, although what was I thinking? When will I have such an inspiring place again, or so much mental stimulation?

What’s your writing space? Do you have “a yellow room?”