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





Writing the Rain

“To write in the Northwest is to write about rain: to make a joke of it, to find something in it that will make you feel superior, to hide it in poetry, to assert plainly its positive effects” (Laurie Ricou).

Rain, rain, rain. It’s everywhere. Always talked about, always mentioned. A drained but still dripping cliché. I smell the rain and know that I am home. Transcendental and ordinary, it is a necessary condition of living on the West Coast, a reality better embraced than endured, “a presence rather than an event,” as Ricou goes on to say in The Arbutus/Madrone Files.

here is my rain file, my hiding it away in poetry:

Vancouver rain

is periods dropping from the sky,

falling onto pavement

with violent punctuation.


It is the periods of life spent

diving for cover,

dodging puddles,

damning the absent umbrella.


Weighted under and waiting out

The worst. Is not over.


More falling to come.