Choose your canvas carefully,
not too large it might swamp you,
not too small so your vision spills from the sides.
Measure it, carefully, then study its texture.
Find all the bumps, irregularities
and note them down
so you can take extra care. You may
even wish to make them a feature,
and if not, then certainly don’t let them hinder
Next, you must sketch out your idea,
adding to it once you’ve gotten used to each part.
Once it’s all clear to you,
you can add colour, add certainty.
Gently layer it on.
When the piece is finished, step back
and know that everyone will view it differently,
with no opinion weighing more than another.
Be proud of it, and let it show.
The mere mention of an object, hint of an idea, suggestion of a concept
and my mind has plastered it all over my thinking space:
magazine cut-outs, posters, video stills,
reels of film. Solid as the wall in front of me,
just behind my eyes. It’s odd that it’s invisible to you.
Elephants come charging in from The Jungle Book,
pink cousins visiting from Dumbo,
onyx bead eyes from a National Geographic photo I once saw
and a few others dancing around up there, with the word ELEPHANT
in grey, wrinkled lettering floating above their heads.
No one ever talks about how they think,
I didn’t realise this associative image gallery
wasn’t the norm.
Naturalist and multi-award winning author
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