It was pointed out to me recently that the thing I seem to paint most is the moon.
I hadn’t noticed, but it’s true.
I don’t know if there’s any particular reason for that except, y’know, it’s one of the most beautiful and inspiring things seen by human eyes, but in tallying up my work, yes – yes I do paint the moon with great regularity.
Come to think of it, there have been many nights where I’ve been out walking and came home to paint what I saw in the sky, but never finished. If I included those unfinished sketches and abandoned pieces, the total count might almost double.
The moon, being the majestic heavenly body that it is, has been the locus of our collective imagination for the existence of our species. It’s hardly any surprise that it inhabits great stretches of art, music, and poetry going back centuries. I find that I’ve got tons of great songs about the moon kicking around in regular rotation on my playlist, and so, hey, let’s do a pairing: I’ve painted a lot of moons and a lot of my favourite tunes are about moons, so I’m bringing you moons and tunes about moons until I run out.
This was a lunar eclipse I attempted to paint live, but unfortunately a bunch of clouds drifted in front of my view.
Ah, and here’s an oldie. This might be my first publicly displayed moon painting.
This is one of those unfinished sketches I’d talked about earlier. I just happened to be wandering about on some night in 2012 and saw this going on. There was no way my camera would pick it up, but I didn’t care. My eye did, and I thought I’d take a stab at painting it when I got home.
Oh, and this.
At around midnight last night I encountered a homeless man from out of town. He wanted to get back to Victoria, but in the mean-time, he needed to find the welfare office so he could spend the night there and wait for whatever help he expected to get in the morning. Someone had written him directions, but he couldn’t read, so I took him where he needed to go.
He said he was from Quebec, and his lungs wheezed and rattled as he walked. He kept repeating about how he smokes cig’rettes all day one after the other, and that he needs to stop. I asked what he’d do all night, and he said he had a pouch of tobacco as though it would nourish, entertain, and shelter him. He said he sometimes heard voices. He was schiz’phrenic, so he said, but he had the medication, and he was lost, and he smoked cig’rettes all day, but he was lost and screwed up and could I read his directions for him because he didn’t do so well in school.
We talked along the way, some parts in French. Michael was his name. He said “tut swit” like a real Quebecois. He liked that I knew Montreal as though we were talking about a mutual acquaintance.
Seeing that I didn’t treat him like a dog or a crazy person, he relaxed a little and we joked. I pointed out the burnt looking moon sitting just above the trees on the horizon, and he said “hey, yeah. We should go there. Want to go to the moon together?”
I said “Sure, but it looks like it’s a hell of a long walk”. He seemed glad that we could joke like that.
I got him to where he was going, and we shook hands.
“If I were a millionaire I’d give you a hundred dollar bill right now” he said with a genuine, smiling gratitude – like I’d just pulled him out of the water. “You could go get drunk and find some girls and buy some weed and have a great time for sure”.