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Two amateur paintings that needed each other

October 18, 2015

The painting on the left looked tense and awkward to me.

In the course of my travels through the back alleys of Fairview on Thursday afternoon (October 18), I came across two oil paintings on canvas which someone had put out beside their apartment dumpster. Both were male figure studies; one in all monochromatic grays and other in blaring bright colours.

Both seemed overworked but the latter painting felt especially awkward for some reason.

Now the Vancouver trash collector’s Third Law states that for almost everything discarded in one neighbourhood there is an equal and opposite need for that thing in some other neighbourhood. Thus, there’s someone in South Vancouver who’s looking for the exact sort of chest of drawers that someone in Grandview-Woodland just tossed out behind their garage, and so on.

This week I found a unique example of how this basic tenet of binning can apply even to the content of the paintings that residents throw out!

Amateur paintings always seem to be missing a certain something


This room could certainly do with a touch more life.

Some 24 hours later and many kilometres to the west, in the Kitsilano neighbourhood, I found another discarded painting. This time it was a light and airy still life depicting a jug of bright flowers on a round coffee table, beside an empty arm chair in a light-filled room with breeze-blown curtains.

Pleasant, I thought but something was missing. and by the time I got back to my laptop I knew what it was and how to fix it.


I think our model is still a little green at the whole “posing” thing.

Voila! So much better, don’t you think?

Admittedly, our male figure study still looks a bit uncomfortable but I’m sure that’s just because he’s not wearing a stitch of clothing in public. Not only is he sure to be embarrassed but he’s probably freezing his whatsits off in the autumn breeze coming in through the open window.

Oh well, great art requires such sacrifices. Click the images to enlarge them.

One Comment
  1. I can’t stop chuckling from reading this! Thanks, I needed that.


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