This painting no longer exists

poplars
Poplars, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

This painting no longer exists

This painting of a row of poplars
            no longer exists
it was executed yesterday
            by that I mean it was laid down
in oils on canvas
            using principally primary colours
and briefly I’ll admit
            there were elements in it
that I was quite pleased with
            the poplars for example
the way they slanted
            after years of having to deal
with the prevailing wind
            these are poplars from my childhood
they are still there
            and I could take you to see them
if either you or I had the time
            but we don’t

The poplars were fine
            but the sky eluded me
there was not enough light shining through
            and the foreground was a mess
I could have worked on that
            tidied it up a bit
allowed the colours to vegetate
            a little more convincingly

But then the vast empty expanse

            in the top right-hand corner
defeated me
            I hadn’t an idea what to do with it
so I abandoned the canvas
            for an hour or two
got on with something else
            hoping that the picture
would grow on me
            It didn’t

So with an old cotton rag
            dipped in thinner
I removed the paint
            from the face of the earth
You either love something
            or you don’t
and I didn’t
            so it’s gone

John Lyons


A true story!

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