A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2006, vol 2 no 3

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Collin Barber


I already considered myself an artist when I was introduced to oil painting by a friend employed at the local art store. After he showed me some paintings of his own, I helped him build a canvas that he assured me would provide the framework for his next masterpiece. I stretched the canvas while he stapled it to boards that he measured and cut before I arrived. We then proceeded to mix the rabbit skin glue. Even though this wasn't a difficult process, it proved to be time consuming. He felt it was vital that the precise consistency was obtained. We applied the rabbit skin glue to the surface of the canvas, and then added a primer. Both of us took a step back to admire our work. This is when he looked at me and said, "The majority of it is done. All I need now is a little inspiration." It was from this moment that I discovered there is an art to painting even before the first brushstroke.

clouds forming
on the tip of my brush
cerulean sky