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My words (a random display of my own creative writing)

Nude with a fan


Jim was from Yorkshire. He didn’t like fancy food, people from Lancashire, or modern art. His daughter Tessa took him to an art show. It was full of abstract paintings.

‘Any fool could paint them,’ Jim said. ‘How can a blue splodge be a nude woman with a fan? Why don’t they just call it, ‘Blue splodge?’ I could do better than that.’

‘Go on then,’ said Tessa.

Jim bought paints and canvas. A year later his picture was accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for its summer exhibition.

‘It’s just lots of big red splodges,’ said Tessa. ‘What’s it called?’

Load of old bollocks,’ said Jim.


Story inspired by Bruce Goodman’s post Picture at an exhibition

Picture by kind permission of the Canham junior art collective.

About elainecanham

I started blogging because I'm a writer, and I thought I ought to. Now I realise that I blog because I like to; even when I can't think of much to say.


23 thoughts on “Nude with a fan

  1. Caught by a catchy title and more than a little curious … I like it~!

    Abstract—many years ago at a party (navy) in Australia at around three in the a.m. there were just a few of us stayers left; mine hostess (a mature lady whose husband waaaay outranked me) asked with twinkling eyes for my interpretation of a particular abstract on the wall. Not being into abstracts I nonetheless gave an honest answer and told her that to me it looked like a distant fire at night in a pine plantation. She was delighted with that.
    At her suggestion I went over and read the title: ‘Forest Fire’ … I remember that when I first went in it had looked like just so many splops and splats of colour; I learned something that night.

    Since then I’ve come to appreciate some abstracts a little better.

    Posted by Argus | June 10, 2014, 7:57 pm
    • Well, me too (although as I say I draw the line at elephant dung). I wrote this in memory of a friend’s dad who used to have long arguments with me about how rubbish abstract art was (because I quite liked some of it). He agreed in the end that what he hated most was the pretentious names. And that he would be a whole lot happier if artists just called their work Black square with a bit of a squiggle, or ‘Bit of a mess’. He died a while ago, and I do miss those arguments.

      Posted by elainecanham | June 10, 2014, 8:26 pm
  2. yay! I found the bollocks post. No sign of the ancestry here yet. I’m searching. Snickered at this post so I’m good to go.x

    Posted by scottishmomus | June 9, 2014, 10:49 pm
  3. Hehe. I’ve had the same thoughts about abstract art, but you don’t see me painting anything.

    My husband watches Star Trek all the time. I’ll have to keep my ear out for ‘bollocks’!

    Posted by jennifer Windram | June 9, 2014, 6:47 pm
    • Generally uttered by Chief Engineer Miles O’Brien. I almost fell off the sofa when I heard him say it. But then, I know a lot of engineers and they say it all the time. So it does add a touch of versimilitude to an otherwise unconvincing narrative, as they say (although who ‘they’ are, I don’t know). Am I rambling? Nurse!

      Posted by elainecanham | June 9, 2014, 6:52 pm
    • I’ve always wondered who “they” were and how they became the authority on everything 🙂

      Posted by jennifer Windram | June 9, 2014, 7:01 pm
  4. Fabulous post and love the discussion too.

    Posted by olganm | June 8, 2014, 10:49 pm
  5. Thanks for the mention. I like elephant poo, personally. Re bollocks and language – fan in the story is possibly more vulgar in the UK than in the USA!

    Posted by Bruce Goodman | June 8, 2014, 3:59 pm
  6. Good heavens, Elaine, this is a terrific little story. What a laugh. (And I’m hoping it’s true, somewhere in the world!) 🙂

    Posted by peakperspective | June 8, 2014, 3:44 pm
    • Thanks, Shelley. It wd be nice if it were true, wouldn’t it? But I think the RA are too smart to be taken in by the Jims of this world. Although, you never know..

      Posted by elainecanham | June 8, 2014, 3:54 pm
  7. And it is that. You’ll have to excuse me, but I just do not understand visual art. Looks like “loads of old bollocks” to me too.

    Posted by naptimethoughts | June 8, 2014, 1:51 pm
    • Well, there’s art and art. So to speak. I’m quite happy to gawp at a Velazquez, but unmade beds and piles of elephant poo leave me cold. Still, everyone to their taste.

      Posted by elainecanham | June 8, 2014, 1:55 pm
  8. Okay. The American wants to know what “bollocks” means. 😦

    Posted by lbwoodgate | June 8, 2014, 11:29 am

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