Inside The Tube


What we perceive

is coloured by our experience

by what’s in our personal tube of paint

Last night I saw an episode of

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey took Jerry Seinfeld to his art studio

and amongst the things therein was a giant pile of paint tubes

if my father had seen that pile of paint tubes he’d have had something to say about it

My father was an artist by vocation and trade

and paint was one of his treasured possessions

I recall him explaining to me the value of paint

by sharing his history with paint

from his poor starving artist debut

where he couldn’t afford paint

had to make his own and make do with what he could get

to his successful artist later years where he could afford the luxury of any paint he wanted

but he was still careful about what he bought

how much he bought

how much he used

and how he used it



To own as many paint tubes as Jim Carrey had in his art studio

more than many paint shops may have in stock

might have seemed excessive to my father

Does a painter really need that much paint to paint?

Does anyone need more than themselves to express themselves?

But he would have known that

we are all different tubes of paint

even if we call ourselves by the same name as other tubes of paint


“I remain restless and dissatisfied; what I knot with my right hand, I undo with my left, what my left hand creates, my right fist shatters”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

(a quote from my father’s favourite book)


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