Scratch That. I’ve Got Boats to Build.


“Boats to Build” 24×24, oil on canvas [creativ_button url=”″ icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”red” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

After a few trying days, a long-distance friend sent me a link to a Guy Clark song with the assurance, “I promise it will speak to you”. I’ve never been too big on country music, but I followed the advice, clicked the link, and listened. And I’ve been listening on repeat for the last few weeks because, just as he’d promised, it speaks to me. My three year old son could probably recite the whole thing, we listen to it in the car so much.

This painting was created in conjunction with the heron painting I posted a few days ago. I was in a building mode. A pile IMG_3582of commissions, the peak of wedding season, and all I wanted to was to play around on the canvas. And build. Not something someone else wanted me to build, but something that spoke to where I was at that exact moment.

I used my palette knife just as I always do. But this time I used the point, dug into the paint to make scratchy little lines, the sound of which was satisfying.

I hear people say all the time that art is therapy. If it’s true, for me, it’s quite often the scratching, swishing, scraping, the building and rebuilding, that packs the most impact. The product that results is lagniappe.


Boats to Build

Guy Clark


It’s time for a change

I’m tired of that same ol’ same

The same ol’ words the same ol’ lines

The same ol’ tricks and the same ol’ rhymes


Days precious days

Roll in and out like waves

I got boards to bend I got planks to nail

I got charts to make I got seas to sail


I’m gonna build me a boat

With these two hands

Itll be a fair curve

From a noble plan

Let the chips fall where they will

‘Cause I’ve got boats to build


Sails are just like wings

The wind can make ’em sing

Songs of life songs of hope

Songs to keep your dreams afloat


I’m gonna build me a boat

With these two hands

It’ll be a fair curve

From a noble plan

Let the chips fall where they will

‘Cause I’ve got boats to build


Shores distant shores

Theres where I’m headed for

Got the stars to guide my way

Sail into the light of day


I’m gonna build me a boat

With these two hands

It’ll be a fair curve

From a noble plan

Let the chips fall where they will

‘Cause I’ve got boats to build


Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

June 8, 2016

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