Paddles to Pears - Jennifer Tan Art
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Paddles to Pears

Paddles to Pears

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Something about pears.

These pears started as paddles.

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No, it’s OK.  I know they’re awful.  I worked and worked and used tubes of paint trying to get this somewhere.  It came from a picture that I’d taken that I liked a lot.


Man, I like that picture.  Those are old family paddles, two of them first used by my grandparents.  My grandpa courted my grandma by taking her out for canoe rides.  And when I say “took her out” I don’t mean my grandma would have sat in the front looking pretty.  She was tiny and feisty and would have kept up just fine paddling. There is a ‘B’ carved on the smaller of the two paddles, for my Grandma.  That makes me smile so much.

My dad wooed my mom on long evening walks around the city they were living in, holding hands.

Such gentle ways of getting to know one another.

After they married they found themselves out in the canoe too, probably holding those same paddles.


I have a memory from when I was young of being out in the canoe with my dad one summer evening.  We went farther from home than usual and when it got dark and I got sleepy he told me to lie down and let myself drift off, and I remember doing that, staring up at the stars and hearing the dip of the paddle.  I think having memories like that give me a peaceful little pocket inside.

This summer one of my boys went out canoeing in front a number of times, both on his own and with friends. An adventurer. Finally old enough that I can hold back on some of my (out loud) worrying and let him get on with it.


I love seeing the pictures he comes back with.  A good eye.  I’m almost used to seeing pictures taken from the tops of cliffs.  Brat.IMG_0279

So it was with some regret with I gave up on my stinky not-working-at-all painted version of paddles and let them go.  But in doing that I turned them sideways and transformed them into pears.  Sometimes I sit and think of drifting off in canoes.

Sometimes I’m just hungry.

This painting is up in Lalli Loves It, in West Vancouver.

  • Dina
    Posted at 18:27h, 28 November

    Oh Jen, this is such a lovely post, a great story , I just love those paddles. Magnificent photos! You have put a big smile on my face now and I don’t feel that tired any longer. Thanks! 🙂
    Big hug
    Dina x

    • jennifertan47
      Posted at 03:42h, 03 December

      Dina that was the nicest thing to read. Thank you so much. It’s such a treat for me lately to take the time to sit and let my mind wander and write, and your comment is icing on the cake!

  • kellisamson
    Posted at 06:41h, 02 December

    I love your pears and I love that your dad gave you such a beautiful, peaceful memory of falling asleep in a canoe. Such beautiful writing and images. It’s so nice to have those tucked away to pull out when the winter sets in, literally or metaphorically.

    • jennifertan47
      Posted at 03:38h, 03 December

      Thanks you. I swooned a little over your beach photo the other day. Before you know it the days will be getting longer again!

      • kellisamson
        Posted at 06:42h, 03 December

        I was just thinking that yesterday! Only about three weeks until it all – slowly – starts to turn around. Can’t wait to share more beach photos with you this week!

        • jennifertan47
          Posted at 22:35h, 04 December

          Yes please! You saw my water heart on Instagram today. We beach girls get our treats!

  • Dawn
    Posted at 07:29h, 26 April

    Love your paintings Jennifer! This painting in Horseshoe Bay led me to your blog! Your amazing! Hope to see you at the beach. Dawn

    • jennifertan47
      Posted at 21:34h, 21 May

      Oh hi Dawn. Thanks so much! Sorry to be slow replying. Just about to get back in the groove here I hope!