It all starts with a banana.

The Painted Banana is a gallery of paintings and drawings by Canadian artist and musician Cory Daniel Todd.

What's with the name: The Painted Banana?

Back when I was in art college, I became very frustrated with an acrylic painting project. I asked the teacher if I could set up a still life at home and work in oils instead (which I was more used to), he said no. So, I stuck it out with the acrylics and did my best; I'm grateful that I did. However, on the side, at home, I set up a still life comprised of one banana with a walnut balanced on the end of it, and another off to the side.

This was a time when life was good. I was learning at school, I was learning at home, and even at work (working at an art supplies store). I was getting a better grasp on painting from observation. I was feeling more relaxed and loose with the paintbrush, my perception of colours was improving.

Life was good. Everything changed soon after that. I ended up leaving college, focusing instead on full-time work. My off hours were spent learning about digital media rather than painting.

Luckily I grabbed a high resolution photo of the study back in 2000. Painting a banana during it's stages of ripening and decay is a great exercise - seriously!

That Banana painting marks an important time in my life. It represents one of the happiest times of my life, as well as a period of transition and years of... artistic frustration. That Painted Banana followed me around from aprtment to apartment for many years, hidden in my portfolio case, unfinished... and eventually lost. At least I have a picture of it!

For many years after that, painting was not a part of my life. For whatever reason(s), I was not able to access that part of my mind. Instead, my efforts went into learning to code and build complex database driven websites. Attempts to paint were made over the years, but until recently, creating art was more like torture (literally). A barrier had been created in my mind, and it could not be passed. The few paintings I've done over the past years were abstract; and done quickly.

Then it happened. I saw what was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I've seen in all my life. A banana? No. A beautiful old Gaff rigged sailing ship, designed by William Fife. I knew that I had to try and paint it. So I set myself to the challenge and got to work on it. I knew it would take me quite a while to finish it. So when my first drying break came about, and after I realized that I was actually painting with relative ease, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to Paint a Banana again! Rather than setting up a still life, I set up a quick photo shoot. And grabbed this picture to use as reference for my painting.

A lone banana, lit from either side with both warm and cool light. Casting contradictory shadows. The result isn't a masterpiece, but it is more than just a study.

People find meaning in art in different ways. Meaning in excellence of execution— something always worth admiring. There is cultural meaning. Religious meaning. Historical, sentimental, or nostalgic meaning. With this painting, the meaning is simple: It is just a painting of a banana. A painting with no intended symbolism. Because of that, the painting is a symbol that can mean whatever I want it to mean. Maybe it means nothing, maybe it means everything. Regardless of meaning, this is, to all who observe it: A Painted Banana.