If you're a big nerd like I am and spend time looking up word etymologies, you'll see that "contretemps" comes from fencing originally. It's a kind of psyche move meant to provoke a counterthrust from an opponent. It also means an inopportune occurrence or small disagreement. Curiously, in Spanish it's a setback. And literally, from the French, it translates as "against time."

I used a couple of source images for this painting, one of a woman bending over and talking, seemingly, to a leaf, which I replaced for a squirrel.  I then put the bag in the woman's hand, as if it were contested by the squirrel, and put both lady and beast in a setting that mostly came from my head but looks very much like the laneways near my house.

The painting will be hanging in Strata Gallery in Elora until December 15.

Mixed media on birch
48" x 60"