Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Artist

The artist is leaning back, the paintbrush poised delicately between the fingers of an upraised hand. The brush is long and slender, a light wooden wand with blond bristles. Her fingernails are long and surprisingly clean, white tipped. Her smile radiates not only from her parted lips that reveal white teeth and the pink inside of her mouth, but also, more prominently, that smile shines in her glittering black eyes. She wears an apron decorated with pink roses over a black tank top. The table is covered with clean newspapers. There is not a stray splash of paint to be seen. The canvass standing on the table top over the support of a small easel is already halfway covered with paint. The emerging scene is a larger replication of a scene depicted on a small note pad that rests on the table top just below the canvass. Both are representations of little wooden dolls like the one that can barely be seen peeping around the edge of the canvas. Only its round pink cheek and wide almond shaped eye are visible along with the wave of visible hair that frames her face and the white cap that tops it. The eyes of the little doll and of the drawn doll and painted doll are all big eyes, dark in the center like the painter’s shiny black eyes. They are all replicas of the original, with her pink cheek and wave of dark hair crowning her head. The careful reproductions are all copies, a copy of a copy of a copy of a woman. A woman with high arched brows and pink lips and flowers on her clothes. A woman who makes things with her hands and knows the secret of making things and smiles with the knowledge of it. A goddess that has unraveled the secret of creation and does it so carefully, so painstakingly, that not a single line goes stray, that not one petite droplet of color falls wasted on the workspace or smeared on a hand or cheek. Even the brush is clean, as if the painting is being produced with nothing more than a carefully concentrated attention that burns the image upon the canvass at the painter’s will. Another pair of clean brushes can be seen poking out of a can, their bristles pointing upward just above the head of the small wooden doll that remains partially concealed by the canvass. Everything is clean. Every line is in place. And the artist beams with the joy of creation.

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