The Painter
October 10, 2020

A student of surrealism, Ferdinand, loved to paint his works out in the town or in the nearby parks. Misunderstood by the town’s people and cast alone, he took it upon himself to solve these misfortunes. Having researched magic and voodoo at the local library, where the librarians seemed oblivious to his plot, he mixed some ingredients back in his studio that just might turn his portraits to life. To test the mixture, he sprinkled some on the canvas before he began to paint. For his subject, he chose a rabbit. After the oils dried, much to his surprise, the rabbit leaped off the canvas and onto the floor, where it began to beg him for food. The solution to his drama had been found.

Now that he had a nice furry friend, he decided to take it one step further. For the past few years, he has had a longing in his heart for a girlfriend, but he had been too busy; besides, the villager women thought of him as an oddball. With a good painting, he could solve this dilemma in the matter of an afternoon. While doing an online research, he found the portrait of a beautiful young lady, brunette with a noble style.

To get the full impact of inspiration, he went to the city center park where all the townspeople gathered for lunches and play. Since it was a nice day, many people would be outside enjoying nature and all the sun had to offer. As he made his way to the clearing with his easel and paint shirt, most of the people turned to look his way. He unfolded his seat, sat down, and put his canvas on the easel. Thinking for a moment, he let his inspiration flow and began to draw the curves of a lovely woman. A few birds gathered on some of the branches to watch him lovingly move the brush from side to side, not unlike a sculptor slowly crafting a great work of art.

Over the course of an hour, a female body began to take shape. Smoothing out the lines, he made her quite thin. Then he expanded her form as he didn’t want her to be hungry when she dried and stepped onto the floor. He gave her the usual attributes associated with a woman in her early thirties. He thought of painting a younger lady, but he was able to control his inner boy. At this time more of the townspeople, mainly men, gathered on the benches around him and watched as he continued to paint. Noticing this, he gave her a bathing suit, which one could also imagine being her undergarments.

At this point, Ferdinand was quite proud he was able to paint a figure without resorting to surrealism. Despite that, he could not contain himself while working on the background and painted a clock dripping off a branch on the tree next to her. Having dried first, the clock slipped off the branch and onto the grass. A shock to the painter, he didn’t expect this to happen to inanimate objects. As the clock lay on the ground, a passing older lady pushing her belongings in a cart stopped, looked at the fallen object, and then put it into her cart. She then smiled as she walked away.

At this point, he wondered what style of clothes the lady should wear. Having decided on red for her shirt and black for her pants, he was glad to notice that they would go well with the stylish black shoes he lovingly sculpted for her comfort. The last remaining touch was her eye color. Always in love with green as a small child, he also put the specks of yellow into the green. A fashionable combination, it glistened when the sunlight escaped the clouds to shine down upon them. Standing back, he did the traditional thumb-to-mouth, and then pointed at his creation. Some of the gathered crowd said that he had painted a great work.

Due to the amount of paint on the canvas, it seemed as if it would never dry. After more time passed, he took a fan and began to wave it in front of the painting. Luckily, he had chosen an acrylic-based paint. He had thought she might be too slippery if he painted with oils. After a few hours, while sitting there and reading a book, he heard some cracking. Before he knew it, his creation was tugging, pulling, struggling, while trying to break free from the canvas. He stood up not knowing if he should help her. With a resounding pop, the lady escaped from the painting and stood now right before him.

As beautiful as he painted her, she glowed in the sun as it set behind her, giving her a radiance not unlike a halo. As she flicked her hair and shook it loose, he gazed in wonder at the little pieces of paint shaking free from the constraints. At this point, he wondered if she could talk. Could she understand the words of love he would recite to her for days and nights on end? Would his poetic heart be understood by such a personified beauty? He walked over to her and looked into her eyes. She gave him a loving look.

He said, “Hello, I’m Ferdinand. I love you.”

She ran into his arms, understanding him. He had gathered his easel and paints and put them into his rundown car before taking her out for a bite to eat. During this time, she asked him questions about life and love. Each question was met with grace and humility from Ferdinand. He took her to a café where they ate and looked into each other’s eyes. Proud of his work, he decided to walk through the city center with her on his arms.

Suddenly, dark clouds began to form above, and a cloudburst shook rain in all directions as if the clouds were towels drenched in water and angels were shaking the water from them. They ran to his flat where they sat in their chairs. Then he started a fire to warm the chill in the air. Being a gentleman, Ferdinand gave her the seat closest to the fire. After chatting until the morning hours, they both fell asleep. He woke to the smell of paints and oils and looked around. Much to his dismay, his beautiful creation dried overnight and was now stuck to the cushions.

Looking to the ceiling, Ferdinand said, “Well, I knew I should have used an oil-based paint instead!”


Photo by Andre Moura from Pexels

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