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It's An Art
Starts with a blank canvas,
The purist white any artist knows.
They say the first stroke is always the hardest,
As the first word is for a writer,
In any poem or story.
I think I’ll use red first.
When you’re stuck,
Why not start with the first color on the visible spectrum,
The first thing you see in the rainbow,
The first thing a child starts with,
When they draw their imperfect arches on paper.
My brushes all have different handles,
But their thin little bristles,
Two-dimensional silver slivers,
Are the same brush after brush after brush.
It’s almost a shame to ruin,
The serene beauty of the white canvas,
For the purpose of creating a new art.
The trick is not to use too much paint;
Thick lines are far too messy.
If you make a mistake,
You may be unable to repair it.
Thin lines though,
You may be able to fix them,
If you make a mistake.
Well, maybe not fix them per say,
But they’re easier to hide under a thousand perfect strokes.
I hold the brush in the shaking digits,
Of my ever unsure right hand.
I nearly drop my brush,
As I dip the tip in maroon paint.
Most people don’t use iron-based paints,
Like I do.
It’s just one of the things that makes me different,
Red seeps slowly onto the white canvas,
Spreading through the minute veins,
Beautiful vines going further away for the center,
Where I placed the smallest drop.
I close my eyes as I slide the brush,
Slowly in one direction,
Making a thickening line,
Damaging the pure beauty of the blank white.
I clench my teeth,
Until it’s done,
And only release my breath,
When I’ve pulled my brush away.
Until that moment,
Adrenaline coursing through my veins,
I release myself into my passion,
Into making my art.
The first stroke is done.
I trace another scarlet line,
Just under the first.
Then I take another brush,
In another hand,
And add a bit of light blue to the page.
When I fear I will run out of paint,
I set the brush in the ceramic basin,
And turn on the cold, clear water,
To wash the paint from the tips.
I thrust my hands into the stream as well;
Every good artist gets a bit of paint on them,
As every good writer has ink-stained palms.
Best to try to wash away,
All evidence of my work.
It’s an art,
I’m an artist.
I’m good at what I do,
But my works,
My beautiful works,
Will never see the light of day,
Will never hang in a gallery,
Will never be admired.
No one would understand my artwork.
I care about that more than Picasso,
Or Da Vinci,
Or Van Gogh,
Who cut off his own ear,
Before he was understood.
As the last drops of paint disappear,
Bleeding over the silver drain,
The white sides of the bowl,
I glance again at my painting.
The reds are no longer quite so rich,
My lines no longer quite so defined.
I know they are there.
My art is always with me.