He reclined on his chair, his eyes fixed on his finally finished painting. It had been a long journey to reach this point. His one hundredth painting.
Ten years ago, he would never have guessed that he would be painting for a living. He always thought that he would follow his father’s footsteps and footsteps and taken over the store.
And then he met Joan.
Joan, who had given him his first paintbrush and, by doing that, opened a whole new world for him.
“Paint me something,” she had said. “You look like you’d be a good painter. You have that feel about you.”
Nervously, he had taken the brush and palette from her hands and slapped on a few cursory strokes onto the canvas, streaks of chaos in the vast emptiness. Although it wasn’t much, it gave him a thrill, seeing color in the bland white surface of the canvas.
After that, he had gone back to Joan’s studio every day and painted on the same canvas, adding color and texture, aided by Joan. As each day passed, the painting seemed to gain form. By the end of two weeks, a finished painting sat on the easel. It was by no means extraordinary, but it was his.
His first painting
The painting that would spur his love for art.
He knew that he could never compare to Joan, but he hoped that he could someday become half as good as her.
And then, one day after he had finished his sixth or seventh painting, Joan disappeared. She stopped coming to the studio and appeared to have vanished from the face of the earth.
“She’s like a stray cat,” Luke would say. “Coming and going as she pleases.”
After she left, he temporarily lost his passion for painting. There was no point if Joan wasn’t there. Instead, he decided to take over the shop as his father had wanted.
And then, a few months later, one of the customers happened to see one of his paintings. Impressed, the customer asked if he could buy the painting.
“I’ll give you fifty dollars for it,” the customer had said. “It’s a work of art!”
Startled that his paintings were considered as masterpieces, he gave the customer the painting and pocketed the money.
Perhaps there was some future in his painting after all.
He went back to the studio, now quiet without Joan’s humming and the sound of jazz floating out of the radio, and sat down at the easel. Nothing had changed, except Joan wasn’t there. He picked up the paintbrush, just as nervously as he had so long ago, and started to paint. He let the colors flow from his mind and onto the canvas. The brush was once more part of his hand, moving as he willed.
After three days of constant painting, the finished portrait stood on the easel. Clear blue eyes. A crescent of a mouth, one side tilted more upward than the other in a lopsided smile. Flowing, dark red hair.
It was then that he decided to devote his life to art. Painting held more allure to him than managing a store.
He opened his eyes again, his one hundredth painting sitting on the easel before turning to the portrait of Joan.
Wherever she was, he hoped she was happy.
Picture was used from here.