The Paint Box

A paint-box full of colors and yet she couldn’t decide which one to choose. Andi was exasperated both with herself and with the picture in front of her. She’d chosen such a simple subject and yet it consistently eluded her; would she ever get it right? This was the third time she’d set out to try and it would probably be the third time she’d tear up the paper.

When she’d begun painting she thought that water-colors would suit her best rather than oil or acrylics, but now she truly wondered.

Her goal was to achieve the variables of color in nature, a lofty goal in and of itself, she knew that before she began, but she was determined to face the challenge.

Today it was the trees behind her apartment; a small forest which, she hoped, she’d capture, but the more she worked the more frustrated she became. There were so many variants: silver-green, blue-green, gray-green; on and on it went. And the more she mixed the colors on her palette the further away she seemed to be from what she saw.

Maybe tomorrow, she thought, as she swished her brushes in the water, turning it into a perfect blending which she wished would, magically, appear on the paper.

“Okay, Barnaby,” she said to the basset hound who had suddenly awakened and decided that he wanted to go out. “Just a minute.”

As she turned to take him out she accidentally knocked over the water glass, spilling it on what should have been her painting, flooding the page with colored water.

Andi mopped up as quickly as possible with paper towels before turning to Barnaby and heading toward the door.

When they got back from Barnaby’s walk she got a phone call and then got further side-tracked so, eventually, the soaking wet paper remained on her painting desk, forgotten, as she went to bed.

That night Andi dreamt that she had finally achieved conquering Mother Nature’s palette and put it on paper.

At exactly seven-fifty a.m. Barnaby howled his daily alarm clock wake-up call. How he managed to be precise to the minute Andi never figured out, but he managed it daily and Andi got up, threw on some clothes and raced to take Barnaby out for his morning walk.

Twenty minutes later, having given Barnaby his breakfast, Andi returned to her painting table, expecting to clean up the mess she’d left the night before.

She’d hoped for magic and dreamt a magical transformation, but never expected to actually see a Jackson Pollock version of her forest, perfect in every manifestation of color. She’d worked so hard and never achieved her goal. Now all she had to do was to frame her masterpiece, smile, and take all the credit.

The End


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