“Shut up, I’m creating.”
Oh my gosh. I had awakened at our farm to the sounds of my wife’s dogs barking and arose to see what poor creature they had cornered this time. They had gathered at the door of our workshop and were raising “Cain” with something inside. Fearing a wild animal loose among my tools and uncompleted work, I trudged across the lawn in my bathrobe to take a look.
What greeted me defies an easy description.
Every can of paint I owned lay opened and spread around a large, cleared circle. A shabbily dressed man with red hair and beard leaned over a canvas on the floor and was busy flinging paint at random across its surface. He didn’t even look up at me, just kept slinging paint, some of which hit the canvas and some of which spattered on the floor of the shop.
“You get one drop on a piece of my work and you’re going to start our first intergalactic war,” I screamed.
“Plebian,” he yelled back.
He ceased his efforts and stood up straight to admire his work. He turned to me slowly, his scrappy beard flaked with multi-colored spots of paint.
“Let us not act disagreeably, my Earthling friend,” he said. Calmly, he motioned toward his work. “What do you think?”
I remained furious. “What on earth are you doing,” was all I could manage.
“Studying your visual arts,” he said. “I read about a woman who had worked all her life to earn money with which to open an art gallery and I thought she at least needed some superior product to display.
I stammered. “Superior product … visual arts?”
“Yes, I don’t quite get the idea, they certainly seem to fall short of your music, but what do you think?”
“I don’t know what to think,” I said. It was the most honest think I could muster but it seemed to puzzle him.
“So, will she be pleased?”
I studied his work. Not being an expert, I could only comment that it seemed a bit jumbled and meaningless.
“Isn’t that the idea?” he said.
“Well, not exactly.”
He appeared crestfallen. “You mean this isn’t a great work of art?”
Maybe my critique had been a little harsh. I didn’t respond, just walked to a cabinet and retrieved a can of paint thinner. I poured a generous amount into a bucket and then picked up a scrub brush.
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“Maybe you should choose a less messy medium,” I said.
There is always sculpture,” he said; then he brightened. “I sort of like this Michelangelo fellow.”
I envisioned a slab of Fantiscritti Marble in the middle of the shop. “Why not photography?”
“Great idea,” he said, smiling. “Know where I can borrow a good camera?”
“Don’t even think about it,” I said as I began to scrub the floor.
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