Art---even that which is termed "visual art"---is not just to be seen. It is a multi-sensory experience. It just so happens that some sensations are only to be experienced by the artist. I believe it’s this, beyond the act of creation, that links an artist so intimately with her work.
I remember the first time I saw him: six feet of rippling muscle with soft, pony hair that flapped in the breeze as he jogged through the park that morning. The sound of his deep, baritone voice saying "yes" still echoes in my ears. And then the touch of his hand, softer than I would have guessed, as I led him up the back stairs to my studio. The taste of his tongue as we kissed, fresh and wet from a morning's brushing. And finally, the musky scent that greeted me as I sought my prize. He was perfect, my inspiration.
He inspired me to paint, as they all do. Sometimes, I do not know for what I desire them more: warming my bed, or coloring my canvas. He was so lovely to work with, as well. Hardly a movement out of place. Hardly a single interruption.
As my muse, he ignited my senses once again. I salivated at the sight of his body, now fully revealed to me in all its glory. The satisfying squish of my brush delighted my ears as I dabbed it into this color and that. The roughness of the canvas, in stark contrast to his sweet skin. The burnt taste of the black coffee that fueled me to complete my work. And at last, the fumes of the paint thinner below that waited for me to clean my brush between colors.
The colors! The colors I saw in him were greater in number than most would imagine. There were the pinks and yellows and browns one expects, but I saw so much more! This exquisite young man impressed me with a veritable rainbow of shades and hues. I needed to capture them all, steal them for my very own. I needed to immortalize them forever on my canvas. Immortalize him. The man himself was the masterpiece, but my loving recreation would not be far behind, I was sure.
Sometimes, however, even the surest of roads has a bump or two. It was just as I was aiming my brush for a dollop of delicious red that I heard an unanticipated sound. It was my young man. He was moaning. I watched in surprise as his limbs began to move. "What are you doing?" I demanded. I couldn't understand the sudden change that had come over him. He had been so still up to now.
The worst was yet to come. His moaning grew louder. He began to flail and thrash about. Soon, he was screaming, throwing a verified tantrum, splashing my precious colors everywhere. I couldn't allow this to go on. Oh, how had I misjudged this man so horribly? I thought I was getting so good at making sure they were dead.
A quick slice to the neck did the trick, and soon, all was quiet again. I carefully examined my subject to ensure that all was still well with it. Oh good, I thought. Even with all that thrashing, he doesn't seem to have bloodied the fruit.
I sat back down again behind my easel. After a quick reach inside my young man to ensure that his heart and lungs had totally ceased, I heaved a sigh of relief and resumed painting my still life. The blood that pooled in his flayed open stomach was quite a perfect match for a red delicious apple.
I must say, even with our little slip-up, that beautiful fellow remains one of my very favorite palettes I've ever worked with.
Written by Jdeschene