Friday, February 18, 2011

Love and the Placebo Effect, Teaser #3


This is the last teaser I plan to post, at least for a while. The story has several scenes in which our heroine is painting, this being the first. The idea is that not only does the character develop over time, her painting style evolves as well from calculating, planned, and tight to emotional, reactive, and intuitive. Still a work in progress, but I hope you enjoy.

Her phone was ringing, but Jane couldn’t stop, she was in the groove. Having stripped off her work clothes and tossed them over a chair immediately upon entering her cheerfully painted house, Jane had donned something a little more comfortable: a little white cami and some grey yoga pants, both speckled with paint from a prior night’s work. Heading through the apple green kitchen to the back bedroom, or as she liked to call it, her “Studio,” Jane slurped down her chicken and fried rice, washing it all down with a can of Miller High Life, as she got out a fresh canvas and some paints. Barely tasting her much-anticipated feast, Jane turned her mind to other things. She arranged everything within easy reach so that nothing would disrupt her flow. For a moment, she just stared at the sea of white in front of her, determining how best to proceed. The decision made, Jane twisted her hair up and stuck a pencil in it, in an effort to keep it out of her eyes, before choosing a brush, her half-empty container of chicken left to the wayside. She furiously laid down the base coat and worked in the rudimentary forms, before stepping back to judge her work. Not bad, proportions are correct. Grabbing another beer, Jane contemplated her next move. Many people who had seen her work commented on how effortless and free her lines were, at how the color drew you in and how easy it was to look at. But Jane didn’t lay a mark down without first seeing it in her head, visualizing it a thousand ways, and discarding the ideas that displeased her, as she had been taught in school. Settling on a fan brush, Jane added some smoky grey to the background, followed by blue. She wanted her central image to jump off the canvas, so she had used cool colors in the negative space and warm colors on the positive. Switching brushes, and colors, she began building up the form, adding lights and darks for dimension. Her eyes narrowed as her hand moved with precision, willing the brush to do her bidding. With a third beer down, Jane was ready to switch to a smaller brush and start adding the details that would make so much difference to the finished product. I’ve got to angle this just right… Yes, there. This was the delicate part, and Jane concentrated, the tip of her tongue just sticking out of her compressed lips. Cracking open beer number four, she took a sip, eyeing her work. She could see a dozen places that were almost there, just needed a little more working, but it was coming around. Taking a deep breath, Jane dug in and pushed herself to get it just right. As the dawn light was beginning to peek in through the window, Jane put her brush down. That’s it. That’s exactly it! Exhilaration flooded her veins, and she felt a little giddy. Lightheaded from the beer and the all-nighter, Jane took her brushes to the bathroom to wash them out. She giggled at her reflection in the mirror, seeing that, like her brushes, her hair could use a little soap to remove the paint encrusted in it. Returning the paintbrushes to their proper place, Jane took one last look at Eve, and reveled in her work. To the uninitiated, it might be mistaken for a portrait of Medusa, as the snake was coiled tightly around her neck and shoulders, neatly framing her face. Its scaly, silken head rested just above her brow, tongue flitting and eyes narrowed. Eve’s expression was agony and ecstasy all wrapped into one, her eyes closed and lips parted. It was exactly how Jane had seen it in her head. It was perfect. Her energy spent, Jane crashed, making her way to her bed and blessed sleep. 

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