a painting - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
An old painting resides upon the wall, with wallpaper torn and yellowed than the pure-white it once was, from the love and attention it has needed over the years yet never given. The painting, its frame gold beneath light dust, is an intricate and precise design, shows the scene of a house in a flower garden, the sort that brings sweet romantic to the thoughts to passing daydreams.
The tone of the painting is muted, the style reminiscent of Monet. Each stroke had a smudging quality that rendered the image watery, like a reflection in a rippled puddle. The scene is a street, London I'll bet, the umbrella bearing pedestrians battle against rain and the red double-deckers and black cabs rumble by. It reminds me of Oxford Street, looking out of a rain-splattered window at the rivers of people that moved in each direction. Like in this painting they moved so randomly, pushing against one another, flowing, like water. Perhaps to this artist that's what we are, small drops in a sky full of rain, each one looking out and saying to ourselves “Wow, that sure is a lot of rain.”
The painting is too small. I wonder why the artist did that. Were they short on canvas and oils or was there a point? The scene is a small row boat on the sand, abandoned to rot in the abrasive and damp air of the beachfront. I want to see what is around it. Is it truly alone or does it simply appear to be that way. Perhaps just off the canvas is a man with sanding paper and a fresh pot of poppy coloured paint, a man with skin more craggy than the rocks and hair whiter than the sea foam spray.
The painting dominates the walls, every colour is bold and painted with such precise lines that it almost looks like a mosaic. They are curved yet sharply defined; they seem to stable but tumble at the same time. Like me I think, so stable but always in free-fall inside. I am soft but can lampoon people who spark my anxieties without meaning to. I am bright but I often feel painted onto the background, like there really isn't anything of substance inside. I hope there is. I hope there is more meaning in my bones than tumbling colours, chaotic and shallow.
The old painting leans against the wall, dusty and unloved. Petra runs a finger along the gold framing, her pink nail polish almost purple in the half-light, and it comes away dirty. In the grime that must have taken years to form there is now a streak of gold. She holds it up. With the light that struggles to make it through the grime on the window the colours are subdued, but she can already tell it's a country scene. The hills roll green, interwoven with the golds of autumn. How it could have lain here in the dark for so long without her knowing? She moves slowly down the attic stairs, one hand on the rungs, one on the painting. It's time for it to have pride of place...
The composition of the painting is curious. My eyes are moving from place to place unable to decide what the focus of the piece is. I can only imagine that the art reflects the chaos inside the artist. The colours are vivid, almost to the point of garish. The stroke lines are bold and the images from out of this world. It is both stunning and head-ache inducing, it's like a novel condensed onto a single page. I'd like to see it as a series of paintings with each idea given time and space to be expressed, to communicate the meaning that was inside its creator.
The painting takes me far away to another time, another life. In this picture the pebbles crunch beneath my winter boots and the waves lap in their steady rhythm, frigid and laced with sea-foam. Their melody is soporific, this music of water dragging eon rounded stones up and down the beach. Amongst the brush strokes of hues that are muted as if bleached by millions of years of sun, I can taste the salty air and feel it chill my icy face. From the upper left corner the gulls cry, circling until the fishing fleet returns. And there, right in the foreground is a rowboat of aging wood and paint that curls like potato peelings when I cut them too thick. It hardly looks sea worthy but I'm already in it, bobbing on the sun-speckled water, eyes on the horizon where blue meets blue.
The painting was all in bright oils but somehow it was still dark. It reminded Saffy of the poison that can lurk behind a pretty face, the subjects had that look about them, like beneath the smile was an entirely separate thought track. It unnerved her. Like the people were looking out from beneath their own skin, like their flesh and bone was no more than a mask. She wanted to look away but instead she stepped closer, the brush strokes were tiny and controlled, as if the painter was trying to tell her what these sociopathic looking kin were like on the inside. Perhaps it would be nice to be that way, never anxious, always in complete control, never attached or love sick. But she couldn't wish it, not really. To love was to live, and without love how could she know God?
The painting looked like ash from some dirty fire had been mixed in. The paint itself looked like it was too thick on application, giving the surface a rough look, the appearance of a stormy ocean. Every aspect of the painting conspired to bring your attention to the child who stood between the grown-ups. He was clad in the attire of his class, an aristocrat, his expression strangely adult-like. His face bore the expression of one comfortable with being superior, he was a future lord, destined to inherit land, home and servants.
The painting is full of contrasting colours and angry geometry. It's like the artist was full of rage, so furious that she couldn't bare to coordinate the colours. She wanted us to be affronted by the painting, but why? What is it she need us to see from her eyes? The shapes are tumbling as if they started together and are being separated by gravity. They are similar shapes like they began just the same but have changed over time, perhaps by small amounts over countless days. Now they each have a nugget of wisdom, a part of the puzzle, but they are too proud to concede their imperfections. They fall away, angry at the others for seeing their faults, demanding to be seen as still perfect. Still the ideal shape cast down by their creator.