Amsterdam

The Painter – A short story by Florian Rooz

The Painter – A short story by Florian Rooz

Some Saturday mornings seem to call out for some creativity. This particular one inspired me to do a little writing. I don’t think I’ve ever shared any of my writing before, but I liked this particular creation so much I toughed I’d share it with you. Be warned, this story doesn’t do many things a “typical” story should do. Personally I like it all the more for that, but just saying. You we’re warned 😉 enjoy!

The Painter – by Florian Rooz

The small garden studio was warm and dry. It held the sort of warmness that
seeps straight trough to your bones and makes you feel open and comfortable.
Like the feel of a hearth-fire on a Christmas night or a warm sundown after a hot
summer day. You could feel that the room was holding many happy stories hidden
in its thin wooden walls. It had been built by loving hands and had filled a variety
of roles over the years, but all who had been there had enjoyed its embrace and in
doing so, they had further enriched the room with the lasting glow of their happy
memories. The four big windows let in wide columns of bright, early-morning sunlight,
colored lively and singing the autumn song of the flower garden, upon which the
windows gazed.

The painter took a deep breath and let himself be taken by the feeling
of the room. Emptying his mind and opening himself to the slow regard of silent
things. This studio was a good place. It had always done all it could to help
the painter bring out his songs and poems and stories on the empty whites
of his canvas. Despite the doubts that wrecked him so often and no matter his
stubbornness. Even his foolishness this place had lovingly embraced. The
painter felt deeply thankful for this. As he took another deep breath, it was this thankfulness
that filled and calmed his heart and the studio was thankful in turn, for it could not
have wished for a more fitting companion.

The wooden floor crooked slightly under his feet. The painter could sense the
call of the room. It was eager to work with him. Today was a painting day.

He started to feel the excitement among the brushes on the shelf. Like happy pets
eager to great their master at the door. He could sense how they silently longed to dip and smear
and wipe. To him, they seemed literally brimming with ideas, shouting shapes and curls and
curves, but the painter knew his craft. Excitement was a fine thing, but so much of it,
especially with a few of his brushes only recently acquired, and thus inexperienced. No that
would not do. So he whispered to them softly and in a gentle tone. Praising their power and
eagerness but also calming them until he felt they were ready to focus and would be patient
when he needed them to be.

Then the painters gaze settled on the many bottles and tubes on the second shelf. From near and
far he had brought them to his studio. Reds filled with the wind of flower fields, Greens infused with
the smell of hidden berries, Blues that radiated like a pretty girls smile on a sunny spring day. Some of them
were open and honest, others were tricky and held secrets, but the painter knew their every
temperament and desire. Over the years, the paints had learned to trust the painter and the
painter in turn, had learned to trust his paints. He was kind to them, always making
sure that each of them was given their due, and being careful not to mix those who did
not love each other or those who simply; Should not be mixed.

The hinges on the wall creaked cheerfully as the painter lowered the weight of a pristine
new canvas upon them. As always the near-a-square-meter of unfulfilled promise made the painter
feel slightly uneasy, but it was fine linen, still smelling of cinnamon and woodcraft. The painter
gazed upon it intently as it hung naked on the wall. He could feel this canvas had pride in its
heart, but outwardly it was still shy. It’s whites were subtle like an orchestral horn. Powerful
and pristine, but also complicated and nervous. Hearing the brushes and the paints on the shelves
as each longed for a role. The painter sensed the day. feeling what would be proper and fitting,
but although it was clearly a painting day, he felt it would not give up its secrets so easily.
This day would take its time and the painter knew he had no choice but to be patient and ready.

For a time he stood idly and watched the empty canvas as the sound of the gentle early-autumn breeze
stroked the outsides of the wooden studio. Some of the flowers in the garden still bloomed, but many
were long past their most gracious moment. Their beauty was one of transcendence now and as they danced in the breeze, their faded colors sprinkled the light in the studio with the stories of their once glorious summers. The painter, his mind attentive, sensed their subtle encouragement and as the light danced across the busy shelves and curved along the fine white fabric of the blank canvas, his heart and hand were suddenly moved with the first stroke. It had dartled in the air in front of him. Quick and illusive as a feather in the wind, begging him in a teasing way. But the painter was a skilled craftsman and with the grace and power of a swallow-in-flight, his mind and body enveloped the stroke so completely that both the studio, the garden and even the stroke itself were surprised.

His mixing of the colors was perfect and his choice of brushes sublime! He mixed and painted a deep purple that dreamed of red apples, followed by a strong green that whispered a story of a spring romance in an olive garden. His colors were lively and true and as the brushes danced happily across the canvas, the painters face bore a smile from ear to ear. Color after color, stroke after stroke, he was in his place now! The song of creation rushing through him like a wild river.

The swirling colors and brushes made a ballet of sorts. A dance of broad strokes and fine strokettes
and everything in between. The painter encouraged his brushes where he needed more boldness and whispered to them the fine details of the many precise and attentive lines he needed. He sang to them of love and lust and longing, told them stories of braveness and adventures and whispered to them of the deep secrets of life. Some of them hidden in plain sight, others hidden deeper. Layers upon layers of color and lines, of meaning and motion, of truth and deception and of beauty and purpose.

Then the painter sighed and took a few steps back and smiled upon what they had made.

Among the gentle creaking of the studio, the dancing brushes and the singing paints.
A work of beauty had been born and all was good and in its place.

The end

Florian Rooz

November 15th, 2014

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