Carefully he does it, as he contemplates and decides on his subject for the day. His previous works, lying in that spot beside him, reveal creations of a man who – though having to leave some sort of past behind – is evidently pushing persistently onward to see the realization of some sort of dream.
His works. There is a colourful picture of a cluster of teenagers laughing and joshing around the park lake, the joy in their hearts captured by the painter’s choice of vibrant colours. I had watched how he had looked merrily at those teenagers, yet painted with a somewhat nostalgic smile…
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Teenagers. Ahh. They are laughing, joshing – enjoying life as they spend the weekend by the city lake. I see colours – vibrant, jubilant – mixing together to capture that excellent scene.
That group will make an excellent subject.
I am sitting here in my favourite spot in the city park. I come here regularly to watch the people who pass by and draw – rather paint – whatever catches my eye.
Today, that joyful gaggle by the lake has captured this artist’s eye.
Orange. Yellow. Pink. Greens and aquamarines. Perfect colours for a perfect picture. I grab my paintbrush and start doing what I best do. Paint.
“Are you suuurrree you want to paint? Nathaniel, that is sooo not you!”
I have to smile. There was a time in my life when people did not believe that I could paint. Back in secondary school, my friends had thought that the only things that I was capable of drawing up were graphs and limacons.
“Oh wow… you caaaaaannn paint…!”
I was a geek. Forgive me for the term, but I was. I sported pressed pants and ironed polo shirts. I spoke numbers and code, and drew parabolas and hyperbolas. But my heart wanted to speak colours, lights, and shades. And my hands wanted to draw faces, eyes, and expressions.
And so I did away with the pants and polo shirts. Now I’m sitting here in a park bench, sporting a rugged jacket and an even more rugged pair of jeans – my look completed by a messy pony tail and a stubby goatee.
“Natty….! Are you reeeaaaalllyyy going to head off into the old world???”
I left home for England two years ago. For the love of art. For the love of life, dreams, and passion.
The teenagers whose lives I am transferring into canvas let out a collective laugh. As I paint, my lips curl up nostalgically. Coming here to England was not without a price.
“Ohhh, won’t you miss us, Natty? Won’t you? Won’t you?”
“Don’t worry, Nat. We know you can do it. We support you in all your dreams.”
“Hey. High-five! Go! Soar!”
There is a group of jolly old folks back home whom I know will support me and will be there for me no matter what. Oh, it might sound corny for a rugged, independent artist like me to have and even belong to such a group. But I am a non-conformist. I break the wandering, friendless artist perception. Nathaniel may be a wandering artist, but Nathaniel simply refuses to be friendless.
The colours blend in and I see life radiating from my painting.
Sure I miss them. But a painter’s got to do what a painter’s got to do.
Teenagers – they are laughing, joshing – enjoying life as they spend the weekend by the city lake. My completed work reveals colours which are vibrant and jubilant, mixing together, capturing that excellent scene.
A painting is done. Tomorrow will bring another.
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