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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: Suffering for His Art
By Shari Armstrong


He patiently mixed the colors to get the shade just so. The sky had to be perfect, that intense blue-gray with bright streaks of light streaming down. Little bits of heaven touching the earth. The contrast was prefect, the blue-gray making the light seem even brighter.

Broad strokes filled in rolling hills covered in deep greens. Bright yellow dotted the landscape, building fields of wildflowers. “Possibly Lily of the Valleys. Maybe a rose or two.” He continued to add until it was just right. Ever the perfectionist, he was always fine tuning his creations.

Now, on to the garden,” he thought. The low wall allowed those on the outside to peak over. No gate, just an opening to allow easy access to all. The garden needed to be a haven. Trees provide a roof, grass and paths the floor. Mixing the shadows with the light is never an easy task for the artist, but it had to be just right. The streams of light filtered down through the branches.

He stood back, appraised his work. It was good, however, something was still missing from the picture. He dipped into the black and put the three structures on the hilltop. There. Almost perfect.

The artist felt the color draining from him, as he was struck again and again. The brown splashed against his legs as he was marched along. The scarlet red accented his path with each labored step.

As he was raised up, he was able to get yet another perspective on his work. The beauty was still visible, despite the dark colors that now threatened to overtake the creation. As the canvas continued to change, the darker colors became to override the delicate streaks of light, until they could no longer be seen.

Finally, scarlet flowed freely, covering the entire work, blurring, blending and wiping away all that came before. Darkness flooded in. The artist had poured himself into his work; he had suffered for his art. “It is finished.” What he had created couldn’t see the whole picture, as they were too close to it.

He alone knew that the final stroke would really only be the beginning of a new style. His work would be appreciated in a way never before known. As with others who share their art, most are not appreciated until after their death. Unlike the others, the Master’s art still continues to be created new each day. The colors of each sunrise more brilliant than the one before. The sunsets, richer with each stroke.

The masterpiece is still yet to come, when the artist will no longer need the darker palette.

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This article has been read 1205 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W01/28/07
Good imagery, very descriptive. A technical note; if you use italics for a thought, they do not carry quote marks, and you need not tag the line with "He thought." Thanks for sharing this colorful piece, yes the Lord paints a beautiful picture every day.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/28/07
A first read doesn't really get it; but after the reader KNOWS, and goes back and re-reads it - the impact is powerful! (FW, Sir William, I believe it was, introduced me to what he calls "speed bumps"..when the reader has to retract his/her steps in mid-story, & go back to figure out what? Who? etc. is happening). This happened to me in this entry - but after "getting it"...it was a masterpiece! Solid! Powerful and Well done!
Joanne Sher 01/28/07
You painted a masterpiece with your words here, dear friend. The images are so vivid and desscriptive. Wonderful!
Jan Ackerson 01/29/07
Wow, wow, wow. Just...wow. This is superb!
Shari Armstrong 01/29/07
Thanks for the great comments, despite my very bad boo boos (I really need to proof better before submitting, but I was just glad to get one in this week! LOL)
Sandra Petersen 01/29/07
Minus the few boo-boos that you mentioned already, this piece is a masterpiece. That last line was expertly rendered. No, there will not be a need for the darker hues when He comes again.

This piece was like a glorious praise song. Wonderfully done, Shari!

Paul Servini01/30/07
This was breathtaking and beautiful. What more can I say.
Donna Powers 01/30/07
Wow! I just loved this. What an amazing way to tell this story. This is an excellent job. Thanks for sharing it.
Pat Guy 01/30/07
This is beautiful. I love this perspective ... just beautiful.
Linda Watson Owen01/30/07
Shari, you are a poet. This is a marvelous image!
Sara Harricharan 01/31/07
Simply amazing! This is so vivid, you-are-there atmosphere while reading. Very powerful message! The last line pulled everything together so smoothly-I LOVE this, excellent, wonderful job! ^_^
Sally Hanan01/31/07
You wove His story in in very subtle but light way, making it all flow in one piece, as we now do. Beautifully done!