how the artist paints love
he had found her in the village. she was a street vendor, selling
flowers, and he persuaded her to pose for him.
she was aware of her own beauty; proud & comfortable in her body.
it was a gift that should be shared, & therefore she had no shyness
about posing nude.
her heart had been broken by a soldier who went to war & never
returned. as an artist, he would fight that battle for her. his palette
would be his shield; his brushes, of various sizes & textures, were
his arrows, daggers, & sabres. his oils would become banners of
victory, & peace.
days stretched into weeks. she did not cover herself when they took
breaks for pastries, figs, & wine. he was thusly blessed with her naked
enchantment during their encounters, & it lingered each night in his dreams.
one day she revealed that this would be her last session. she & her
lover were moving to the city that very evening. he paid her, & she
left for the final time.
he paid her, & he felt ashamed. as if he had betrayed his honor. as if
he had paid a prostitute.
in that moment, he had an epiphany. she, the model, was merely a
tool, a device of inspiration by which he had created his work of art:
the art of love.
and she whom he loved, the mistress of his earthly passion, the queen
of his soul, was enshrined on canvas, in the brilliant colors of his labor.
she was captured there, in all of her beauty, all of her youth, for eternity.
his heart was her heart, and she would never desert him.