I painted this on Friday of last week and took it to yesterday’s art show – a chronological detail that might seem irrelevant. I assure you, it’s not.
A couple called me over to ask about it. To be fair (fine. I’ll be fair), they asked, quite specifically, for the price.
All the monsters have stories and all their stories are quite meaningful to me. This one, though, is particularly … special. Because of chronology. Because of the world revealing itself.
And so, I said: this is a painting of how easy it is to reach out and make someone feel safe, to offer sanctuary, to …
The woman blinked. ‘It matches the colors in the bedroom.’
Oh, said I. ‘I guess you didn’t want to know the story.’
She made one of those faces. ‘We asked what the price was.’
I told them. In the end, it was a bit out of their budget.
If it had been in their budget, I don’t know what I’d have done. I don’t paint politics. I paint stories and, even if no one sees them or feels them, I paint possibilities. I paint (oh, yes, I am. I’m going to say it.) happiness. Not the easy kind you can get eating sugar. The kind you get by accepting that the world can’t help being the world. No one’s required to embrace my philosophies and ideas.
This one, though, was different. Is different.