The Observer

 

An extract from Painting by Numbers

In the dark, the painting remains motionless, silent, expectant. But when the morning sun glistens through the skylight windows of the gallery, the surface begins to move, slowly at first, but then with increasing purpose and urgency. The minutiae of the moment gather together and spill out across the canvas. The colours assimilate and align. The geometry calibrates to exact specifications. Objects and players assemble at their marked positions. Every motif and emblem returns to its designated space within the frame. The gilded wooden border creaks as the flow of paint pushes against the joints. Then the cracks and blemishes of age race across the reformed arena, and like the memory of water, the network of predetermined patterns follow hidden and mysterious pathways, scattering, dividing and multiplying as they rush to complete their journey. At last, the painting is one. It sinks back into the wall and settles on the three brass hooks that hold it in place. Soon the attendants will arrive to take up their daylight vigil. The doors will swing open, the ambient air temperature will be checked and regulated, and he will come to sit and look and wonder.

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6 Responses to The Observer

  1. Helen Howell says:

    That was very cool Tom!

  2. Gail Aldwin says:

    Beautifully read – love the detail in your writing – exceptional

  3. I was recently attending one art exhibition in which the paintings were a concentrated as a game of shadows, a story of past telling tales of the future, a Cosmos connection with religion. And it was very dark. Just blurry images in which one may recognize himself if he looks closer.

    Your piece very much reminded me of those large canvases. Very well written Tom, great visuals. Bravo.

  4. Steve Green says:

    A very elegant piece of writing Tom, wonderful wordflow and imagery. Very nicely crafted. :)

  5. ~Tim says:

    Very cool. And I loved listening to your narration.

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