I’ve never been much good at visual art. The vision in my head is almost never what turns up on the page, and I spend so much time striving for perfection that drawings typically get rubbed out by my eraser before they get the chance to fully take shape.
I took an art class in middle school–just one, because that was arduous enough. No matter how much praise I got for my oil pastel self-portrait or the seamless blending on a colored pencil name tag (which I remember as being the project I was most proud of), I gave up on visual art because it was just too hard.
Editing fiction is invisible–you don’t see the steps to get to the final product, and I can trash or burn the first draft as a sort of sacrifice to the writing gods if I feel it’s awful enough. There are layers of work in visual art (and digital art is a whole different animal), but I can’t stop thinking of my own failures buried deep beneath layers of graphite and oil and paint.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Noun: French nature morte, literally “dead nature”)
An image of inanimate objects; still life.
On her canvas are three apples in a wicker basket, and on the table are three mounds of gray fuzz. She scratches her head. It’s been less than eight hours since she was last painting.
On her canvas, the apples are ripe and round and red. On the table, they are so far into decomposition that she’s no longer certain they are apples. She walks around the table once, twice, trying to understand. She doesn’t.
She sucks at the end of the brush and looks around the room, wide-eyed as she sees the number of half-finished self portraits.