The artist’s skilled hand flew across the canvas and her eyes seemed focused on the personality of the painting, but her attention remained on the passing tourists and the ocean behind them. Her foot tapped against the paintings that lay at her feet on a stained tarp and she pushed her burlap bag under her seat. She took careful notice of the family approaching which consisted of a stern faced father and a stern faced mother of whom were babbling like seagulls fighting over food. Behind the mother was a little girl whose grubby hands held a cracked wafer cone and whose face was covered in pink. The artist bit her lip and looked back down at the painting that lay on her lap. It’s almost as if she had a feeling deep down in her gut that these customers would be difficult, stubborn. Her brush dropped into glass full of murky water and she looked up to meet what seemed like doom, but was just the gaze of the stern father.
“You’re an artist, right?”
The artist almost had to hold back a smirk. Why would one who was surrounded by paintings and was holding a brush herself not be a painter? She looked behind the father at the setting sun.
“Yes, are you interested in any of my work?” the artist then glanced down at the price tags attached to the paintings.
“Well, I mean…” the father tugged the grimy little rug rat and placed a hand on her pigtails, “would you be able to paint my daughter?”
The painter chuckled. “I’m sorry sir, but I only sell the paintings here.” She tapped her foot impatiently to bring their attention to the work that lay at her feet. The paintings were far from anything the father asked for, but rather sceneries of the painter’s imagination.
“But you can paint. If I add a dollar or two will you paint her?” The father grunted and reached his back pocket to pull out what might’ve been his wallet.
“Look, my paintings take a day or two to create and more than a week to dry. I wouldn’t even be able to get the portrait to you in time. I’m only selling the ones here. But, if you want a portrait, a lovely man named Marcus is just a bit of a walk down the bridge” she pointed to her right, ”and will do one for your daughter in under 15 minutes.” The painter was quite happy to pass the obstinate family into his hands.
The father rolled his eyes and furiously took the slimy hand of the toddler. To the artists delight, the two stomped away but before she could continue her work she noticed a pair of lovely sandals near the paintings. The artist looked up at the mother and raised a brow.
“I think your paintings are quite beautiful, actually.” She bent down and pointed to the one closest to the painter.
“Ah, yes, this one took me quite a while.” The artist looked at the scenery of the painting, the colors bright enough to take anyone’s breath away and smiled. Almost ironic, the situation.
“65 dollars…?” The mother bit her lip.
“Yes, well it is handmade and-”
“I’ll do it for 70.” The kind mother dipped her hand into her purse and pulled out a leather wallet. The painter blushed and grabbed the painting to package up.
She handed lovely packaged piece of artwork to the mother. They met each other’s gazes.
‘Thank you, really.” The artist accepted the cash, and watched as the mother chased down the boardwalk after her family.