The Artist

The artist was a wanderer.

He didn’t stay in one place for long.

For him, the world was full of different opportunities and different experiences.

To stay in one place was to only see one thing and to only paint, write and talk about the same thing.

The world was full of lots of things; some which he liked, some which he didn’t.

But both were experienced and both were drawn upon.

He realised that he couldn’t portray anything without experiencing it all.

He realised that he couldn’t sit thinking and creating in the warm sun if he wasn’t rained on as well.

The artist drew pictures in the sand with his finger and dipped a stick in watery mud to paint.

He wet soil with river water and moulded it into shapes with his hands, then left them to dry in the sun.

All the time he was travelling.

He left some of his art in the places he stayed.

Maybe one day he would come back and find them again.

Maybe someone else would stay under the same tree, next to the same river and find the pieces and enjoy them.

Maybe the weather would destroy them and turn them back to what they were.

He kept a small pad of paper with him and would occasionally use a stick which he sharpened and dipped in ink to write in it.

He would only write after many days of thought.

Two words would form, ones that sounded good together.

Then more would emerge around it.

The artist would change the words around and see whether he liked it.

If he didn’t, then he would sit and think of some more and change them around again, letting the rain or sun drip from the leaves above him onto his head.

If he did like it, he’d take out the stick, sharpen it again and then dip it in the small pot of ink he carried with him.

The artist only wrote a few lines; all that was needed.

The time he had been sitting and thinking, he’d been refining, condensing his thoughts down.

Each line was the result of many hours work; it was all that was needed.

The artist didn’t expect anyone to read the lines, they were for him, and they were the product of his life and his reflection on it.

The artist lived and travelled alone, but if he did meet other artists, he would sit and discuss things with them.

If he felt that they were like him, then they would get together and make a piece to perform together to people in the nearest town.

The artist would take out his pad and use some of the words he’d so carefully constructed and combine them with words from the other artist and from other people he’d met along the way.

He listened to people who weren’t artists and noted down words that they had said in another pad.

The performance collected together singing, dancing, words, acting and art and was performed in a public place.

Mostly, there were no words used; the artists used everything else, their whole bodies.

The artists used the words as a strong light which they stood in front of.

The shadows they produced were the art that people passing watched.

The artists knew they’d never get into an artistic space and because of this; they didn’t want to go into an artistic space.

They knew they wouldn’t receive money or critical praise for their work, but they did it anyway.

Their performance made light of their ousting from ‘real’ art and they made the people laugh with their mockery of the society they so carefully avoided.

When the performances were over, the artists left each other and went back to the travelling they had done before.

They might meet again but they might not.

Each took with them their pad and their pen and their craving for the countryside outside of the towns.


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