The Piece

Rust, Wall, Texture, Old, Vintage, Rustic, Grunge, Door


Andre had no formal qualifications, but he loved to paint and draw, and he had even tried his hand at some sculpting in wire.  He had become proficient in doing city-scapes, and eked out a meagre living selling them to tourists.

His “studio” was no more than a garden shed.  It was there that he transformed the sketches he made while waiting for customers into paintings.

One evening there was a ferocious evening storm.  It seemed to rock the very foundations of his humble home.  In the morning, Andre discovered that a tree had fallen onto the roof of his beloved shed, collapsing the roof.   Shelves had tumbled, and canvases and paints alike were strewn willy-nilly about the ruins.

There would be no sales that day as Andre began to pick through to detritus of his livelihood.  He managed to salvage two completed paintings of the Lion Bridge, and three other canvases which were salvageable, though they were splattered with assorted paint and garden grime.  The grim task completed, he went inside to await the slim possibilities of the next day.

In the morning, he carried his remaining artwork to the Lion Bridge, and set the two extant works against the railings, in the hope of drawing some custom.  With no studio to work in, he next took one of spattered canvases and placed it upon an easel.  He was just starting to paint a faint outline of one of the lion sentinels onto the canvas when a distinguished looking couple approached.

The hatchet-faced lady picked up one of the completed paintings and held it up to her gentleman companion.  The man pulled a face, and the pair both shook their heads disapprovingly.   As the man picked up the other work to give it a closer examination, the woman stepped up to Andre’s work in progress.

“Reginald,” she called in a nasally noise, “I think I have found just the piece for above the fireplace in the villa.”




Tale Weaver – #281 – Artwork

Visage Captured

Antonio Canova, Paolina Borghese as Venus Victorious, 1804-08, white marble, 160 x 192 cm (Galleria Borghese, Rome)

The model lounged upon the pillowed couch. Her pose was natural, and yet alluring.  Her focused gaze drew any observer to either follow her stare, or to latch onto her fine feminine visage.  She truly had the face of an angel.

Marble –
Chisel Cut.
Fashioned Lines and Curves.
Sculptor Crafts a Masterpiece,
Bringing Awe In Adoring Fans –
Witnesses To Talent Unsurpassed.
An Angelic Face Captured For All Time.

Weekend Writing Prompt #144 – Sculpture in 71 words


Spring Before Summer’s Untimely Fall


Oh rounded hill, springtime greet –

You are so unprepared for what your wooded slopes –

So soon shall meet –

For centuries, you have welcomed spring and summer’s sun –

Quiet blossoms, and shoots of green –

Seldom visited by man – a never his gun.

Hold onto the memory of this warm, sunlit day

Let it it overshadow recollection of the coming fray.

Oh Pennsylvanian hill – weep-

For the men of  Alabama and Maine,

Whose life-blood shall spill –

Leaving you never the same.




Teresa Grabs’ Daily Writing Prompt today is a painting of a peaceful springtime hillside.  It immediately reminded me of depictions of Gettysburg’s Little Round Top.  The stones, and trees are very similar to the location used in the 1993 Ronald Maxwell film, Gettysburg to shoot “Chamberlain’s Charge.”  I have added links to some other paintings of The Little Round Top, and I have let the combination of all of these images flow into this poem.


Painting 1

Painting 2

Painting 3





The Artist

Self Portrait holding Portrait of Wife – Jean Jacques de Boissieu (CC0)

To Sketch,

To Etch,

To draw my wife,

The “two as one flesh,”

As I share my life,

Depictions, and Images,

Of us both you shall see,

Recording our visages,

For all history.




Daily Writing Prompt Feb #3: Self Portrait holding Portrait of Wife – Jean Jacques de Boissieu

The Illustrator


Victoria_Borodinova at Pixabay

It was pretty awful in primary school.  Arthur Sullivan was a quiet lad, and never seemed to fit in.  What made it worse was his parents, and his teachers always called him Art.  The class bullies thought that was hilarious, and used to leave miscellaneous art supplies in his desk, or his lunch box.  Trust me, biting into coloured chalk in your ploughman’s sandwich is pretty nasty – talk about chalk and cheese.

By the time he was in junior school, he decided to go with the flow, and began to use all of the free supplies to pursue art as a hobby.  It seemed art was natural for Art.  He kept this fact secret for a long while however, even doing only his semi-best in art class to recognition of his talents.

It wasn’t until his third year of high school that he was found out, and then quite by accident.  He inadvertently mixed up his homework pad with his “home pad.”  When his teacher saw the work she was amazed.  Before long he was a rising star in the department, and even his biggest detractors had to acknowledge the awesomeness of his work.

By seventeen he had secured a place at a major art school, and went on to become a background artist for a major comic book company.  It was there that his supervisor came across one of his private sketchbooks.  Within its pages was a highly developed series of illustrated stories of the mighty Wave, an oceanic superhero who was greater than Aqua-man and Poseidon combined.  The featured serial of this character soon followed, as did the bids for the movie rights.

Art Sullivan had proved to be a power of nature in his own right – The Illustrator!



Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #48

The Big Picture

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Image: Padre’s Ramblings

It is the beginning of a new year, and it hold many opportunities and mysteries.  But it isn’t always easy to gain perspective on events as we are experiencing them.  Despite the year’s name, it is the past which actual offers us that 20/20 perspective.  “The Big Picture,” if you will.   OFMARIAANTONIA‘s photo challenges for this year include one entitled, “Big Picture”  I have attached one such Big Picture from Guernica in the Basque Country in Spain.

This image by Pablo Picasso was his response to the Fascist bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.  The original oil painting measures 3.49 meters (11 ft 5 in) in height and 7.76 meters (25 ft 6 in) across.  Though huge, the meaning of the painting is perhaps even bigger.  It was painted to raise money for war relief and to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities being committed in the conflict.

Franco’s Fascist government with the aid of the Nazi Condor Legion attacked the Basque capital on 26 April 1937 during market day thus insuring maximum civilian casualties and instilling psychological terror of Franco’s opponents.  The choice of target was calculated on several levels.  First, the aforementioned psychological impact was evident.  But Guernica also symbolised democracy, as the fiercely independent Basque people had their ancient parliament in the town.

The attached photo is of a tile reproduction of Picasso’s work which has been erected in the town as a reminder of the Guernica’s past, and of the consequences of democracy being eclipsed by dictatorship.  That is truly, a “Big Picture,” to remember.





Just Waiting For Inspiration

Franklin Kite Experiment – Public Domain

Humans are in our very nature creative beings.  While we are not the only creatures that use tools, we are one of only a few that make tools, and arguably the only species that makes tools in order to make more complex tools.  We create art, and think in abstracts.  While some species of birds and fish make elaborate nesting displays, these are done with a goal of attracting a mate.  We seem alone in making art just for the sake of it, or just for our own edification.

We have come a long way since the harvesting of fire (something else we are probably alone in doing) and making the wheel.   While early humans may have wondered at the ability of birds to fly, it led to the inspiration to do so ourselves.  It wasn’t necessity that was the mother of invention, it was fantasy and wonder that did in the case of flight.

It is doubtful that many in the 17th Century could have imagined mobile (cell) phones, much less the telegraph.  But with the harnessing of electricity, there came a means to create the telegraph, then the land line, then personal communication devices, which seemed only a sci-fi concept in the 1960s Star Trek.

Humans do build on past discoveries, but this not diminish appreciably the ability to finding something “new” to explore or develop.  In fact, we even find new applications and purposes for “old” technologies.  But we are yet to run out of possibilities.   I asked my wife (who was a professional musician) about this once.  I asked “with only a certain number of notes, wont we in time run out of new combinations?” Her response was, “not while there are new rhythms, instruments, and harmonic combinations.”

So as Fandango has asked, Are there limits to human creativity? Is it be possible for humans to create something completely novel and new that is based on nothing that previously existed? Or is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas? The answer from my perspective is no – there is no limit to creativity.  And yes – it is possible to make something completely novel,  both with or without rearranging previous ideas.  It’s just a matter of waiting for the right inspiration.


Fandango’s Provocative Question #45

Hidden Childhood

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Hidden Childhood

OFMARIAANTONIA’s 2019 Photography Challenge called for one photo to be on the theme of “hidden.”  At the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (Beth Shalom), near Laxton, Nottinghamshire has several thought provoking and/or moving sculpture pieces.  One of these is “Hidden Children.”  While Anne Frank is known by many as a child hidden during the Holocaust, she was by no means alone in this.   Thousands of children were successfully (and sadly unsuccessfully) hidden from the Nazis and their collaborators.   Some were secreted away to attics, false walls, or basements; while others sought refuge in forests or remote farmsteads.  But they were nonetheless “hidden.”

This photo is of the statue, and the artist has done an amazing job in capturing the feels.  Look at the hyper-vigilant gaze on the face of the figure on the left, and the sadness (almost weeping quality) of the one on the right.  This was not simple childhood “hide and seek,” because in this hiding the outcome was a matter of life and death.



The Woman in Number 13

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay


“Is that the mail?” Barbara called through from the kitchen.

Don leaned over the envelope that had come through the slot in the door.

“I don’t think so,” he replied as he looked down on the elegantly scribed address on the envelope.  It was certainly his name and address, but there was no stamp.  Don opened the front door and glanced up and down the street, but there was no sign of who might have dropped it through the mail slot.

Don was opening the envelope as Barb came from the kitchen, drying her hands on a dish towel.

“Who was that?” she asked.

“Nobody,” he replied.

Inside the envelope was what to be a professionally drawn illustration of Barbara washing the dishes.  In the picture, she was dressed in the exact same jeans and T-shirt she was presently wearing.

“That is so weird,” Barbara said a little shaken.  “Who’s it from?”

Don turned the envelope over. “There’s no return address,” he said.

The strange occurrence puzzled them for a few more days, but soon became an insignificant memory.

Then a second envelope arrived, again addressed to Don.  In it was a drawing of Barbara comparing ingredient lists on packages at the local supermarket.

About a half an hour later Barbara returned from shopping.

“Don, you know that microwave rice you like?  You can get Waitrose’s own brand for a third less, and the ingredients are identical,” she said from the kitchen as she put the bags down on the counter.

“Barb, come her for a minute,” he called.

He then held the portrait up to show her.  “I think you have a stalker.”

The envelope again gave no clue to its origins.

Twenty-four hours later another envelope arrived.  Don ripped it open to show a sketch of Barbara lying in bed, with a thermometer between her lips and a washcloth across her forehead.

What the f -, Don began in his own mind, when the door opened and Barbara entered, her brow and face beaded with perspiration.  She was lethargic, and held herself up by the door frame.

“Don, Honey, I don’t feel very good,” she said before swooning a bit.  Don escorted her to the bedroom, and helped her undress.

“Fetch me a night dress, please,” she mumbled. “There’s one on a hanger behind the door.”

Don swung the door enough to grab the garment, only to see that it was the very one from the latest drawing.

The doctor examined her and determined that it was a mild bought of the flu.  She gave her an injection, and said it should the worst of it should pass in a couple of days.

Don sat by the bedside and looked at the drawing, the scene was almost identical.  This can’t be real, he thought.  This picture arrived before she did. 

Then he noticed it.  Unlike the previous two envelopes this one was stationery from The Carlton Condominiums.

Two days later Barbara’s fever broke and Don showed her the latest drawing.

“This is getting scary,” she said.

Don then showed her the envelope.  “Maybe we should go check it out,” he said.

Barbara agreed, and the next day they headed to the apartment building.

As they arrived they encountered a resident just coming out of the revolving doors of the building’s lobby.

“Excuse me,” Don said to the woman.

“Yes Dear, is there something I can help you with?” the woman of about seventy said.

“We received an envelope with this address on it,” Barbara said, holding up the back of the envelope to show her.

“Oh, we haven’t had that stationery here since the Millennium,” she said.  “That’s very odd.”

“This drawing was in it,” Barbara said handing the illustration to the woman.

“It’s a very good likeness,” the woman said. “It looks like Louise’s work.”

“Louise?” the couple said almost simultaneously.

“Yes Dear.  Number 13,” she replied.  She then excused herself and started on her way, before turning and calling back, “She doesn’t get out much, you know.  Tootles.”

The couple entered the lobby and looked at the silver metal plaque on the wall.

“Eight to Thirteen are to the right,” Don said.

They turned down the right hand corridor and the entire atmosphere seemed to change.  The hallway was painted in a slate grey tone, and Barbara felt the walls almost closed in on her.

Numbers 8, 10, and 12 were on their left, and 9 and 11 were to their right.  Number 13 stood at the end of the hallway.

“I didn’t think places like this had 13s” Don said. “Unlucky or something.”

“Or Thirteenth Floors,” she agreed.

Don was just about to knock the door when it suddenly opened.

“Hello, Don – Barbara,” a woman in her early sixties said.  “I have been expecting you.”

Barbara stood with her mouth hanging open, and almost bolted, but Don intervened.

“How do you know us?  And how could you possibly know we were coming,” he said trying to control his anger.

“Come in, please and I will explain,” Louise said.

It was only as she fully opened the door for them to enter, that it became apparent that she was blind.

“Please, please do come in,” she invited.

It became obvious she was an artist.  Her flat had numerous pencil sketches on the walls, and an easel, with a nearly completed oil painting on it, was positioned under the window.  The variety and styles of the works were hard to categorize, as they seemed to encapsulate every genre and medium.

“Did you do all these?” Barbara asked.

“Yes, yes, over the years,” Louise responded.

“You are really talented,” Barbara complemented. “May I ask how long you have been blind?  It must have really been rough not being able to draw any more.”

Louise gave a friendly chuckle.  “I have been blind all my life,” Louise responded.  She then reached out a hand and removed a dust sheet from off a sculpture.  It was a perfect likeness of herself, but at about thirty years younger.  It, however, had empty eye sockets, leaving an eerie melancholy to the piece.

“It is a self-portrait, as you can see.  I turned to art, rather than bemoan my fate,” she added.

Don looked at the hollow sockets in the statue, and it gave him a chill.

“That’s amazing,” Barbara said.  “But how did you learn?”

“It wasn’t easy at first,” Louise said.  “I tried to have lessons, but no one really wanted to try to teach me.  So I just tried different things, and everyone was astonished by the outcome.  It’s like an instinct.  It’s what I think has brought you here today.”

“How so?” Don challenged.

“I have images in my mind.  Often they are places, people, or events, that I don’t know.  But they are vivid.  Sometimes, I can even sense the names and addresses or my ‘subjects,’ but I don’t always share them unless I feel the person really needs to see them,” Louise explained.

“So what was so important about Barbara’s pictures?” Don asked suspiciously.

“Oh, Barbara’s drawings weren’t important,” Louise said.  Though I am glad she is over that awful illness.”

“Then why send them?” Barbara asked.

“So you would come visit, Barbara,” Louise responded.

“Why?” Barbara questioned feeling a sense of uneasiness.

“So you could see the painting,” she replied, giving a nod towards the canvas under the window.

There was the perfect likeness of Don in the process of making love to the unmistakable image of Janet, their next door neighbour.

“Barbara, please come back,” Don called out after her as his voice was muffled by the ‘whoosh’ of the revolving door as she exited.



Haunted Wordsmith Fiction Prompt – May 28

Prompt A (character challenge): artist

Prompt B (sentence starter): “Teach me.”

Haunted Wordsmith Fiction Prompt – May 27

Prompt A (genre challenge): paranormal horror

Prompt B (sentence starter): “There’s no return address.”

Prompt C (photo):


Wordle #135

1. Eye Socket
2. Atmosphere
3. Sculpture
4. Bemoan
5. Whoosh
6. 24 hours
7. Glance
8. Lethargic
9. Instinct
10. Categorize
11. Draw
12. Tootle