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Her mother fixes a sheet of A4,

with a strip of masking tape top and bottom,

to the white board on the easel and ties

an apron round the little artist, who,

when she pulls the wrapping off the present

knows immediately what it is, holding

the child-size plastic palette exactly

as she should. Having chosen the colours –

her favourites: yellow, green, orange, red –

her mother places the paints in the wells.

She chooses a brush, begins, protrudes her tongue,

embodying concentration. There is

nothing random here. Her intellectual

eye intuitively knows where to place

each stroke – dry-brush, under-paint, scumble –

and paint over to create new colours

and shades, changing brushes for breadth, depth

and finesse – and knows when it is finished.

Untaught or, rather, unspoiled, she has begun

with abstraction: with colour, texture, form,

making them one, an aspiration

that transcends tens of millennia.





© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Ashen Venema
    October 21, 2016

    Lovely – being given the tools and the freedom to use them just so.

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