Callow

artist_callow

callow

  1. lacking adult sophistication: immature

Her callow portraits would never suffice, but he flipped through her work with a pleasant smile, nodding as she spoke about her inspiration.

In all honesty, David felt as if he would prefer drawing her more than listening to her bubbly musings, but he turned each page and stuffed his disappointment lower within himself.

There used to be a time when beautiful young women were more interested in him as a man and less interested in his opinions of art and his methods. But he was living the reality of becoming a prolific artist and growing older.

It was opening night for some of his more recent work being shown at the Strathem Gallery in his hometown.

In the midst of his conversation with his agent and the gallery owner, he’d seen the lithe brunette across the room looking at him intently. When he caught her staring more at him than his artwork, David perked up. She continued to look in his direction all night.

And now she stood in his studio, talking more with her hands and her expressive eyes that seemed to be fixed somewhere above his head as she rambled on about her AP Art History class and her study abroad trip to Europe.

David sighed deeply. Yes, things had definitely changed in his life. He had gained true fans and admirers of his work. He was struggling to see this as a good thing.

“Do you not like my work,” Marie asked quietly. He could see uncertainty in her eyes.

He remembered those days vividly, wanting someone to believe in your work and validate it, being crushed by every withering look from accomplished artists.

David nodded slowly.

“You have clean lines,” he began tenderly, laying aside his bruised ego, “and I can tell you’re very passionate about your work.”

He paused, knowing she would need more than compliments in order to grow.

“You’re not a camera, Marie, you’re an artist. You’re capturing reality, but I need to see your point of view–and you have one; it’s so evident when you speak–but you need to fine tune it a bit more.”

Marie looked slightly stunned.

“It’s like practicing a language,” he said. “You have the words, but the subtle nuances of the dialect need to be there too. Where is the accent that marks your work with life?”

David laid a gentle hand on her portfolio.

“Your work is good, Marie, but I know that with a little bit more effort, it could be great.”

He handed the portfolio back to her and scribbled his number on a strip of blank newsprint.

“When you’re ready, work on some landscapes in charcoal, create 15 of them. Then do about 10 portraits of some elderly people–the older the better–and then call me.”

Somehow David had assumed the role of professor. Maybe it was the undeveloped talent that he could see beneath the surface of her pieces that was drawing him out of his simple mode of critiquing and criticizing. Or maybe it was the death of his desire to be desired.

“You’re going to be great Marie, and then you’ll have others coming to you for your advice,” David said, yawning. “Now go get some sleep and then let me know when you’ve finished your assignment.”

 

 

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