I was painting wild roses when I met Ocean.
“Short for Oceania”, she told me.
She watched me for so long.
Then I turned to her and asked, “What have you learned so far?”
“You press hard and then you press light”, she said in summary of her observations.
“That is exactly what I have been doing. Good for you”.
I painted some more and thought about this nine-year old girl who had figured it out so quickly.
“Come and paint this leaf for me”, I said. This time I was inviting someone to paint.
“I don’t know how to hold the brush”. But Ocean learns fast and she soon felt comfortable with the brush. Even though she was unsure of her ability to paint, her curiousity and yearning won the day.
“Just this leaf,” I said as she worked with trepidation and care. She put on the paint, she blended the paint and when it was done, it was a great leaf.
“I will finish the painting, but I won’t touch your leaf”, I assured her.
Her parents took a picture of Ocean and I holding either end of the painting, the next morning.
“We are going to sign her up for art lessons”, they told me.
I finished the painting during the sumptuous Easter Sunday Brunch in the Empress’ Crystal Ballroom. And Ocean’s leaf is still all her own doing.