Shyam R S



Shyam R S


The Natural Painter

The Natural Painter

4 mins

      The canvas was carefully placed in front of him. The early morning sun shone in the east and the chirping noise of birds filled the air. The nearby stream was rather sluggish in its flow due to the failed monsoon. Everything seemed to be in complete harmony except for the painter. He is passing through a rough patch in his career. He wanted to be successful and famous in his line of work, but the society seems to be against him. His style of art is being critically reviewed by the community as well as the artist’s fraternity.

     When he was a child, people around him claimed that he was a prodigy. His childhood pranks were ignored, and he was lavishly brought up. At the present moment he felt miserable and lost. His future appeared rather bleak. He was not able to fathom the fact that his style of art is no longer preferred. Despite being a failure, he was determined today to break this trend. But his determination became a sort of barrier for inspiration. For the first time the chirping of birds disturbed him.

     The canvas remained empty and so was his mind. Tears started rolling down his cheeks as an indication of helplessness. The hard-hitting questions have returned again in full force to his mind. Should I continue to paint? Am I worthless? Should I switch careers? Should I? The list was unending and lengthy. Soon he realized that there was someone calling his name at a distance from behind. He stood up, gathered himself and turned around. It was his close friend from the artist’s fraternity. He was the only one to have stood with him through thick and thin. Generally, he comes alone, but this time he was accompanied by one gentleman.

     The painter approached his friend with a smiling face and shook hands with the gentleman. The gentleman was immaculately dressed and had a polished look. He appeared rather serious and appeared to have come with a purpose. After initial exchange of pleasantries, the friend introduced the immaculate one as the Director of the Art Institute. The painter was taken aback, as he was least expecting someone of such position and authority. Nevertheless, he took them to his drawing room and made the director sit in his teak wood sofa.

     He made his way to the kitchen in the pretext of making coffee and his friend followed him. In the kitchen, the painter broke down and asked his friend as to why he had brought the director with him at this juncture and that too uninformed. His friend said in a soft but convincing voice that the director is a good friend of his and wanted to shortlist painters for the upcoming International Art Exhibition scheduled next month.

“But I have not been in my best for a long time. On the top of that I have not been painting since many months now”, the painter said

     By this time, the milk was boiling, and he reluctantly made a cup of coffee and took it to the drawing room. The drawing room was empty.

“Has he left? Did he hear me sobbing?” the painter asked.

“No, it can’t be. He should be outside” his friend explained.

     When they anxiously came out of the house, the director was approaching them from the lawn. This time he was smiling. The next few minutes left the painter spell bound.

“Saw your painting in the lawn. I must say that I am thoroughly impressed at your imagination and style. Be ready to display your work in the event” the director said.

“But sir……” the painter paused

“Never mind, display the best five of your work” the director said and took his leave.

     After seeing him off, his friend hugged him in amusement, but the painter could not believe the offer.

“Congrats man! You have made it at last. Oh god! What a break” the friend said

“But the canvas was empty……. How come he got impressed with an empty canvas?” the painter observed.

     They hurried to the back lawn. They found that the canvas was not empty. The painter picked up the canvas and analyzed the amazing artwork.

     - Few bird droppings in haphazard fashion.

     - Foot marks of birds in ochre, green and blue.

After one month……….

“Today we have amongst us the winner of the prestigious young painter award of the year” the anchor said.

“Sir, whom do you attribute your success to?”

The painter thought for a moment and said,


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