© 2010 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
It had been months since I last saw or heard from Gustav. I wasn’t at all miffed, because I know his need for solitude when he works, and just as importantly, his penchant for serial love affairs that leave him totally exhausted. But I have been concerned, because, after all, let’s face it – the guy’s ancient.
It was with great surprise and relief that I picked up the phone yesterday morning and heard his Ahnald ‘Hallo!’ booming from the ether.
‘Gustav!’ I cried, ’I’ve been a bit worried about you. It’s good to hear your voice.’
‘So, you did not miss me? Only worried about an old man – that he died happy in the arms of a delicious young woman?’ he laughed.
I refused to take the bait. ‘Not at all,’ I replied. ‘I was afraid you’d dropped dead in front of your easel in the studio.’
‘Hah!’ he snorted. ‘That will never be. But let us not waste time. I have a new work that you might like to see. Can you visit the studio in one hour perhaps?’
Well, of course I agreed. Exactly 63 minutes later – I am well acquainted with his Teutonic mania for punctuality and for me, 3 minutes either way is pretty good – I was knocking on the door of the studio.
It opened and there stood the man himself, looking more relaxed and rested than a skirt-chasing old geezer has any right to be.
‘You are getting better,’ he grumbled, pulling out his battered gold pocket watch and checking the time. ‘Well, come in!’
As I entered the studio I saw a large rectangular canvas against the far wall, covered with an old blanket.
‘Is this it, then?’ I cried, running over to check it out.
’Don’t touch a thing!’ Gustav barked. ‘Allow me to unveil it for you.’
‘Of course, I wouldn’t dare touch anything unless you asked me to," I sniffed back.
He picked up the canvas, carrying it slowly to his sturdiest easel and allowing the blanket to fall away as he settled it there.
‘Gustav!’ I cried. ’You’ve become an Impressionist!’
‘Nicht wie ein verrückter Narr!’ he bellowed. ‘You have seen my early work.’
‘But this is so romantic,’ I replied. ‘The colors, the shapes – they melt into each other.’
‘Look more closely,’ he commanded.
So I stepped in front of the canvas and stuck my face right into it. Sure enough, there were his signature shapes and even a bit of gold leaf here and there.
‘Well…it has an element of romance,’ he admitted reluctantly as I scrutinized the piece. ‘But you must know the inspiration for the work. One night I had a dream. All the women – beautiful and not – that I have known’ (biblically, I’m sure, I thought) ‘passed through as though in a parade. Every man should be so fortunate to have such a dream!’
Digital pen, ink and oils.