When he met her, his landscapes were always bright; viridian held sway on fresh canvas
Painting after painting he pushed sunlit strokes; smooth paint across rough taut cotton
Tirelessly laboring, an intense singular focus
When he went to paint foreign terrain she remained with drying canvases and memories of viridian, emerald, and hunters’; fresh and vital
When his attention faded, careless hands sketched her in simple black and white with tonal shading of funeral-ash gray
The color of cold river clay settled on her and she was becoming obscure
He came home one day to find his studio tilted, the brushes and pencils broken, torn sketches littering the floor like autumn leaves and everywhere, spilled, ruined, useless paint
Lively colors splattered surreal; a dizzy kaleidoscope view. Disorder and chaos contrasted his memories of steady cool winds and verdant trees of the mountains where he found her
With careless daubs his heavy brush had faded her with sad tones and merciless shadow.
It took him decades to clean off the soot and dust of his own making.
Gradually seasons passed, her beauty becoming the soul of his work.
Past midnight as she slumbered fitfully, he sometimes cried painting her on new canvas.
Eventually she would reemerge with that sad-but-wise radiant smile of forgiveness and eternal loyalty.
Those eyes, soft and kind, assuaging him as he incessantly rebuked himself for darker palettes and smears of long ago
He has since painted no subject with more pains-taking effort and detail. She was and remains his focus, retaining the green of life in her long draping gown edged in gold.
Elegant, ever vigilant, regally posed on a solid rock in a wave bashed shoreline.
Here he: Still painting sunlight and blue skies, viridian memories and eternal beauty
Sorrow in true beauty; real or captured on canvas
Here she: Marooned